5 tips to make the best homemade falafels from scratch
Do you want your homemade falafels to be perfectly crispy and golden brown on the outside and cooked and fluffy on the inside? Use my 5 tips!
Do you like falafels?
I’m sure you do.
Have you ever tried your hand at homemade falafels?
Falafels are heavenly crunchy crowd pleasers, whether you eat them as a quick snack or bite, for lunch or as part of a mezze dinner.
How do you like them best?
Stuffed in pita bread with salads and sauces on the side?
In a healthy lunch salad?
Or do you prefer an bunch of colorful mezze and crispy falafels on your dinner table with a good glass of wine?
Making your own homemade falafels from scratch may seem easy to do, but those tasty little Middle Eastern balls are not as innocent as they look.
Have I got news for you!
With these next 5 tips you can make the most fantastic homemade falafels yourself!
Here we go.
1. Use dried chickpeas
Don’t use canned chickpeas.
The best homemade falafels are made with dried chickpeas. They can also contain a mixture of dried chickpeas and broad beans. Add the dried chickpeas to a large bowl and add plenty of water. As much as you can because the chickpeas will absorb lots of liquid.
Let them soak overnight.
Strain the chickpeas the next day and put them in a very powerful blender along with all your other ingredients such as herbs, condiments and spices. Don’t make the falafel mix too fine though.
The absorbed water will make sure that your rolled falafel balls will stick together nicely.
Do your homemade falafels still fall apart?
Add some extra water, or a little splash olive oil. I have come across recipes that even use an egg to make the chickpea batter stick together.
Whatever you do, just don’t reach for that bag of flour in your cupboard. If you add flour to your falafel mixture, your homemade falafels will be way too sticky and heavy and become mushy after you deep fry them.
2. Add plenty herbs and spices
True, chickpeas aren’t huge flavor bombs.
That is why you can to be generous in seasoning your homemade falafels. A good amount of salt and lots of fresh garlic are the most important flavors here or your falafels will taste bland.
Other spices also go into your chickpea batter: we especially love to use spices and herbs such as black pepper, ground chili, paprika, ginger, cilantro, cumin and cinnamon in our falafel recipe.
Talking of herbs: you can add a couple of handfuls of them.
Fresh herbs will not only give your homemade falafels that an extra refreshing flavor but also a beautiful and appetizing light green color inside.
We add quite a lot of fresh cilantro and parsley.
3. Add sesame oil and sesame seeds
The toasted flavor of sesame in homemade falafels is a nice touch.
You can add a spoonful of sesame oil to your falafel mixture.
Perhaps you even have tahini sesame paste in your fridge? And what about rolling the raw falafel balls in a bowl of sesame seeds and press well.
This will make the crust extra crispy and tasty later on when your homemade falafels are deep fried.
4. Refrigerate them
Don’t make your falafels too big.
Falafels weighing about an ounce (30 g) are ideal. If they are too big, the inside of your falafel will barely get cooked in the end. Once you have rolled all the falafels, let them rest in the fridge for a couple of hours.
Do not cover them: the outside of the falafels has to dry out a bit. This will make it extra easy to deep fry them later on.Falafels that are too moist can still fall apart.
5. Deep frying is best
Your homemade falafels will be at their best when you deep fry them.
Perfect crispy crust on the outside, well cooked on the inside. And your falafels will look beautifully golden brown.
Grilling, oven baking or roasting falafels in the air fryer is also possible, but your homemade falafels will be a lot drier and rather pale.
Don’t have a deep fryer at home?
You can always fry the falafels in a couple of inches of olive oil.
Your homemade falafels are rolled, but you made way too many?
You can freeze them perfectly raw for later!
Where do falafels come from?
Falafels are believed to have originated in Egypt in the 13th century, but they are now popular throughout the Middle East and the Mediterranean.
What countries make falafel?
Falafel is popular throughout the Middle East, including in countries such as Egypt, Israel, Palestine, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Iran, and Yemen.
It is also popular in North African countries such as Tunisia and Morocco.
Is falafel vegan?
Yes, falafel is vegan. It is typically made from ground chickpeas, herbs and spices, and can be deep-fried or baked.
Is falafel healthy?
Yes, falafel can be a healthy option when prepared properly.
It is low in fat and high in fiber, protein, vitamins, and minerals. However, when deep-fried, it can be high in calories and fat so it should be consumed in moderation.
How to eat falafel?
Falafel can be eaten in a variety of ways.
It can be served as a side dish, in a pita sandwich, on top of a salad, in a wrap, or as part of a mezze platter.
Falafel can also be served with various sauces and dips such as tahini, hummus, yogurt, and tzatziki.
Can I make falafel without chickpeas?
Yes, you can make falafel without chickpeas.
Other types of beans, such as black beans or white beans, can be used as a substitute for chickpeas. You can also use a mix of different beans.
How to cook homemade falafels?
Falafel can be cooked in a variety of ways.
It can be deep-fried, baked, pan-fried, or grilled.
- To deep-fry, preheat oil to 375°F/190°C. Shape the falafel mixture into balls or patties, then carefully place in the hot oil. Fry until golden brown, then remove and drain on paper towels.
- To bake, preheat oven to 375°F/190°C and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Shape the falafel mixture into balls or patties and place on the baking sheet. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until golden brown.
- To pan-fry, heat oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Shape the falafel mixture into balls or patties, then place in the skillet. Fry for 3-4 minutes on each side, or until golden brown.
- To grill, preheat a grill to medium-high heat. Shape the falafel mixture into balls or patties, then place on the grill. Grill for 5-7 minutes, flipping once, or until golden brown.