the best way to make falafel

5 from 2 reviews


to soak the beans:

  • 1 1/2 cups dry chickpeas (285g)
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda (10g)
  • 8 cups room temperature water (1880g)

to make the falafel mix:

  • 3 medium cloves garlic
  • 1 medium bunch cilantro
  • 1 small bunch green onions
  • soaked chickpeas (above)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baharat *
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds
  • 1 teaspoon salt (or add more/less to taste)
  • 1 pinch baking soda
  • 3 tablespoons all purpose flour (25g)

to fry and serve the falafel:


  1. To soak the chickpeas: Cover the chickpeas and baking soda with the room temperature water. Stir until the baking soda dissolves.
  2. Cover loosely and keep at room temperature for at least 16 hours, ideally 24. If you’re leaving the beans at room temperature for 24 hours, change their baking soda solution once about halfway through (2 more teaspoons baking soda + 8 more cups water). If your kitchen is very hot, don’t soak them for the full 24 hours.
  3. To make the falafel mix: Finely mince the garlic in a large food processor. Add the cilantro and green onions to the food processor and pulse a couple times to chop them up a little.
  4. Strain the chickpeas over the sink. Add the drained, raw chickpeas to greens in the food processor, and process them until the mixture is finely minced. You’ll still see little minced grains of chickpeas (it’s not supposed to be a smooth purée), but there should not be any large pieces. It should resemble very fine couscous.
  5. Add the baharat, sesame seeds, salt, 1 pinch baking soda, and flour, and pulse the food processor a couple times to combine. You should be able to press some of the mixture into a cohesive ball, but it should still be able to crumble apart if you squeeze it wrong (i.e., it won’t hold together as well as pie dough, but it will hold together better than wet sand).
  6. To fry the falafel: Set up a safe fry station on the stove or in a dedicated deep fryer. Turn the heat to medium-high so that the oil rises to 360° F and keep a close eye on it.
  7. When the oil is almost hot enough, start to form the first 5 or 6 falafel. Take a heaping tablespoon of mix in your hands and gently squeeze it together by making a fish around it and cupping your hands around it. Each ball should be no larger than 1 heaping tablespoon, otherwise it will have a hard time cooking through to the right consistency on the inside.
  8. Once the oil reaches 360° F, gently drop in the first 5 or 6 falafel. Let them fry for about 4 minutes, until they’re deep brown on the outside (but not burnt) and fluffy on the inside. Constantly adjust the heat to keep the temperature of the oil somewhere between 350 and 370° F. Remove them with a slotted spoon or spider to a paper towel-lined plate, add the next batch, and repeat. Continue to work in batches until all of the falafel are fried.


* If you don’t have any baharat and don’t feel like making a complicated spice blend, feel free to use a combination of cumin, coriander, paprika, and black pepper.