Falafel is a deep-fried ball, or a flat or doughnut-shaped patty, made from ground chickpeas, fava beans, or both. Herbs, spices, and onion relatives are commonly added to the dough. It is an Egyptian dish as well as a very famous, pseudo-national, will Middle Eastern dish, that most likely originated in Egypt. The fritters area now found around the world as part of vegetarian cuisine, and as a form of street food.
In this tutorial I will teach how to make a baked falafel, in the next tutorial i will teach how to make a fried falafel.
- 2 15-ounce (425 g) cans of chickpeas, drained
- 1 cup (150 g) of chopped red onion
- 4 cloves of garlic, roughly chopped
- 1/4 to 1/2 cup (5 to 15 g) of loosely packed parsley
- 1/4 to 1/2 cup (4 to 8 g) of loosely packed cilantro leaves
- 2 tablespoons (30 ml) of olive oil, plus extra for the pan
- 2 tablespoons (30 ml) of lemon juice
- 2 teaspoons (4 g) of ground cumin
- 2 teaspoons (4 g) of coriander
- 1 1/2 teaspoons (8.5 g) of salt
- 2 teaspoons (8 g) of baking powder
- 1/4 cup (30 g) of all-purpose flour, optional for binding
- Makes 12 falafel
1. Preheat the oven to 375 °F (191 °C) and oil a baking sheet. Pour a little drizzle of olive oil over a baking sheet. Then use a pastry brush to spread the oil across the entire sheet so there’s a thin layer of oil.
The olive oil will prevent the falafel from sticking to the pan as it bakes.
2. Put the chickpeas, onion, garlic, and herbs into a food processor. Open and drain 2 15-ounce (425 g) cans of chickpeas. Put them into a food processor along with:
- 1 cup (150 g) of chopped red onion
- 4 roughly chopped cloves of garlic
- 1/4 cup (5 g) of loosely packed parsley
- 1/4 cup (4 g) of loosely packed cilantro leaves.
3. Add oil, lemon juice, and spices. Pour 2 tablespoons (30 ml) of olive oil and 2 tablespoons (30 ml) of lemon juice into the food processor. Sprinkle 2 teaspoons (4 g) of ground cumin, 2 teaspoons (4 g) of coriander, and 1 1/2 teaspoons (8.5 g) of salt over the chickpeas.
Tip: For a more intense or spicy flavor, omit the cumin and coriander and replace them with the same amount of curry powder or zaatar.
4. Pulse the ingredients 10 to 12 times. Put the lid on the food processor and pulse the chickpeas with the seasonings. Keep pulsing until the mixture is combined and the chickpeas are chopped.
At this point, you can taste the mixture and mix in the remaining fresh parsley or cilantro according to your taste.
5. Mix in the baking powder and flour, if using. Sprinkle 2 teaspoons (8 g) of baking powder over the mixture in the food processor. If you’d like falafel that are easier to form and hold together, add 1/4 cup (30 g) of all-purpose flour. Put the lid on the processor and pulse it a few times so the mixture is finely chopped.
To tell if you’ve blended the falafel mixture enough, gather some of the mixture in your hand and squeeze it. The mixture should form a ball that doesn’t fall apart.
If you want to make the falafel in advance, store the mixture in an airtight container and refrigerate it for up to 5 days.
6. Roll the mixture into 12 large balls. Divide the falafel mixture into 12 equal portions. Then use the palms of your hands to shape each portion into a ball. If you prefer not to use your hands, use a large ice cream scoop to divide the mixture.
Put the balls onto the baking sheet and press them into patties. Set the falafel balls onto the greased baking sheet so they’re at least 2 inches (5.1 cm) apart. Use your palm or the bottom of a glass to press down gently on each ball. Press the patties until they’re 1⁄2 inch (1.3 cm) thick.
Forming the falafel into large patties will make them crispy as they cook on the baking sheet.
8. Brush the falafel with olive oil and bake them for 25 to 30 minutes. Drizzle a little more olive oil over the tops of the falafel and put the baking sheet in the preheated oven. Carefully flip the falafel halfway through the baking time and cook the falafel until they’re browned and crisp on both sides.
If any of the falafel fall apart as you’re flipping them, gently press them back together.
9. Remove and serve the easy falafel. Turn off the oven and transfer the falafel to a serving platter. You can eat them warm or at room temperature. Consider stuffing the falafel inside a pita and drizzling a little tahini dressing on it.
Store leftover falafel in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.