Classic Falafel made with dried chickpeas and tahini, this traditional falafel is exactly what you’s have at your favorite Middle Eastern restaurant. Not a single canned chickpea in sight, so no mushy texture!
Classic Falafel is not a quick recipe to make, but it couldn’t be much simpler. The length of time is 99% the soaking of the beans. Working with dried garbanzo beans is the magic ingredient in making a falafel that tastes like the ones from your favorite restaurant.
Yes, I know what you are thinking, “I don’t have time for this!” but like my favorite Jacques Torres Chocolate Chip Cookies with the 36 hour resting period you get what you put into these delicious Classic Falafel balls.
I’m going to be honest with you here, I make this recipe maybe 50% of the time I make falafel. I know, I know I just told you how amazing they are right? But sometimes I can’t help getting a craving for falafel for dinner…tonight. I’ve found the best quick falafel recipe to be from AllRecipes. I do make adjustments (I’ll post this version soon), but even as written it is still better than your local takeout spot.
There are also a number of variations you can make to your falafel to have them more suited to your tastes:
- Add extra parsley to the mix to give it a fresher, herbier taste (I use about one bunch of parsley total for the whole recipe to do this)
- Add a mixture of peas or fava beans with the chickpeas. Whatever you add in those beans subtract from the recipe.
- Make it say “HELLOOOOO GARLIC!!” and double the garlic in the recipe – this one is a family favorite.
And if you want to make this Classic Falafel into the best sandwich or wrap…ever. And I do mean ever people…. make this Zankou Chicken Garlic Paste recipe to go with it. It’s magical. And it pretty much has a cult following in Los Angeles.
Classic Falafel is a great vegetarian option that meat eaters won’t balk at! Give it a try and make sure to make the additional sides for it, the falafel does need some moisture to be added to it in serving, thats why you’ll frequently served with tahini, hummus or other sauces.
Tools used in this recipe:
Two Tablespoon Ice Cream Scoop: Yes, you can totally use your one tablespoon measure twice, but I love this scoop for so many things, including cookies! It just makes everything go so much faster.
Hamilton Beach Food Processor: I know they make a newer one, and there are many fancier ones, but this this workhorse has been going for almost 10 years!
Lodge Cast Iron Skillet: My favorite pan (even though I own almost 20 pieces from All-Clad that I love!) it has a permanent spot on my stovetop because I use it almost daily (and it is heavy!).
Classic Falafel (No Canned Beans)
- 2 cups dry garbanzo beans
- 3/4 cup yellow onion chopped (just under one onion)
- 1/4 cup fresh parsley chopped
- 2 tablespoons garlic minced
- 2 tablespoons flour
- 2 teaspoons Kosher salt
- 1 tablespoon cumin
- 2 teaspoons ground coriander
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- Vegetable oil (for frying)
Add the garbanzo beans into a large bowl and soak in water overnight (the water should be a couple inches higher than the beans, so the beans plump up).
Rinse the beans and add them to a food processor with chopped onion, minced garlic, parsley, flour, salt, cumin, ground coriander, black pepper, cayenne pepper, and cardamom.
Process the ingredients together until it looks like a coarse paste, like a super chunky peanut butter.
Be sparing with how long your process it, the chickpeas should still be visible in small chunks.
Put the mixture into a bowl and refrigerate for a couple of hours.
Make the paste into small balls, rolling them in your hand.
If your falafel batter is too loose to stay in a ball you can add a few more tablespoons of flour.
Make the falafel balls with 2 tablespoons of the mixture.
In a large cast iron (or other good frying skillet) add a couple of inches of oil.
Heat the oil on medium heat and cook for 2-3 minutes on each side.
Serve with pita, pickled turnips, hummus and tomatoes for a great falafel sandwich.
Recipe NotesRecipe adapted from Tori Avey.