culinary review

Middle Eastern Fried Falafel Balls

Last Modified: 05/30/12
First Published: 05/30/12
Views: 913
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Views: 913

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General Info
Servings: 20
Total Cost: $7.65
Cost Per Serving: $0.38
Total Calories: 2,552
Calories/Serving: 128
Chickpeas (Garbanzo Beans), Raw * 2.00 Pounds $3.40 2,200
Onion, Yellow Diced (1 large) 1 Cup 160.00 Grams $0.35 67
Garlic (5 cloves) 5 Teaspoons 14.17 Grams $0.06 21
Flour, White Unbleached All Purpose 6 Tablespoons 1.59 Ounces $0.05 171
Baking Soda, Generic 1 Teaspoon 4.80 Grams $0.02 0
Cumin, Ground 3 Tablespoons 18.90 Grams $1.33 72
Coriander Seed, Ground 1 Tablespoon 5.00 Grams $1.25 15
Salt, Table 4 Teaspoons 24.00 Grams $0.04 0
Black Pepper, Ground 1 Teaspoon 2.13 Grams $0.02 5
Parsley, Fresh, Chopped 2 Tablespoons 18.75 Grams $0.31 0
Oregano, Fresh, Chopped 1 Tablespoon 9.33 Grams $0.67 0
Mint, Fresh 1 Tablespoon 0.06 Ounce $0.14 1

Falafel makes a great vegetarian meal and can be served in numerous ways, such as part of a mezze table or inside a pita bread with tahini sauce. Even people who don't normally eat chickpeas can probably be swayed into eating these falafel balls because they really taste nothing like chickpeas, and they're so tasty with a bit of a crunch.

To make your own falafel is not hard at all, in fact it's rather easy and it's really fun. The quality of the falafel you can produce at home in your own kitchen is just like the one you would buy at your favorite Middle Eastern cafe, and once you make a large batch of these you can keep them on hand in the freezer. Authentic falafel is made with dried chickpeas which have been soaked, not cooked. This might seem weird at first, however it's not. The soaked chickpeas are quite easy to work with, however we do recommend you use a food processor to chop everything up.

Large batch of falafel (40 balls or so)


  • 2 pounds dried chickpeas, soaked overnight
  • 1 large onion
  • 5 garlic cloves
  • 6 tbsp flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 3 tbsp ground cumin
  • 1 tbsp ground coriander
  • 4 tsp salt
  • pepper
  • juice of one lemon
  • half cup of chopped herbs - parsley, cilantro, oregano, mint
  • neutral oil to fry in


Run everything in the food processor in two batches, or three if you have a small one. Chop until everything is processed and comes together into a rather fine mass, but don't grind into a paste. Store everything in a bowl and combine well. Cover with plastic wrap and store in the fridge a few hours, or over night.

Heat up two inches of oil to 370 degrees. Form falafel balls, about the size of a walnut, press them firmly with your hands to make compact balls. Fry about 8 at a time, or less if you have a small pot, for about five minutes. Make sure to turn them halfway through.

Let cool on paper towels. Make sure to let the oil come back up to temperature before frying the next batch.

Eat right away or store in the freezer. Serve with pita breads, tahini sauce, lettuce and hot sauce for a great meal.

Tip! If you store them in the freezer, we like to utilize the same technique as we usually use with beans as well as sliced breads where we first freeze the falafel on a sheet pan before storing them in a plastic bag. That way they won't stick together and you'll have an easy time taking a few out of the freezer when you want to heat some up, and not all of them!