Crispy Herbed Falafel⚓︎

Based on a Voraciously article in the Washington Post

Personal rating: Not yet rated



  • 2 cups dried chickpeas
  • 1 yellow onion, coarsely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
  • 1 tbsp coriander seed, lightly crushed
  • 1.5 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 2 cups packed cilantro leaves
  • 2 cups packed parsley (no long stems)
  • Canola oil, for frying
  • Serve on pita, on a pile of greens, or with spicy harissa or creamy tahini


  • In a mixing bowl, soak the chickpeas overnight (cover by a few inches). Drain in a colander
  • Split the ingredients into two batches
    • Combine onion and garlic in a food processor until finely chopped
    • Add the coriander and drained chickpeas. Pulse until the chickpeas are just reduced to smaller chunks. Shove the mixture around with a spatula
    • Add the salt, cumin and pepper. Process until the mixture is finely chopped but not pureed, stopping to scrape down the sides.
    • The mixture should resemble coarse meal, not a smooth hummus. It should mostly hold together when you press a clump in your hands
    • Add the cilantro and parsley to the food processor. Pulse until the herbs are finely chopped and evenly distributed
    • Test the mixture again by trying to shape it into a mound. Continue to process until it keeps its shape.
  • Use a 1.5-inch ice cream scoop or your hands to form a total of 30-40 slightly mounded disks that are about 1.5 inches wide. (If using a scoop, gently flatten them a bit with your hands–helps to promote even cooking better than a ball)
  • Baking
    • To bake the falafel, place them on a rimmed baking sheet generously slicked with olive oil. Bake at 375 degrees for about 30 minutes, or until browned and crisped, flipping them over halfway through
  • (Alternatively) Frying
    • When ready to fry, heat 2 inches of oil in a deep, heavy pot over medium heat (375 degrees)
      • Line a baking sheet with paper towels, then seat a wire cooling rack on top.
    • Carefully add 6-8 falafel at a time to the hot oil; cook for 60-90 seconds, or until browned and cooked through
      • Use a slotted spoon to transfer them to the rack to drain. Repeat to cook all the falafel, making sure the oil returns to the proper temperature before adding the next batch.


These turned out OK. They mostly held together and I had the leftovers in a couple of meals including the meal in the photo

  • Tip: get the mixture right. You really do want to break it down enough so the mixture holds together. As long as you don’t take it to a puree, you’re fine. Check it along the way, squeezing it together with your fingers. The addition of the herbs to the chickpea mixture will add a little moisture to make it more cohesive
  • Tip: Also, make sure you’re giving yourself enough room to process the dried chickpeas. Our 8-cup food processor in the Food Lab was not big enough to hold everything and efficiently mix it. Dividing it into two batches helped, but even then I used a spatula every so often to push the mixture around and confirm it was all coming in contact with the blade.
  • For a spicy red falafel, skip the herbs and add between 1/4-1/2 cup of harissa. Stirring into the processed chickpeas by hand
  • If using canned chickpeas, consider mixing in bread crumbs, panko, or flour to thicken, like in this recipe
  • FYI, the chickpeas could be cooked in the Instant Pot instead of soaking, but soaking is easier