Homemade Chickpea Falafels

Homemade Chickpea Falafels

Healthy homemade chickpea falafels are a delicious and easy way to bring all the flavours of authentic Middle Eastern cuisine to your dinner table. Falafels are always a crowd-pleaser and they lend well to vegan and non-vegan diets. Prepare these vegan patties in advance and serve at a diner party or as a quick weeknight meal on meatless Mondays.

I’m an honest person. Honest enough to admit my failures in the kitchen – this being one of them. I have made numerous attempts at preparing homemade falafels, but they never came to fruition as well as I had anticipated. Years later, and many a chickpea wasted, I finally discovered my one and only error, which can literally make or break this recipe –  the chickpeas! When it comes to preparing falafel from scratch, it is important to use dry, uncooked chickpeas (rather than the canned variety) to ensure your falafels are light and fluffy, as opposed to dense and flattened. The entire process is really quite easy; soak the chickpeas overnight, grind them until fine and crumbly, add the remaining ingredients, form into patties, fry, and voilà!

Garnish this protein-packed vegetarian appetizer with tahini paste or a quick-fix yogurt dip made with cucumbers and fresh dill. Or, serve as a main on top of a fresh salad, like this Quinoa Tabbouleh, or paired with your favourite protein. Although the ingredients listed are ‘exact’ measurements, there’s always room for a bit of interpretation. For example, if you love falafels with a punch of flavour add more garlic, herbs, and spices. Also, depending on how much you’ve soaked the chickpeas and dried them, you might have to add a tablespoon or so of water at a time as you prepare the mixture until you get the perfect consistency. The falafels should be firm enough to hold together but not too wet. Once you get that perfect consistency you are good to go. Just quickly form patties with your hands then set then cook the falafels until golden perfection!

Homemade Chickpea Falafels

If you try this recipe (and love it!) be sure to snap a pic and tag me on Instagram with #bitesforfoodies so I can see your creation!

Homemade Chickpea Falafels

2017-11-03
: About 10 medium falafels
: 10 min
: 15 min

Healthy homemade chickpea falafels are a delicious and easy way to bring all the flavours of authentic Middle Eastern cuisine to your dinner table. Falafels are always a crowd-pleaser and they lend well to vegan and non-vegan diets. Prepare these vegan patties in advance and serve at a diner party or as a quick weeknight …

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Homemade Chickpea Falafels
5
5
1
14
Ingredients
    2 cups dried chickpeas, soaked overnight and drained
  • 1/2 medium red onion, roughly chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, roughly chopped (or a lot more depending on taste preference!)
  • 1 tbs. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. dried cumin
  • 1 tsp. dried coriander
  • 1/2 cup parsley leaves, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 cup mint leaves, roughly chopped
  • 1-2 tbs. sesame seeds (optional)
  • 1 tbs. sea salt
  • Tahini sauce for garnish, if desired
  • Sunflower oil for frying
Directions

Soak chickpeas overnight in a large bowl of water with 1 tsp. baking soda. Add enough water to cover the chickpeas by about 4 inches. Store for at least 12 hours (or ideally overnight) in the fridge. Before preparing, drain, rinse thoroughly and pat dry with a clean kitchen towel.

Transfer the chickpeas to a large food processor and pulse into completely ground, similar to the consistency of coarse cornmeal. Add the remaining ingredients (minus the Tahini sauce) and continue to pulse until combined, scraping down the sides if needed. The mixture should be dense enough to come together when you roll it into a ball. If not, add about 1 tbs. at a time of water to the mixture and pulse again until you get the desired consistency.

Heat the sunflower oil in a large, deep frying pan on medium-high heat. Be sure there is at least 3-4 inches of oil in the pan, or at least enough to cover at least 3/4 of the falafels. To check when the oil is ready for frying, place a toothpick into the center of the frying pan – if bubble start to form around the toothpick then the oil is ready.

To ensure the temperature of the oil doesn’t drop, work in two batches. Dollop 1 heaping tablespoon of the mixture into your hands and form balls or oval patties. Transfer the falafels immediately to the frying pan, and cook for 4-5 minutes, gently nudging the falafels so they don’t stick. Using the slotted spoon pour some oil over the falafels to cook the top side. Cook until brown and crispy, turning for the last minute if needed to brown the top. Transfer to a large plate lined with paper towels and sprinkle with more sea salt. Repeat the process with the remaining falafel mixture. Serve warm or at room temperature, drizzled with Tahini sauce and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice, if desired.

These falafels freeze well. the falafel into balls or patties, freeze it on a sheet pan before transferring to a plastic zip bag for long term storage. The falafel can go straight into the hot oil from the freezer without a problem. Just add another minute or so to the cook time. Perfect golden falafel!

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