Falafel

by Trudy ~ Veggie num num on February 27, 2010

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Falafel

I do believe I have mentioned before my adoration for the humble falafel! They are a staple in our kitchen, easy to make and very tasty, you can add whatever herbs you like although I find coriander (cilantro) and mint are the best. We always add fresh chilli for a little heat and I love to use a nice multigrain bread for the breadcrumbs.

Great in lunch boxes, as a snack, on a sandwich, as party food or a meal with salad or vegetables (see below for our favourite way to eat em’). They can be made ahead of time and kept in the fridge overnight before frying.

Falafel is FANTASTIC!!!

Preparation time: 15mins (+ 30mins refrigeration time)
Makes 15-20

  • 500g (18 oz) chickpeas, cooked or tined
  • 2 slices multigrain bread, roughly diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, smashed
  • 1 red chilli (optional)
  • 2 tbs fresh mint and/or coriander (cilantro)
  • 1 tbs sesame seeds, toasted
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds, roasted and ground
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • ½ tsp paprika

Add all the ingredients to a food processor and pulse until mixture just starts to come together; ingredients should be finely chopped but not pureed. Be careful not to over process the mixture; you still want plenty of texture.

Turn the falafel mixture into a bowl and work together with your hands adding a little water or oil if mixture is too dry.

Form into balls or small patties. Set aside in the fridge for 30 minutes for the best result when frying.

To cook the falafels add enough rice bran oil for deep frying to a medium heavy based fry pan (5cm – 2inch).

Heat the oil until hot and cook the falafels in batches over a medium-high heat until golden and crisp on all sides; remove and drain on absorbent paper.

Serve the falafels with hummus, yoghurt or sweet chilli sauce.

Falafel

Our favourite way to eat falafel is in wraps! It makes a great informal dinner or lunch and kids love em’. Place one or two falafels on a fresh tortilla wrap, squish them down a little and then top with hummus, yoghurt (optional), sweet chilli, tabouleh, baby lettuce and pineapple and wrap it up!!! Yum numnumnumnum!!!

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{ 20 comments… read them below or add one }

Jessica@Healthy Exposures February 27, 2010 at 3:59 pm

I love falafel – and this recipe looks way better than the one I’ve been using. Will definitely be giving it a try!

Hungry Jenny February 28, 2010 at 10:18 am

Mm, I haven’t had falafel for so long and seeing this makes me hungry for it! Will definitely have to try this cute looking recipe, thanks for sharing.

Hungry Jenny x

Veronica M. February 28, 2010 at 7:08 pm

I made falafel for the first time last month (it was a baked version) and I loved it so much! I had to check your blog to compare recipes since I’ve only tried one. Yours looks sooooo yummmy!!!! I’m going to be making it again this week–I can’t resist!

Kevin March 1, 2010 at 2:52 am

Those looks good! I like the mint and coriander in them.

Stacie March 17, 2010 at 12:59 am

Just some advice for anyone who has had the “dissolving falafel” experience when using canned chickpeas – they stay together much better if you use dry ones that have been soaked for 6-8 hours! I have never had success with canned, but then a woman from Morocco told me that they never use cooked chickpeas in authentic falafel…

Emily April 1, 2010 at 8:45 am

These looked so amazing but i must say that this was my first culinary fail!
i’m not quite sure what i did wrong but when i put them in the frier, they disintegrated in about 2 minutes. maybe i didn’t mix them enough or pack them tight enough.

i was so sad that this took a turn for the worst! They smelled sooooo good! even when i was tearfully (not really) scooping out their oil-soaked, lumpy remains from the bottom of the pan.

maybe next time, eh?

Trudy (veggie num num) April 1, 2010 at 9:27 am

Oh No! Emily I am so sad they feel apart; falafels are a little notorious for ‘disintegrating’ :(

It’s very important to get the consistency right and it can depend greatly on what type or breadcrumbs and even chickpeas you use. The falafel mixture should come together easily and be quite firm; add a little water or oil if it is too dry and not holding together or a little flour works well too if the mixture is too wet or gluggy. Keep working the mixture until you are happy with the consistency; I try not to over process the ingredients as this can sometimes effect the outcome too.

Hope this is helpful and as Stacie suggested it may be worth trying dried chickpeas to see if you get a better result. I hope you try them again soon :)

Trudy (veggie num num) April 1, 2010 at 9:40 am

Oh another tip… make sure the oil is nice and hot; you can test this by adding a little piece of bread of falafel crumb; is should brown straight away!

Jen May 26, 2010 at 6:17 am

I can’t wait to try these with my ever-more-picky 7 yr old son! I was wondering, any chance you could give us a baked falafel alternative? So thrilled to find your site! I’ll also be making the eggplant balls very, very soon. Cheers!

Trudy (veggie num num) May 26, 2010 at 1:14 pm

Hi there Jen so happy you are enjoying Veggie num num.. you could definitely try baking these in an oven at around 180°C/356°F on non-stick baking paper… however I haven’t tried this and they might crumble or fall apart a little. I will do some experimenting (any excuse to make falafel :) and will post the results soon.

hilli May 28, 2010 at 6:09 pm

Hi, I’ve been making a very similar recipe for years, with a minor yet important change: in real falafe, the chickpeas are not cooked at all (and certainly not tined…), but only soked in water for a night and then ground with some chopped onion and a few garlic cloves. you should try that.
BTW, there is no problem baking them (I don’t fry in general). They don’t crumble, but one should add a little fat to the mixture (either olive oil or tehina) so they don’t dry up.

Trudy (veggie num num) May 31, 2010 at 12:32 pm

Hi therre hilli.. great feedback!! thank you so much! I can see a little oil in the mixture would certainly be a good trick when baking instead of frying… cheers :)

Mathew June 13, 2010 at 11:24 pm

Hi Trudy. LOVE your website.

I make my own falafel mix runny enough to be called batter, then bake it in a mini-muffin tray until it shrinks away from the sides. To keep them moist, I incorporate a slosh of olive oil into the “batter” along with all the other ingredients.

Lower in fat while not being fat-free, tasty, easy, and they freeze well. What’s not to love?

Cheers,

Mathew.

Trudy (veggie num num) June 18, 2010 at 3:29 pm

Cheers Mathew!! We love that you love Veggie Num Num :) and thanks so much for adding your version of falafel to this ever growing list of tips and ideas for preparing what is one of the greatest vegetarian foods ever.

I like the idea of the mini-muffin trays; what a great way to keep them together!!

Jess Ainscough September 27, 2010 at 3:05 pm

This looks amazing! I am going to cook this tonight. We have just started having Meat Free Monday in our house to try and wean my boyfriend off meat. He is going to love this.

Sara B November 16, 2010 at 5:35 pm

My fiancé and I made this tonight for dinner. It went splendidly! We did encounter some breakage during the frying process but we turned the heat up on the burner a little and went from trying to fry three at a time to just one so they got crispy on the outside faster. After we did this the patties didn’t break up as much.

Also we served our with tzatziki (cucumber) sauce from a recipe I found on SmittenKitchen’s website. Sooo good! It was like a mouthful of summer which is really nice since winter is beating at our door (it gets dark here at 4:30pm!).

Thanks for the recipe! We are definitely having this again and soon (well mostly soon because I still have tons of tzatziki sauce in the frig).

Rachel February 25, 2011 at 8:56 am

Your blog inspired me to make falafel today…I always used tinned because I’m too disorganized to soak anything for any period of time haha! but I have a great tip to combat disintegration (which prob won’t go down well with the purists :P ) I just roll mine in some wholemeal flour which creates a more sturdy crust, I guess trapping in the moisture. Thanks for the recipe! I never thought of putting chilli in :D

Joy June 2, 2011 at 6:05 am

Alas, I was victim to ‘disintegrating falafels’! I wish I’d read Stacie’s comment beforehand…Nevertheless, the flavour was great, so I will need to try this again, but with dried chickpeas next time.

Robyn September 29, 2011 at 10:22 am

I love all your recipes!

But I was just wondering if you had any tips for me on this one. I am putting some recipes together for my mom… but she is also Gluten Free.
Do you know if there is any GF substitute for the Multigrain bread in the recipe?

Trudy ~ Veggie num num October 3, 2011 at 2:41 pm

Hello all and thanks for the great feedback!!

Hi Robyn and thank you!! You could try using a store brought gluten free bread or maybe substitute quiona flakes or rice crumbs to help the falafel come together. Hope this is helpful and I really hope your mum enjoys this and all the recipes you put together for her :)

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