Falafel is a delicious culinary creation that has captured the hearts and palates of people around the world. These small, crunchy balls , made mainly from chickpeas and aromatic spices , are a vegetarian option full of flavor and texture. Originating in the Middle East region, falafel has become an iconic dish that is enjoyed in countless ways: inside a stuffed pita, accompanying a fresh salad or as an appetizer.

Making your own falafel at home is easier than you think and allows you to customize the flavors to your preferences. You can make them in the KitchenAid chopper, a most versatile accessory, or in a food processor or chopper. As for cooking, we bring you 3 ways to do it: fry them in the traditional way, roast them in the oven or in an air fryer. Up to you!

Follow this simple recipe to discover how to create these golden, aromatic bites that will satisfy your hunger and delight your taste buds.

Chickpea falafels

Ingredients:

  • 750 g dried chickpeas
  • 1 handful of fresh parsley
  • 1 handful of fresh cilantro
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1 onion
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1.5 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons of flour

Preparation

  1. Soak the chickpeas: Place the dried chickpeas in a large container and cover them with water. Let them soak overnight or at least 8 hours. This will soften them and make them easier to process.

  2. Drain and rinse: After you have soaked the chickpeas, drain them and rinse them well. Press lightly with absorbent kitchen paper to dry them.

  3. Process the ingredients: In a food processor or KitchenAid Chopper accessory, place the drained chickpeas, parsley, cilantro, garlic and onion. Process all the ingredients until a homogeneous mass is formed and the chickpeas are well mashed.

  4. Add the flour and spices: In the same KutchenAid bowl, or in a kitchen bowl, add the ground cumin, salt, black pepper and 3 tablespoons of flour. Mix well with a spatula until the flour is completely incorporated. The flour will help the mixture have a better consistency to form the falafel.

  5. Let the mixture sit: Ideally, let the mixture sit: Cover the bowl with a clean cloth and let the mixture sit in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour. This resting time will allow the flavors to blend and the dough to firm up a bit.

  6. Form the falafel: After the resting time, take small portions of the mixture and form balls or flat discs. You can make them any size you prefer (keep in mind that the larger the size, the longer the cooking time).

  7. Cook the falafel: You have several options, depending on your preferences:

    1. Fry them in oil (traditional method): Heat a large frying pan or wok with enough oil to fry. When the oil is hot, fry the falafel until golden and crispy on the outside. Make sure they are cooked inside. This should take about 3-4 minutes per side.
    2. In the oven, without oil: Line a baking tray with parchment paper, spray the paper with release spray, distribute the falafels on the tray and bake for 20 minutes at 190°C (you can spray them with oil spray for a golden finish optimum). Instead of a flat baking tray, I like to bake them in the Nordic Ware Ball Roasting Pan , it is perforated and makes great round, crispy falafels.
    3. In air fryer: Arrange the falafels in your air fryer, spray with a single tablespoon of oil or release spray (great for homogeneous frying using very little oil) and fry with the French fries or frying program.
  8. Serve: Place the fried falafel on kitchen paper to drain the excess oil from frying them in a pan. Then serve them with pita bread, fresh salad, yogurt sauce or tahini, and enjoy your homemade falafel!

These falafel are delicious as a main dish or as a filling for pitas or wraps. Enjoy!

How to make falafels

Grades

  • The beauty of falafels is that they are crispy on the outside. Thus:
    • If you choose to cook them in the oven, it is interesting to use a perforated tray (either the Nordic Ware ball tray mentioned or a smooth perforated one), and either spray the balls with release spray (it is oil-based) or brush with oil. You will see that all this, despite not frying them, helps you obtain crispy and consistent balls.
    • If you use the air fryer, use cooking spray or release spray to apply a little oil evenly.
  • Chickpeas vs. Broad beans: The original falafel recipe is made with chickpeas, but in some regions, especially Egypt, broad beans are used instead.
  • Spices and Aromatic Herbs: The most commonly used spices include cumin, ground coriander, fresh coriander, garlic, parsley and cayenne. These provide a characteristic flavor and freshness to the falafel.
  • Other Ingredients: Although the basic recipe is vegetarian, in some variations ingredients such as onion, chives, hot pepper or sesame seeds are added to give it a special touch.
  • Shape and Size: The shape and size of the falafel balls may vary. Some make them small and round, while others flatten them a bit to get larger, thinner discs.
  • Sides: Falafel are commonly served in a pita bread with various accompaniments, such as tahini, yogurt sauce, fresh salads, pickles, tomatoes, onions, and more.
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