The first time I ate falafel I was in Paris… as it often happened with Middle Eastern food that was almost unknown in Italy. I am talking about 20+ years ago! I still remember the shop I bought them from. It was near Place des Vosges, in my favourite area of town: the Marais, which is also the most famous Jewish quarter in Paris, thus abounding in Middle Eastern and Jewish shops. If you are ever in town, make sure to pay the area a visit, you will love it! Probably as much as I love falafel! Anyhow, many years (alas) have passed and I now know how to make falafel at home! Thank God for that as in the meantime I moved to Australia and the Marais is a bit out of my way! 😉 I love eating mine in whole meal pita with hummus, tarator sauce or yogurt sauce, tomatoes and onions! It makes a very hearty and healthy meal, especially if you bake them! Enjoy and don’t forget to enter my giveaway for a chance to win a $50 or a $25 Amazon.com gift card!
Recipe adapted from Cooking and Me
Ingredients (makes around 15 falafels)
For the falafel
½ cup dry chickpeas, soaked overnight (or 1 cup tinned chickpeas*)
1 tsp cumin seeds
½ tsp coriander powder
½ tsp red chilli powder
½ tsp minced or crushed garlic
1 bunch fresh coriander leaves, chopped
1 small red onion, chopped fine
1-2 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
2-3 tbsp plain flour (or crumbs from 2 slices of stale bread)
Salt to taste
Vegetable Oil to deep fry
For the yogurt sauce
½ cup yogurt
1 tbsp lemon juice
½ tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
Salt and pepper
Drain the soaked chickpeas on kitchen towels and drain out as much moisture as possible.
Put the chickpeas with all the rest of the ingredients into a food processor or mixer jar and grind until smooth and dry. You should be able to shape them easily into small discs. If the mixture is too moist or sticky at this stage, add a little bit more flour/breadcrumbs.
Shape into small discs and deep fry them on medium heat until dark brown on both sides. Drain on kitchen towels
To make the yogurt sauce, simply mix all the ingredients together.
Serve with tomatoes, red onion rings, coriander leaves, hummus or tarator sauce or the yogurt sauce and warm whole meal pita.
NOTE: You can also bake the falafel (I often do). Just put them on a baking dish covered with baking paper, spray them with some olive oil and bake at 180ºC – 350ºF for about 20 minutes (depending on the size) or until golden brown.
I make falafel quite often but I’ve never baked them before. I love the crunch of fried but baked does sound a bit more healthy and that’s where I’m headed this year. I might give it a try just for fun.
It’s funny that you ate them for the first time in Paris. I could easily live in Paris or anywhere in France. Australia is home though.
Eva kitcheninspirations.wordpress.com says
I adore chick peas (or garbonzo beans as they are sometimes known in Canada) but I don’t think I’ve ever had this. I like that you can bake them for a similar effect and taste! I will make a batch of these for a Valentine’s dinner coming up (we’ve invited a vegetarian!) so it’s perfect timing.
I have yet to find a restaurant that sells falafel I like. I might have to try making it myself – your recipe would be a great starting point, so thanks for sharing!
Heidi @ Food Doodles says
Mmmm, I love falafel! Yours look fantastic! I’m much more likely to bake them than fry them though – thanks for writing out that option 🙂
I love them!!!
Nowadays you can easily find them in almost every kebab house in Italy too, but I prefer homemade food (and I prefer backing, it’s healthier): somewhere they are not all that good!
I’ve the same experience you have, I ate them for the first time in Paris, in nineteenninesomething…
I was waiting you to post this recipe, with a soya yogurt this is perfect for vegan too: hurray! 😉
baked falafel, great idea.Thanks!
Mel (Sharky Oven Gloves) says
The Marais is the first place I ever had falafel too! It’s so delicious, but completely out of my way (I live in Edinburgh and am about to move to NZ). Looks like I’ll have to try making it myself now!
wow i never knew falafels were that easy to make.. i nornmally go to punchbowl for falafels omg .. delicious guess i can now make my own yay.
[email protected] says
Those falafels look so delicious! i like to bake mine too.. we donated our deep fryer last year:).. and i love the fresh cilantro in it.
I love baked falafels – these look tastier than my usual recipe. Can’t wait to try it!
Giulietta | Alterkitchen says
The first time I ate falafel was in Paris, too! But I loved it so much that now I eat it all the time! Now I want to go out (in the snow) and have it! 🙂
Looks so good. I love that you can bake them too & that you gave the amount for using tinned chick peas. Those are the ones I always have on hand!
Reem | Simply Reem says
Baking them is a great idea…
Anna @ the shady pine says
The only way I eat falafel is if they are home made. I’ve tried too many when out that I didn’t like but always love them when a friend’s mother cooks these. These look absolutely delicious especially in that pita bread with the onion & tomato.
Marsha @ The Harried Cook says
Yummy! I love falafel, but it’s so hard to find good falafel in my city… Must try your recipe! And I love the idea of baking it, Manu! Thanks 🙂
I have to try again to make felafel and try to get them as beautiful as yours!
Those must have been some darn good falafels if you still think about them 20 years later, much remember where you had them! It is amazing how we can remember a really good meal. Thank you for this recipe. I love falafel and have always wanted to make them at home. You’ve inspired me to do just that! Great looking falafels!
Anna @The Littlest Anchovy says
Lovely Manu! These would be perfect to take to work for lunch 🙂
Very good recipe and Congratulations on Top 9!
Kiri W. says
I love falafel, but it’s one of those things I simply never considered making myself. This goes on my to do list, looks delicious! 🙂
I used to work at a factory that made this. There’s nothing better than falafel fresh out of the fryer. Baked just doesn’t compare to me.
Spicie Foodie says
Hi Manu, Congrats on the Foodbuzz top 9!! I also love falafel, and just the way you described it. So yummy. In my neighborhood we have a Lebanese and Turkish restaurant so I never make falafel at home. Thanks for sharing the great recipe find, will have to give it a try.
Geraldine Saucier says
Thanks for posting a great recipe. I love Falafel. I buy the pre made falafel at the store but it isn’t that great. I can’t wait to try your recipe. Congratulations on the Foodbuzz Top 9.
Congrats on the Foodbuzz top 9! Can’t wait to try this Falaffel recipe!
alyce culinary thymes says
I am going to try these. Bookmarking. COngrats on top 9!
Katherine Martinelli says
Yum! You know how I feel about falafel 🙂 Yours look perfect and authentic! In Israel they are most often served with tahina; sadly, no yogurt sauce (I wish!). I’ll have to make your version at home so I can put on all my favorite toppings!
I love falafel! Yours sounds especially delicious! I feel like I need to make some now because I am hungry for it after reading this :)!
fati's recipes says
Manu, I haven’t been to your amazing blog in such a long time. Today I got a link back to your blog, and followed it so I can update myself! I’ve missed all your amazing recipes so much. I’m subscribing for post updates so this doesn’t happen again!
This falafel recipe is great. Having a Syrian heritage, I make mine the way we do them back at home (recipe here). But these still look great! We usually add a whole bunch of veggies to the sandwich, though, but still.. less is more sometimes 🙂
Eva kitcheninspirations.wordpress.com says
I made a new batch Manu, and they turned out much better. I’m blogging about it tomorrow. Thank you for the email tips, I really appreciate it.
Awww Eva! I am SO HAPPY they came out fine! You are most welcome! Hopefully your guests enjoyed them! 🙂
[email protected] says
Manu you cook up all kinds of things in your kitchen! LOL I am in love with the frozen falafel from Trader Joes, I dont know if I can bring myself to make it. Haha, do you think these would freeze well unbaked??
Hi Lindsey! I am afraid you cannot freeze these… I have not tried but I am worried they may absorb water when defrosted. But maybe, you could cook them from frozen! I have not tried it… but it may work!
Falafel was kind of an aquired taste for me. But I recently had a falafel sandwich which has turned me into a falafel lover. Here in Bahrain, it’s usually served with a Tahini sauce
Grubarazzi (@Grubarazzi) says
Perfectly cooked and seasoned! I love that you baked these babies. Really lovely. I can’t wait to try them this way.
Maggie @ Kitchie Coo says
I absolutely love making falafel! You recipe is a bit different than the one I use and I think I’d like to try this next time. And baking them? What a great idea!! I often wondered if they would bake well…glad to know they do.
Well, celebrating Orthodox Easter tomorrow and tried your falafel recipe baked. Amazing. Saved this one for the future. Thank you.
haniefa dalvie says
I like my food spicey… can I add a chilli or is the chilli powder enough?
You can definitely add some chilli for a little extra kick!
haniefa dalvie says
Thank you I made them an they were GORGEOUS. The only thing, is that I had to add an extra 1/2 cup of flour. It was very sticky, But even when I fried (yes i fried :p ) it was lovely. Thank you for a great recipe. I am making it again this weekend :p