falafel

$2.64 recipe / $0.30 serving

I was so excited, so drawn in, so salivating when I saw this recipe for falafel over on Making Life Delicious a few weeks ago. The only problem was that I didn’t have a food processor. But somewhere in the back of my mind, a little voice was telling me, “you WILL get a food processor for Christmas… just be patient, Beth.” Sure enough, my parents bought me this food processor as an early Christmas and graduation gift. I’ve been using it non-stop ever since.

Any-whooo. If you’ve never had falafel before, they are a little cake made up of mashed beans (fava or sometimes garbanzo) along with tons of fresh herbs and spices. Traditionally (actually, ALWAYS) they are fried which gives them a wonderful crispy exterior with a soft warm center. I broke the rules and gave them a quick pan fry in non-stick spray. You can send me hate mail now. Actually, I might even send myself some hate mail on that one. Admittingly, my dry cooked falafel are not nearly as good as fried but the flavor of the fresh garlic, herbs and spices definitely carried the little falafel through. I froze most of my falafel uncooked and will probably shallow fry the rest of them.

Falafel can be eaten as an appetizer dipped in tzatziki sauce, placed on top of a greek salad or stuffed into a pita with fresh vegetables, tzatziki or feta. Any way you dish them out, falafel are little power packed cakes of flavor. If you love fresh garlic, you’ll LOVE these babies!

Falafel

Falafel
I really like fresh parsley and cilantro so I added a ton, making my falafel pretty green.

5.0 from 3 reviews
falafel
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Total Cost: $2.64
Cost Per Serving: $0.30
Serves: 9
Ingredients
  • 2 (15 oz.) cans garbanzo beans $1.58
  • ½ med. red onion $0.38
  • 1 handful fresh parsley $0.17
  • 1 handful fresh cilantro $0.17
  • 4 cloves garlic $0.09
  • 1 tsp salt $0.05
  • ½ tsp cayenne $0.05
  • 1 tsp cumin $0.05
  • 1 tsp baking powder $0.03
  • ½ cup flour $0.07
Instructions
  1. Drain and rinse the garbanzo beans and add them to a food processor with the red onion, parsley, cilantro, salt, cayenne, garlic and cumin (all ingredients except baking powder and flour). Process the mixture until it forms a paste. Some chunks are okay and usually desirable. You may need to scrape down the sides of the bowl occasionally.
  2. Place the mixture into a bowl and stir in the baking powder. Begin adding flour, 2 Tbsp at a time) until the paste becomes dry enough to form into patties without sticking to your hands. Chick pea or garbanzo bean flour gives the best texture but all-purpose can be used in it’s place. Refrigerate the mixture for at least 4 hours to allow the flavors to blend.
  3. Using a small measure (about ⅛th cup or 2 Tbsp), form the falafel dough into small patties. If freezing the patties, place them on a parchment lined baking sheet so they can freeze without sticking together. The patties can be transferred to an air-tight container once they have frozen through.
  4. To cook the fresh or frozen patties, heat oil in a skillet (or pot if deep frying) until very hot but not smoking. Cook the patties on each side until deep golden brown and crispy. Serve with tzatziki, tahini, hummus or stuffed into a pita.

 

falafel

Step By Step Photos

falafel ingredientsfalafel ingredientsPlace all of the ingredients except the baking powder and flour into a food processor (drain and rinse the beans first).

falafel pasteProcess the mixture until you have a chunky paste. Chunks add great texture but too many will keep the mixture from holding it’s shape in a patty. Transfer the mixture to a bowl.

flour and baking powderFirst stir in the baking powder. Then begin adding flour, 2 Tbsp at a time, until the paste is dry enough to form patties and not stick to your hands.

falafel pasteI had a lot of herbs that were wet from rinsing so I had to add about 1/2 cup + 2 Tbsp of flour. Chick pea flour works best but if you don’t have that, use all-purpose. Refrigerate the dough for at least 4 hours.

scoop falafelScoop the falafel out, using a small measuring cup, and form into small patties.

falafel to freezeI got 18 falafel with a 2 Tbsp scoop. I placed the falafel on a parchment covered baking sheet so that I could freeze them to cook later. Once the falafel are completely frozen, they can be transferred to a zip top freezer bag and they won’t stick together.

falafel armyMy falafel army…

pan fry falafelOkay, here is the incriminating shot… I cooked my falafel in a hot skillet with non-stick spray. I’ll admit, this cooking method did not do them justice texturally. Next time I will pour some oil in that skillet to get a nice crispy exterior on the little guys.

For instructions on deep frying your falafel, read the original recipe on Making Life Delicious.

falafelfalafel

link

63 Comments

  1. Kayla says:

    I’ve been eating vegan for a week now and needed something that tasted “splurge worthy”. I used this recipe and fried them to make more of a fritter consistency. Oh my they are delicious!

  2. Vegetarian, cheap, filling and delicious, I’ve been looking for a recipe like this :)

  3. Shayna says:

    omg.. i have only ever had falafels from the boxed mix before and was never really a huge fan. I decided to try these because the pictures looked so good. These were amazing! I officially love falafels! mine were a little soft but i don’t think i used enough flour. Regardless, they were so good..

  4. I made these over the weekend, and because I’m gluten free anyway, I used Bob’s Red Mill all purpose GF flour. It has chickpea and fava bean flour in it. I also used dried chickpeas that I cooked in my slow cooker for about 6 hours until they were cooked but still slightly firm. Once my mixture was done, I froze 9 patties. To cook, I defrosted a patty and fried it in about 1/4 inch oil. They are soooo yummy and I’m so glad to have an easy option for my lunches when I get home from work!

    • Sally says:

      I want to use dried chickpeas. How many cups of chickpeas do the two 15 oz cans yield?

      • It’s probably about 3.5 cups. You can be a little flexible with the amount on this one and it will still work out good. :)

  5. A. Tractor says:

    Made these for Christmas dinner. First attempt was to fry them in about 1/2 – 3/4 inch of oil. They dissolved in the oil. Sadness!

    Luckily, I made way more than I needed (was going to freeze them) so I pan fried the rest as the recipe indicates. They were still kind of mushy so I finished them afterward for 20 minutes in the oven at 375 (on a cookie sheet on top of a pizza stone).

    I used all purpose wheat flour — probably just not quite enough, though I am fairly sure it was close to a 1/2 cup. Also perhaps my other ingredients were just too wet or too abundant.

    It’s been so long since had falafel that I’m not sure how firm they’re supposed to be; the oven time may have been too much. Next time I will use more flour for sure, though!

  6. acoustic_alchemy says:

    Thanks for replying so fast :D I think I’ll play it safe and go get a bag of flour. I can’t wait to try these!

  7. acoustic_alchemy says:

    Thinking of making these for lunch and dinner tomorrow…they remind me of Indian kebabs, which aren’t skewered, but baked/shallow fried and served as appetizers.

    I was wondering; would corn starch and one egg be an appropriate substitute for the flour and baking powder? It’s all I have on hand right now.

    • Hmm, I think cornstarch and egg will make the texture quite different, although without trying it out I don’t think I could give an accurate description.

  8. I made these. In an ancient blender that I was convinced was going to give up the ghost any moment. (Because I killed my food processor trying to make bread in it like a crazy person). It took forever, and I added in idk how much liquid to keep the thing chopping. End result, though, was that they’re delicious, but I haven’t made any since because it was such a pain. Food processor is back on my list of needed kitchen appliances.

  9. One of my BB favorites!

  10. I love your blog, also I love this recipe. I just wanted to let you know that I mentioned you in my recent blog post here. Go check it out: http://dontboilmybooks.weebly.com/1/post/2012/10/oven-baked-falafal.html

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