Falafel is basically the rockstar of our household – a finger-food phenom that’s always in the spotlight! It’s like the superhero of comfort food, bringing all the cozy vibes with a side of healthiness. Trust me, cook this for anyone, and you’ve got instant fans.

three pieces of falafel over a salad with a small bowl of tzatziki

History of falafel

With a recipe as old as falafel, it is hard for food historians to pinpoint exactly when the first falafel was made. Many believe that the first falafel recipe appeared over 1,000 years ago in Egypt. It is said that a baker picked up the idea of frying balls of chickpea batter during his travels through the Middle East.

Other food historians argue that the original recipe for falafel actually came from India.  Similar to the history of creme brûlée, there seem to be many early origin stories of falafel and one more modern. And interestingly enough, it combines both Egyptian and Indian cuisine!

The most solid origin story of falafel is from 1882. After the British occupation of Egypt, this recipe popped up in Egyptian cookbooks! It is said that the soldiers requested vegetable croquettes similar to what they had during their time in India. Egyptians used local ingredients combined with the methodology from India and voila – falafel was made.

Regardless of what the true origin story is, we love falafel all the same!

A shortcut for this falafel recipe

If you don’t have time to soak the chickpeas and fava beans overnight, we have a trick for you! You can use chickpeas and fava beans that come in a can instead. This will speed up the process significantly.

Canned beans and legumes have a higher level of sodium, but otherwise are pretty much the same as dried beans and legumes. Just give them a rinse after you take them out of the can and they will be ready to go straight into the food processor!

If you’re looking for a healthier version of this recipe, head over to our Air Fryer Falafel recipe.

a bowl of falafel with one broken in half

How to make our falafel recipe

  1. Soak the chickpeas and fava beans overnight to rehydrate them.
  2. Set up your food processor. Add chickpeas, green onion, chopped onion, garlic cloves, and cilantro to the food processor. Blend everything together.
  3. Next, add salt, pepper, coriander, and cumin to the food processor. Pulse it together.
  4. Remove the falafel dough mixture from the food processor and place it in a bowl.
  5. When you are ready to start frying the falafel, add the baking soda to the bowl and mix it all together.
  6. Use an ice cream scooper to scoop out little balls of falafel dough. Release it into your hand and sprinkle sesame seeds.
  7. Drop the falafel into hot cooking oil, and cook until it is golden brown on all sides.
  8. Serve hot or at room temperature on its own or with dip!

What to serve with falafel

The magic of serving falafel lies in its incredible versatility! Sure, you can go solo with the falafel, but let’s be real – it might need a sidekick. Because, truth be told, sometimes falafel can be a tad dry (we’re spillin’ the beans here). Here are some of our absolute faves to scoop up with each crunchy falafel bite:

  • Our Roasted Red Pepper Whipped Feta is outrageously good. It is creamy and we just love the smokey flavor from the roasted red peppers. This feta dip is the perfect complement to falafel.
  • If you haven’t tried burrata, just think of it as mozzarella’s creamier cousin. Our Burrata with Roasted Tomatoes and Za’atar Pita is incredible. We love to serve it alongside falafel on a platter. It offers a refreshing balance of flavors!
  • For all the true chickpea lovers out there, we recommend serving falafel alongside our Hummus with Roasted Tomato and Olives recipe. It might be doubling up on the legumes, but we still enjoy dipping falafel in hummus!
  • Our Roasted Eggplant and Tomatoes with Yogurt Dip is another hit that would go well with falafel. You can make the whole recipe, or just make the yogurt dip!

For more whipped dips check out our roundup of Our Most Popular Whipped Dip Recipes

a salad with a small bowl of tzatziki and two whole falafel balls and a third split in half

How to store Falafel

We love making a big batch of falafel because it’s so easy to store! We recommend using an airtight container. You can store them in the fridge for 3-5 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months.

And don’t sleep on adding our falafel recipe to your meal prep calendar! You can make a whole bunch, freeze them, then take out just what you need. A resealable freezer bag or reusable silicone bag works super well!

two fingers holding an air fryer falafel topped with sesame seeds.

Falafel

5 from 1 vote
Author: Food Dolls
Servings: 8 servings
Prep: 20 minutes
Cook: 15 minutes
Total: 35 minutes
Our Mom's Egyptian falafel recipe is easy and delicious! We air fry them for a lightened up version!

Ingredients  

  • 1 cup chickpeas soaked overnight
  • 2 cups fava beans soaked overnight
  • 6 whole green onions
  • 1 medium red onion
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 1 small bunch of cilantro stems removed
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper to taste
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • Sesame seeds for topping

Instructions 

  • Soak the chickpeas and fava beans overnight to rehydrate them.
    1 cup chickpeas soaked overnight, 2 cups fava beans soaked overnight
  • Set up your food processor. Add chickpeas, fava beans, green onion, chopped onion, garlic cloves and cilantro to the food processor. Blend everything together.
    1 medium red onion, 6 whole green onions, 4 garlic cloves, 1 small bunch of cilantro
  • Next, add salt, pepper, coriander, and cumin to the food processor. Pulse it together.
    1 teaspoon sea salt, 1/2 teaspoon pepper, 1 teaspoon ground coriander, 1 teaspoon cumin
  • Remove the falafel dough mixture from the food processor and place it in a bowl.
  • When you are ready to start frying the falafel, add the baking soda to the bowl and mix it all together.
    1 teaspoon baking soda
  • Use an ice cream scooper to scoop out little balls of falafel dough. Release it into your hand and press in sesame seeds.
    Sesame seeds for topping
  • Arrange them in the air fryer and cook for 15-18 minutes at 350. Flip the falafel halfway through the cook time to make sure they’re crunchy on both sides!
  • Serve hot or at room temperature on it’s own or with tahini, hummus, pita bread, and salad.

Video

Equipment

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 93kcal | Carbohydrates: 17g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 0.1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 0.2g | Sodium: 434mg | Potassium: 239mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 173IU | Vitamin C: 4mg | Calcium: 43mg | Iron: 2mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Like this recipe?Please leave a comment!

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Meet Alia & Radwa

Welcome to Food Dolls! We’re so glad you found us. We are Alia and Radwa, sisters who want to share simple and easy recipes with you. We hope you find recipes here that you enjoy making as much as we do! Learn more about us!

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