Forget the deep-frying and whip up some homemade, crispy baked falafel! Not to worry - it's not as intimidating as you'd think. All you need are a few ingredients from your pantry at home to get these Middle Eastern delights ready for lunch or dinner in no time – meatball alternative style.
Plus, there’s an added bonus: vegan and gluten-free friendly! Delicious served on sandwiches, salads or even just by itself with all its flavor… dig in already!
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A quick list of the ingredients you will need to make these crispy falafels.
You can find the ingredients with quantities and the recipe to print out on the recipe card below.
- Dry Chickpeas
- Red onion
- Fresh parsley
- Fresh cilantro
- Garlic cloves
- Ground black pepper
- Ground cumin
- Ground cinnamon
- Baking powder
- Toasted sesame seeds
- Lemon juice
- Chickpea flour
Start the evening before and soak the chickpeas in water. The chickpeas should soak between 5 and 24 hours. This step is super important.
The next day:
Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C).
Put soaked chickpeas and remaining ingredients in a food processor and mix until everything is small but with a few pieces. Add the mixture to a large bowl and let it rest for about 45 min in the fridge. Now form small falafel balls with the dough, you may want to use an ice cream spoon. Now place the falafel on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
Optionally coat the falafel with Aquafaba. (what you may have left over from homemade hummus).
Now bake falafel for 20 min. The falafel should be turned after 10 minutes.
How do I prepare crispy falafel in the oven?
When we think of falafel, we think of soft, juicy falafel that is crispy on the outside. In order to achieve this, I like to coat my falafel with a little Aquafaba. If you don't necessarily do without oil, you can also coat it with a little oil.
To prevent the falafel from becoming dry and crumbly on the inside, we use tahini in the batter, which makes the falafel smooth and fresh herbs help to prevent the batter from drying out.
Deep-fried falafel become airy due to the fat that is absorbed. So that our baked falafel also become a little fluffier, we simply add a little baking powder, and they become perfect.
Air Fryer Method
You make the falafel mixture as described above. Heat the air fryer to 400 Fahrenheit (200 Celsius). Lay some parchment paper on the bottom of the air fryer basket. Fry them for about 15–20 minutes until golden brown. Flip them halfway through.
- Chickpeas: Sometimes you spontaneously fancy falafel and don't have the time to soak the chickpeas. You can also use canned chickpeas. However, the consistency of the falafel changes somewhat. However, if you, like us, compose a weekly meal plan (subscribe to my weekly newsletter for meal plan ideas), you can take this into account in your meal plan. I prefer using dried chickpeas.
- Baking Powder: It is optional. You don't necessarily need baking powder to make falafel. When you bake the falafel, they become firmer than fried falafel. So I like to add a little baking powder to make the oven-baked falafel airy. The falafel will taste delicious even without baking powder.
- Fresh herbs: You can interchange parsley and cilantro.
- Garlic: Instead of cloves, you can also use garlic powder. Season to your own taste.
- Spicy: You can always add some chili powder to make spicy falafel patties.
- Lemon Zest: You want some more citric taste, add some lemon zest to your own taste.
Some kitchen tools that will help to make this easy falafel recipe.
Falafel go well with the following ingredients for an easy meal.
- Pita bread or flatbread for a falafel sandwich.
- Salad Greens
- Kalamata olives
- Red onion
- Feta cheese, vegan
- Sauce: Tzatziki, hummus or Tahini sauce and maybe a spicy sauce like Zhoug or Shatta
What can I serve with falafel besides flatbread?
- You can make falafel with a salad of freshly chopped vegetables and tahini sauce and falafel a perfect lunch for work.
- Prepare Buddha Bowl, Falafel bowls from various vegetables, rice.
- Prepare a falafel burger, form small patties instead of balls and create a middle eastern burger.
Recipe for a tasty and quick tahini dressing
- 4 tablespoon tahini
- 1 tablespoon miso light
- 2 cloves of garlic, pressed
- 2 tablespoon fresh dill, chopped
- 1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped
- 1 cup (250 ml) water
- Juice of a lemon
- Splash of apple cider vinegar
Put everything except the herbs in a high-performance mixer and mix until you get a creamy sauce. Place the sauce in a bowl and stir in the parsley and dill.
- Fridge: Leftover falafel are kept in the fridge for about 3 days. Bake the falafel briefly to warm it up, or heat it in a pan.
- Can I freeze falafel? Falafel are great to freeze. Allow the falafel to cool to room temperature and then freeze on a baking sheet. When the falafel is frozen, you can freeze them in portions.
You can even prepare the falafel very well in advance. Simply leave the mixture to rest in the fridge overnight. The falafel dough lasts in the fridge for about 3 days. Simply use an airtight container. You can also make double batch and freeze some.
Falafel, a traditionally Arabic dish, is derived from the Arabic word falāfil and means pepper. These vegetarian chickpea balls are often served with hummus and tahini sauce pr toum (oriental garlic sauce).
The first versions of falafel from legumes were made in the Middle East, or rather in Egypt. There they used white fava beans and called the balls Tamiya. The Arabic word ta-amia means food.
The balls have a light green color. These Tamiya are attributed to the original Egyptian church, the Coptics, which is an early form of Christianity. They believed that people were originally vegetarian and therefore asked for vegan days on which these balls were also eaten.