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Traditional Falafel

Traditional Falafel

Learn how to make falafel with this delicious Middle Eastern recipe for crispy, fried chickpea balls - one of the best vegan foods around.

31 March, 2012
Average: 3.4 (10 votes)


Dietary Consideration

serves for


total time

1 HR 20 MIN


500 g dried, soaked in water for 24 hours
1 clove
2,5 g, ground
2,5 g, ground
1 g, chopped
5 gr
Lemon juice
5 ml
Black pepper
2,5 g
As needed, for frying


  • Once the chickpeas have finished soaking, mash them in a bowl together with the spices until they are well-mixed, but not a purée.
  • If necessary, add a bit of water and adjust the salt, pepper and lemon according to taste.
  • Shape into balls, about the size and shape of a slightly flattened walnut, then let them rest in the refrigerator for a half hour.
  • Fry them in boiling oil for about five minutes, turning them, until they form a golden crust.
  • Serve with tahini (sesame sauce), hummus, or yogurt.

Origins of falafel

Curious about the origins and history of falafel? Read our article and find out about how this dish unites the often-divided region of the Middle East. Now a global food, the origins of the chickpea-based snack are hotly debated. Tasty, cheap, easy to prepare and meat-free, attempts have been made to give the dish a national identity, but everyone agrees on one thing and that’s its flavour.

Tips and tricks

  • To get the very best out of your falafel, make sure you use dried, not canned, chickpeas.
  • Add a tablespoon of sesame seeds to the recipe for extra bite.
  • Yellow onions work best, but you can also use white or red.
  • Use fresh garlic rather than powdered garlic for added flavour.

Storing your falafel

Once you’ve made your falafel dough you can refrigerate it for two to three days or freeze it for up to three months. Thaw the dough in the fridge, stir it, then shape into patties/balls. Don’t cook the falafel before storing them as the outside will become soft.

Falafel variations

Once you’ve mastered the traditional recipe, there’s plenty of scope for creativity. Try adding other vegetables such as sweet potato or beetroot as in this colourful alternative. Or why not adapt and reshape your falafel into these easy vegan chickpea burgers? And don’t forget, it’s not just chickpeas that can be turned into mouth-watering bites – these spinach and ricotta balls with parmesan give the Middle Eastern classic an Italian twist.

Curious about the origins and history of this falafel? Read our article.

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