So today, we are making the best Falafel Recipe baked that you have ever tasted. Falafel is little balls of chickpea goodness that are crispy on the outside and soft on the inside.
They’re a traditional Middle Eastern recipe, they are naturally vegan, and they are perfect on top of salads or in wraps, in pita, or sandwiches, though I personally love them on salads because it means you get little extra greens.
I’ve had my fair share of falafel on travels through Egypt, Israel, and Jordan. And last year, when I was in Tel Aviv, I got a behind-the-scenes look at the falafel making happening at the very popular Hakosem restaurant where crowds line up for their falafel and their gluten-free pita.
So, with all of that inspiration, let me show you how to make the best falafel recipe baked.
To get started, you’ll need one cup of dried chickpeas and you must use dried chickpeas in this recipe and not canned chickpeas, as canned chickpeas are too soft and wet and your falafel will not form properly if you use them.
You’ll need to soak your chickpeas for at least eight to 12 hours, and this is easy to do overnight.
Just add them to a large bowl and cover them with two to three inches of water. Remember that the chickpeas will almost triple in size so you do want plenty of water in the bowl.
The next morning, you’ll see how much your chickpeas have expanded and the water might look a little yellowish.
That’s fine, just drain and rinse your chickpeas and then add them to your food processor.
Dice up about a half a cup of yellow onion and you just roughly chop this.
The food processor will do much of the work, but I find that it does help to do a little shopping beforehand to keep the texture consistent.
The best falafel recipes I’ve eaten have always had heaps of herbs inside, so we’re adding a generous amount today.
Grab a large bunch of parsley and then roughly chop it. It should equal about one cup, lightly packed if you wanna double-check, and then add it to your food processor.
Next, we’ll add cilantro, and you want an equal amount of cilantro to parsley. So, roughly chop your cilantro
and add that to your food processor as well.
Now, this is what I consider the special ingredient of this recipe, and it’s green pepper. I’m using a small serrano pepper
but you could use a small jalapeno pepper as well.
You don’t want too much pepper, just enough to add a kick of flavor without overpowering the falafel. If your pepper is bigger than what you see here, just use half of it, but don’t omit the pepper without trying it first. And you’ll just have to trust me on this one.
So, remove the seeds and membrane from the inside of the pepper, dice it up, and add it to the food processor.
Next, we’ll add three cloves of garlic, and do use fresh garlic rather than garlic powder for the most robust flavor. Again, you can always tweak the amount of garlic to your liking. So, just peel the garlic cloves and toss them into the food processor as well.
Now we’ll add a couple of spices that is often used in Middle Eastern cooking and which smell amazing, and that includes one teaspoon of cumin, one teaspoon of salt, half a teaspoon of cardamom, which I love, and a quarter teaspoon of black pepper.
Once everything is in your food processor, add the lid, and then pulse it several times, scraping down the sides in between.
After you’ve done this for a minute or two, you should have a mixture that still has a little bit of texture to it but it also resembles coarse sand.
Transfer the falafel dough mixture to a mixing bowl and then add two tablespoons of chickpea flour and a half a teaspoon of baking soda.
These ingredients help to bind everything together and make the falafel nice and fluffy on the inside.
Cover the bowl and then refrigerate the mixture for 30 minutes to an hour so it can chill and all of the flavors can melt together.
After it’s chilled comes the scooping part. I’m using a medium cookie scoop, which I’ll link to below, and I love it as it helps to keep all of your falafel the same size. So, scoop the mixture into your hands and form them into balls.
The ball should stick together but they are a bit fragile, so do be gentle with them. Repeat this process until you’ve used up all of your dough and just place the uncooked falafel on a plate.
Now, if you do prefer the flatter patty shape, you can do this by hand as well. I tend to scoop a little bit more than I do for the balls, and then just form them into patty shapes with my hands.
The flatter shape is perfect for serving in pita or sandwiches, so it helps to think of how you might serve the falafel before you start shaping them.
Falafel recipe baked cooking
When it comes to cooking falafel, I’ll show you three different methods:
Method 1 :
The first is deep-frying, which is the most common method used in restaurants, but it does use the most oil. And in terms of oil,
I’m using avocado oil as it’s a high heat oil and it’s my personal favorite oil to cook with, but you could use vegetable oil as well.
Heat the oil on medium heat until the temperature reaches 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Some websites recommend 375 degrees, but I found that this made the outside of the falafel much darker and I prefer a more golden, crispy outside.
Once your oil has come to temperature, gently drop your falafel balls in the oil and let them cook for a minute or so.
Cook them in batches of six to eight at a time, and I’ll use my skimmer to move them around a bit and take a peek to make sure that they’re not getting too dark.
Once they look beautiful and golden, we move them to a paper-towel-lined plate and repeat the process.
Method 2 :
Now I’ll show you how to pan-fry falafel, and this method is great as it uses less oil. You only need a few tablespoons of oil in a pan and I prefer a cast iron pan for this.
Heat the oil to medium-high or until it sizzles when you drop the first falafel in the pan.
Cook the falafel for two to three minutes on each side or until they’re golden brown.
Then, transfer them to a paper-towel-lined plate.
Method 3 :
Our last method is baked falafel and you’ll start by preheating your oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.
Grab a baking sheet and either spray or lightly brush it with oil.
Then add your falafel to the pan and lightly coat the top sides with oil as well.
Cook them in the oven for about 25 to 30 minutes and flip them halfway through. When they’re done, they should be just as golden as the other methods.
So here’s my flatter, baked falafel, my pan-fried falafel, and my deep-fried falafel. You can see that they look pretty darn similar, so it’s really up to you on which method you prefer.
Falafel recipe baked are best eaten warm and while they’re nice and crispy on the outside. If you break one open, you’ll see that beautiful vibrant green color, and I’ll forewarn you that they are highly addictive.
Falafel with tahini sauce?
Drizzle your falafel with tahini sauce, which is a creamy and flavorful requirement, and I have a separate recipe for that on my website, falafelsrecipe.com.
If you want to make a feast, serve the falafel with my homemade hummus, lentil salad, cauliflower rice tabbouleh, and za’atar roasted cauliflower. And I have separate articles for the hummus and tabbouleh on this website, so make sure to read those articles.
I hope you guys enjoy your falafel recipe baked and make sure to tag me on social media when you whip them up because I would love to see them.
MOST DELICIOUS FALAFEL RECIPE (FRIED OR BAKED)
MOST DELICIOUS FALAFEL RECIPE (FRIED OR BAKED)
- 1 cup dried chickpeas, soaked overnight (don't use canned chickpeas)
- 1/2 cup onion, roughly chopped
- 1 cup parsley, roughly chopped (about a one large bunch)
- 1 cup cilantro, roughly chopped (about a one large bunch)
- 1 small green chile pepper, serrano or jalapeno pepper
- 3 garlic cloves
- 1 tbsp cumin
- 1 tbsp salt
- 1/2 tbsp tsp cardamom
- 1/4 tbsp black pepper
- 2 tbsp chickpea flour
- 1/2 tbsp baking soda
- avocado oil for frying
- The night before, soak the dried chickpeas in water. Make sure the water covers the chickpeas by 2-3 inches, as they'll triple in size.
- Drain and rinse the chickpeas and add them to your food processor.
- Add the onion, parsley, cilantro, pepper, garlic, cumin, salt, cardamom and black pepper to the food processor and pulse several times until it resembles the texture of coarse sand.
- Transfer the falafel mixture to a bowl and add the chickpea flour and baking soda. Stir together, then cover or add a lid.
- Refrigerate the mixture for 30 minutes to one hour.
- Use your hands, an ice cream scoop or falafel scoop to form the falafel into balls or patties. If you find the mixture is too wet, you can add another tablespoon of chickpea flour. If it's too dry and crumbly, you can add a teaspoon or two of water or lemon juice.
- Once the falafel is formed, you can cook them by your preferred method mentioned above.
- To deep-fry, the falafel, add about 3 inches of oil to a pot on medium heat. Heat the oil to 350F.
- Cook the falafel in batches (about 6-8 at a time) for 1-2 minutes or until golden. Use a skimmer to check the color of the falafel and make sure they don't overcook. Then remove them to a paper towel-lined plate.
- Serve the falafel immediately, while warm and crispy on the outside.
WHAT IS FALAFEL?
Falafel is a deep-fried ball or patty made from dried ground chickpeas, fava beans, or both and soaked for a period of time in water and then grind and kneaded and add the spices, then fried in hot oil in the form of tablets. It is mainly made of beans or chickpeas soaked for a while in the water before being ground and kneaded with onion, garlic, spices, and then fried in oil in the form of tablets, some add parsley, paprika and sesame seeds to it. In soaking, baking soda is often used to make it airier.
In Syria, they use chickpeas to male Falafel, and the eat it by wrapped in a flatbread with pickled vegetables and tahini-based sauces (Figure 3). In Jordan, they use a mix of chickpeas and fava beans in preparing this meal and eat it in the same way in Syria
Falafel is a Jordanian popular food composed of chickpeas, parsley, onion, garlic, salt, and sodium bicarbonate and served after frying in palm or soybean oils for 3 min.
In Egypt, they use Fava beans and they called it Ta’amiya and they used their traditional bread for making falafel sandwich.
In Iraq, they use chickpeas, and they use the traditional bread and a special Indian spice in the sandwich which gives the falafel a special flavor which makes it differ from other Arabic countries.
To make the special shape of Falafel, there is a special mold, and sometimes before frying sesames is used to cover the tablet of the Falafel on the upper surface like decorate and to give it a flavor.
But Where Did It Come from?
Despite the disagreement over the origin, but it is a popular, cheap, and nutritious meal at the same time which has gained an international reputation, namely, Falafel or Ta’amiya as the Egyptians like to call it. And here it cannot be without mentioning the conflict about the historical origin and the first who manufacture it and the creativity in making it. The people of the world have agreed to eat falafel and enjoy its taste, but they are still different about its origin.
It is said that Egyptians are the first people who knew bean plant and have it as human food, and they confirm that Falafel is an Egyptian invention one hundred percent. They also approve that by referring to the origin of the name, the word Falafel is an Egyptian word inherently derived from the word “Pepper”, which explains the chili taste which is one of the characteristics of the Egyptian falafel. While the other name of the Falafel which is Ta’amiya is also openly endorsed it by a large number of Egyptians and says that it comes from the Egyptian dialect which derived from the Arabic word “ta’am” which means “taste”. The Egyptians Chefs also confirm that the Pharaohs were the first to know Falafel or Ta’amiya, and they had stuffed it with many fillings to add more nutritional value to it, for example, it was stuffed with liver or meat and sometimes eggs, to the extent that it became as a companion to the ancient Egyptian in his travels for its ability to fill the hunger
On the other hand, others believe that Falafel was first known to the Syrians in the middle ages, and it has spread in the country of Jordan, Palestine, Lebanon, and Egypt through trade trips between those countries, subsequently to move to all other countries through travelers who liked its Syrian taste. Others believe that falafel is known, the first time, in Palestine, and have evolved over time to acquire its current form, and this view is supported by a number of Palestinian scholars.
It’s uncontroversial, that the Falafel is a global dish and it is common in Egypt, Palestine, Jordan, Lebanon, and Syria. The method of manufacture varies between Egypt and Levant