Sunday, May 1, 2011

Crispy Flavorful Falafels

The falafels pictured above are the first ones I’ve made on my own. Many years ago I watched my late friend Bob make them. Actually, he taught me many cooking basics, and he was also quite a character, so someday I’ll tell you more about him.
Even though I used many spices, these falafels were not all that spicy, just full of wonderful flavor. Mom liked them so much, that she asked me to make them as often as possible.
Half were fried and the other half baked (the greener ones you see above were baked and they tasted great, but were not as crispy as the fried ones). I found that frying them was difficult. At first my oil was too hot and the outside would crisp too quickly, leaving the center raw. Perhaps in the future I’ll bake them for a bit first, then finish them by frying.
There are so many ways you can use falafels. Put them in salads, falafel-humus sandwiches or just eat them as snacks.
This is my first vegetarian recipe on the blog, and if you’re vegan you can skip the breadcrumbs (or use vegan-friendly bread).

4 cups raw (soaked overnight) garbanzo beans
6 large garlic cloves, chopped
1 cup parsley, chopped
1 cup cilantro, chopped
2 medium onions, roughly chopped
1 medium jalapeño, seeded and chopped
1 tsp cayenne pepper (optional)
1 tsp dill
2 tbs flour
1 tbs bread crumbs
3/4 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp crushed coriander seed
canola oil
salt and pepper

In a food processor, chop the garbanzo beans until you get a crumbled mixture with pieces about the size of sesame seeds.
Move this mixture to a bowl. In the food processor place the parsley, cilantro, jalapeño pepper, onions, garlic and 1 cup of the crumbled garbanzo beans. Chop until well combined.
Spoon the blended mixture into the bowl with crumbled garbanzo beans along with the flour, cumin, crushed coriander seeds, baking soda, and about 1 tbs of salt. If you chose to use cayenne pepper add it at this time too. Finally add some black pepper to taste.
Combine everything thoroughly with a spoon. Squeeze a small amount of the mixture in your hand. If it falls apart, add a few drops of water.
Form the mixture into 25 to 30 balls. If you’ll be baking, place them on a baking tray covered with olive oil.
To fry: In a deep frying pan, on medium heat, add enough oil to cover the falafels.
When the oil is hot, fry them 3 to 5 minutes or until golden brown. Remove and drain on paper towels.
To bake: preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Place the falafels on the center rack of your oven and bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until golden brown, turning the falafels over halfway through.

Prepared on 2011-04-13 (Tulsa, OK), photograph by Michael Findley


  1. Just made these tonight with your recipe! Outstanding! I served them on pita bread with red onions and homemade tzatziki sauce. Thank you for the recipe!

  2. Thank you Ellen
    I will be making falafel's again next week and I'd love to try your tzatziki sauce, if you can please send me the recipe or post it in the comments here.