marisa mariella

easy mouthwatering recipes that unite your family and friends


Whether you serve them as an appetizer with tahini sauce, add them to a fresh green salad, or stuff them in a pita with chopped tomatoes and onions, falafels are true gems! Crack open the crispy golden crust to reveal its vibrant green mixture of ground chickpeas and fragrant herbs! Sizzling hot from the frying pan or straight from the fridge, these little nuggets pack a huge delicious boost of pure plant protein! Although they do require a little planning with their overnight soak, your efforts will be rewarded. No shortcuts here - do not use canned chickpeas! Give this recipe a try and tailor the amount of spices to your own tastes. Feeling ambitious? Make your own pita bread too!
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
total soaking time, resting time 1 day 1 hour
Total Time 1 day 1 hour 20 minutes
Course Appetizer, Breakfast, dinner, Lunch, Pita filling, Salad, Side Dish, Snack
Cuisine Middle Eastern
Servings 18 falafels


  • 1 cup dried chickpeas Do NOT use canned or cooked chickpeas
  • ½ tsp baking soda optional
  • 1 cup fresh herbs ½ cup fresh parsley, ¼ cup fresh cilantro, ¼ cup fresh mint
  • 1 small onion quartered
  • 4 - 5 scallions trimmed
  • 3 garlic cloves peeled
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • ¼ tsp ground black pepper
  • ½ tsp cayenne pepper less if you like
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground coriander optional
  • 2 tsp baking powder optional - makes the falafels less dense
  • Vegetable oil for frying enough to fill a cast iron pan or skillet ¾” deep


  • Rinse dried chickpeas under tap and place in large bowl. Sprinkle baking soda (if using) and add enough water to completely submerge by at least 2 inches. Soak overnight but not longer than 24 hours. Rinse and drain before using.
  • In bowl of food processor fitted with metal blade, add drained chickpeas, herbs, onions, garlic, and spices. Pulse about 30 seconds at a time until the mixture is a minced fine grain. It will take several pulses to reach correct texture. Do not puree but the mixture is definitely dough-like with no individual ingredients visable. The mixture should hold its shape if you squeeze a portion in your hands. Scrape falafel mixture into a large bowl and cover tightly. Refrigerate for about 30 minutes or preferably overnight.
  • Just before ready to shape, heat oil in frying pan to about 350°F - 375°F on medium-high heat. Add baking powder to mixture and use a spatula to combine well.
  • To shape the falafels, you can use a traditional scoop tool, a tablespoon, an ice cream scooper, or even your hands, ensuring that they hold their shape. Slip the patties into the hot oil and fry for 3 to five minutes, turning halfway through. Remove when crispy and medium brown on the outside. Avoid crowding the falafels in saucepan and fry them in batches if necessary.
  • Place on paper-lined plate to drain. Continue until all patties are cooked.
  • Serve hot with pita bread and tahini sauce, tomatoes, and onions. (Makes about 24 patties.)


The hardest part of this recipe is ensuring that your falafels hold their shape as you place them in the hot oil. Test one out to determine your success. If it falls apart, consider:
  1. Is the oil hot enough?
  2. Did you press the mixture enough when forming the shape?
  3. Did you refrigerate the mixture?
  4. Is the mixture minced enough?
  5. Did you use dried chick peas?
When I used to make these, I would add a couple of tablespoons of flour to help bind the mixture but lately, I have not added the flour and they come out beautifully.
Keyword Chickpeas, cilantro, coriander, cumin, frying, garlic, mint, parsley, patties, tahini sauce