Basic Method

Soak some dried chickpeas overnight (NEVER used tinned unless you like sludge at the bottom of your frier).

Drain and grind up in a processor or robust blender until about the consistency of breadcrumbs.

Mix in finely chopped onion and garlic. Add roasted ground cumin and coriander (seed), salt & pepper to taste.

Roll into small patties. Deep fry in hot oil for a few minutes until golden brown.


I'm sure there are lots of variations, so don't take this as the canonical falafel recipe - it's just the way I like it.

With Sauces

This is from the July issue of Vegetarian Times.

Yogurt Sauce

  • 1 cup nonfat plain yogurt
  • pinch sugar
  • black pepper to taste
  • 1 tsp. dried mint
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • Blend all ingredients together in a food processor until smooth. Set aside.

    Hot Sauce

  • 1 cup vegetable broth
  • 6 tbl. tomato paste
  • 2 tsp. red chili paste
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1 1/2 tbl. dried parsley
  • 1 tbl. dried cilantro
  • Combine all ingredients in a small sauce pan. Place over medium heat and simmer until thickened slightly.


  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 cup minced parsley
  • 1 1/2 cup cooked chickpeas
  • 1 tbl lemon juice
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp. each basil, corriander, thyme
  • 1/2 tsp. hot pepper sauce
  • black pepper to taste
  • 2 slices French bread, torn, and soaked in water
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 tbl extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 pita bread rounds
  • lettuce, sliced, cucumbers, and tomato for garnish
  • Blend garlic and parsley in a food processor until finely minced. Add chickpeas, and process until pasty. Add lemon, cumin, basil, corriander, thyme, hot pepper sauce, and black pepper. Squeeze water out of the bread and add. Process until well mixed. Form mixture into 16 balls. Flatten each ball into 1/2 inch thick patties. Place patties on a lightly greased baking sheet. Bake at 375 F for 10 minutes. Turn patties, bake another 10 minutes. In a large skillet, heat half of the oil over medium-high heat. Add patties, fry until golden brown. Turn patties over, add remaining oil. Fry until golden brown. Drain on paper towels.

    Cut pita round in half, and open. Add two patties, and garnish. Top with the yogurt sauce.



    This recipe is from page 140 of the Moosewood Cookbook, by M. Katzen I have made it many times and the felafel are great.

  • 4 cups cooked chickpeas (2cups, soaked 1.5 hours, boiled until very soft)
  • 2 beaten eggs
  • 3 cloves garlic (crushed)
  • 1/2 cup *each*, finely minced, celery and scallions
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 3 Tbs tahini
  • 1/2 tsp tumeric
  • 3 Tbs flour
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne, dash black pepper
  • 1.5 tsp salt
  • Mash chickpeas well (make sure they are cooked well enough to be mashable).

    Combine with other ingredients. Chill well.

    With floured hands, make the batter into one-inch-diameter balls.

    Dust each one lightly with flour.

    Heat a two inch pool of oil in heavy skillet to 365 degrees.

    Deep fry felafel until golden brown, serve immediately.

    My Modifications:

    I usually use 1-2 tsp of cayenne because I like them spicy. I usually heat the oil in my wok and then drop the batter into the wok by spoonfuls. Don't put too many in the wok at a time or the temp. will drop.

    I peel, seed and slice cucumber, cube tomato and grab a bunch of alfalfa sprouts and tuck them into a pita with some ranch dressing


    I can't tell you how many different ways I have made falafel fall apart. From my misadventures, I have gleaned a few tips.

    1. Use a binding agent - a little egg and/or some flour.
    2. Drain all ingredients completely. Avoid excess liquid.
    3. Roll the balls around in your hand a little while to develop a smooth surface. I guess this would activate the gluten. Just pressing a little ball together doesn't work for me.

    If they're falling apart change something - add more flour, roll more. My batches usually start with something wrong the first few falafel, but by the time I'm into the process they're turning out well.


    Thanks to Brad Davis for this one.

  • 1 lb. can chickpeas (the recipe I have calls for a one lb. can but I use a one lb. bag to save money and make more falafel, it is a spicy recipe so the reduced spice is fine for me. Soak chickpeas, drain and cook until tender, drain again)
  • 1 c. wheat bulgar - covered with boiling water and soaked 30 minutes and then drained completely
  • 1/2 c. chopped parsley ( I use cilantro)
  • 1 large onion
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 egg slightly beaten
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon corriander
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 2 tablespoon flour
  • I use a food processor for this. In a two cup processor it takes me 4 batches to get through the chickpeas. I throw in 1/4 the onion, garlic, cilantro, egg, flour and spices and chop. Then I throw in 1/4 of the chickpeas and process until pieces are 2-3 mm or so in diameter and there is a little bit of paste evident in the bottom of the processor. You don't want to overprocess and have it too pasty. I repeat for a total of four times. Then mix the bulgar with the processed contents. I usually end up adding extra flour right away (like 4 T or more) but you can see how things are holding together and add more as necessary. The important thing is to roll the suckers around in between your palms till you have a nice smooth surface. Don't make too big. They should be a little bigger than a pingpong ball and slightly flatened. Deep fry until light brown. I'm not sure what temperature it is but med to med-high on my gas range works well.


    Falafel Chickpea Patties

    Someone asked for a falafel mix recipe -- I got this one from a vegetarian cooking class-- I think it's actually vegan. They're pretty spicy!!

  • 1 cup soaked chick peas
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 Tbsp. finely chopped parsley
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1 tsp roasted cumin seeds
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • oil for frying
  • Put chick peas, baking soda, salt and pepper in food processor and turn the machine on and off until you have the texture of corase meal. Empty the chickpeas into a bowl and add onions, parsley, cumin, coriander, garlic, lemon juice and cayenne. Mix gently with a fork. This mixture should be loose and crumbly.

    Using a light touch form the mixture into patties. Do not pat down or try to be too neat. The patties should just hold together. Lightly fry the patties until they are brown on both sides, turning at least once during cooking time. Make sure that the pan is at a moderate heat and not too hot. Serve hot in pita with shredded lettuce and sliced tomatoes (and tsatsiki/hot sauce).

    Low-fat alternative: instead of frying, bake for 15 minutes in a 350 oven, flip, bake 10-15 minutes more.

    Falafil (Vegi-Burger) from Lebanon

    A week or so ago, I recall a request for a Falafil recipe. These small Arabic "burgers" are usually deep fried, and then served with a special sauce and pita bread. As a western adaptation, I have added some tahini to the basic recipe so they be pan fried or broiled as healthy vegi-burgers.

    - Walter Brown, Ottawa, Canada

    Makes about 10 burger patties.


  • 450 g (1 pound) dried chick peas or fava beans
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 medium potato, peeled and diced
  • 1/4 cup tahini (sesame seed paste)
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • Procedure

    1. Inspect and rinse the chick peas or fava beans. Then soak, in cold water, for 24 hours in the refrigerator.
    2. Drain the peas or beans. Then put everything, except the baking soda into a food processor. Blend until moderately smooth.
    3. Put the mixture into a covered bowl, and let sit for 2 or 3 hours. When ready to cook, mix in the baking soda.
    4. Shape 1/2 cup amounts into round patties. Then fry, in a lightly oiled pan, or broil/BBQ until cooked all the way through.
    5. Serve with whole grain bread, tomatoes, lettuce, and sliced cheese.


    Replace the onion with a green pepper. Shape the patties into cylinders, and have "vegi-dogs".

    Contributed by: Walter Brown, ab684

    April, 1995