Homemade Falafel Recipe
Lebanese Chickpea Balls

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Homemade Falafel Recipe
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Ingredients
Adjust Servings:
1kg Chickpea
2 tablespoons Falafel Spices Mix voir le détail dans la description
1/2 teaspoon Bicarbonate of soda
2 tablespoons Flour
To your taste Parsley or Mint
Graines de sésame optional
1/2 teaspoon Salt
Vegetable oil
  • 20min
  • Serves 6
  • Easy

Ingredients

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What is Falafel ?

Falafel is a small ball or patty of chickpeas, herbs and spices cooked in a frying pan or in the oven. It is a typical recipe of the Middle East.

Falafel: Origin and ethymology

The origin of the mythical Falafel recipe is very controversial. What is certain is that this little chickpea patty so greedy comes straight from the Middle East.

From an ethymological point of view, the word “falafel” certainly comes from the Arabic word “felfel” which means “chilli” or perhaps also from the word “mlaff” which means “packed”. Falafel (Arabic: فلافل / falāfil; Hebrew: פלאפל ), also called “ta’amiyya” are very popular throughout the Middle East. They are mainly found in Lebanon, Israel, Egypt, Turkey … In recent years, the Falafel is democratizing and it is found more and more in Western and European countries.

Are falafels Jewish or Arab? This is a difficult and controversial question, to say the least, which I will not answer!

Is Falafel Healthy? Some nutrition facts!

The consumption of proteins is essential for our health, even more so for athletes! There are many sources of protein other than animal protein to achieve a good daily protein intake. Chickpeas are the perfect example of a vegetable protein source. In addition to providing good vegetable protein, chickpeas are a legume very rich in minerals and vitamins.

For gluten intolerant and vegan people, falafel is gluten free and 100% vegan as you can see in the ingredients list. The falafel are therefore rich in proteins, minerals and vitamins, they are gluten free and vegan. What more could you ask for?

It is true that frying is not very good for your health but you can very well realize a healthy falafel recipe by opting for an oven cooking. It is necessary to know that 100g of falafel brings approximately 330 calories, you can reduce this figure with the cooking in the oven!

For our pregnant women, there is no contraindication to eat falafel during pregnancy!

So don’t hesitate to eat that all year long, it’s a complete and healthy dish that is completely part of a balanced diet!

What sides for your falafel ?

You wonder what to eat with falafel? There are many accompaniments for them! I list some of them to give you ideas so that you can revisit this recipe at will!

Falafel is one of the main dishes of the famous Lebanese mezze, this appetizer tray allowing you to taste the main specialties of Lebanon like Kebbeh, hummus or Lebanese tabbouleh.

You can serve your falafels on a plate accompanied by a mixed salad (tomatoes, cucumbers, corn, lettuce…), the falafel salad plates are a real hit!

If you prefer vegetables to accompany your falafels, opt for a pan of zucchini and eggplant or boiled vegetables for example.

You can also serve your falafel as an aperitif, in a poke bowl or even in a Buddha Bowl to impress your guests!

Falafel in a sandwich

In the Yemeni Jewish community, falafel is eaten in a pita bread sandwich with various condiments, tarator and raw vegetables. The Israelis have greatly democratized the consumption of these sandwiches that can be found in many large cities such as Paris or New York.

You can make various falafel sandwiches: falafel pita, wrap, baguette sandwich, falafel kebab, tacos, shawarma or even the falafel burger!

Which sauce to eat falafel ?

There are different sauces to accompany your vegan falafel. It is often accompanied by Labneh, a cheese sauce made of olives and zaatar. You can also opt for a white yogurt sauce or the famous Tarator sauce (a delicious tahini sauce with sesame cream). Some people also like falafel with tomato sauce or fresh cream sauce with mint. The choice is yours!

Which spices for Lebanese Falafels ?

I highly recommend buying a ready-made spice mix to cook your Falafels at home. This spice mix contains: salt, pepper, coriander, baking soda, marjoram, basil, garlic, onion, caraway, fennel, cumin, red pepper and cinnamon. As you can see, it will be much easier to buy a falafel spice mix directly from a supermarket!

Can I use canned chickpeas?

You want to save time? You can indeed use canned chickpeas to make this homemade falafel recipe! The result will certainly not be the same but it is practical when you are in a hurry!

You can also use chickpea flour to replace your dry chickpeas.

Baking Falafels

The baking of your home-made falafels is essential! In this recipe I suggest the classic cooking method which consists in frying your small chickpea balls in hot oil. You can also fry your falafels in a deep fryer, in a frying pan or in a large saucepan. For a healthier version with no added fat, you can make this recipe in the oven or in the air fryer, keeping an eye on the color of your balls. There are also many falafel recipes available on the internet using the thermomix or magimix!

Tips to make a success of your homemade Falafels

The recipe for homemade falafel is not complicated but I will give you some tips to make it every time!

Is your falafel dough too liquid? Remember to dry your chickpeas after soaking them. This will prevent the falafel from crumbling during cooking!

To shape your chickpea balls, I personally use two tablespoons to give them a nice circular shape. If you have trouble with this step, there are special spoons to make perfect falafels. You can also get a falafel mold or machine.

To make your falafel more digestible, I suggest you remove the skin from your chickpeas. Massage the chickpeas with your hands during the soaking stage, the little skins covering your chickpeas should come off naturally!

It is totally possible to make falafel without a blender! You can simply grind your mixture with a mortar and pestle or by chopping it very finely with a kitchen knife.

When I make homemade falafel, I like to make them in large quantities because falafel can be stored in the freezer very well. If I’m a little hungry I can quickly pop them in the oven and make myself a little snack! Long live to frozen falafels!

Finally, to make delicious and flavorful Falafel, use dried chickpeas and fresh herbs.

The different falafel recipes

There are many variations of Falafel around the world. These small chickpea patties can be prepared with other legumes such as lentils or dried beans. It is possible to mix different legumes, according to your taste. In Egypt, falafels are made of beans and are called ta’amiyya, very often eaten for breakfast.

You can shape them into balls or small flattened patties. My kids love it when I make them mini falafels!

There are many variations in the spices used. Each country has its own recipe depending on the local herbs and plants. We often find parsley, coriander, cumin and lemon in falafel. You can also add more or less chilli depending on your taste.

The Lebanese tend to add sesame puree (called tahineh). There are even recipes with buckwheat semolina.

Now you have all the tools to make delicious homemade falafel with this quick and easy recipe! Enjoy your meal 🙂

Steps

1
Done
12h

Soak the chickpeas the day before

Before making your homemade Falafels, be sure to soak your chickpeas in water for at least 12 hours the night before! Chickpeas should be waterlogged and easy to crunch.

2
Done

Chop your chickpeas, herbs and spices

In a food processor, chop your 1kg of chickpeas with the falafel spices (look in the description to see what spices are in this spice mix), baking soda, parsley or fresh mint and salt. The mixture should have the consistency of a slightly soft paste. If it is too liquid, add a little flour. If it is too hard, add a little water.

3
Done

Make your own vegan Falafel

Shape your dumplings with two tablespoons (or a falafel spoon if you have one!). If you're shaping your dumplings with your hands, be sure to wet them beforehand to prevent sticking! A good falafel should be shaped like a thick disc. If you wish, you can also dip your balls in sesame seeds before cooking for extra deliciousness.

4
Done

Cooking your Homemade Falafel !

Heat vegetable oil in a pan and fry your dumplings until golden brown. You can also fry them in the deep fryer.

5
Done

Your Lebanese Falafel are ready!

And there you have it, you've made beautiful Lebanese Fallafels at home! Serve them hot, with pita bread, diced tomatoes, mint leaves, sliced radishes and tarator or other yogurt sauce! Enjoy your meal :)

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