Falafel and fresh vegetables in pita bread on wooden table
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Classic Falafels: The Vegan, Fried Fritters

Falafel is a classic dish from the Middle East. Even with disputed origins and numerous variations, there is not a version that is not appreciated somewhere in the world. Here's the simple way of making these healthy, fried fritters which can be served in more ways than one.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time25 mins
Soaking Time7 hrs
Total Time40 mins
Course: Appetizer, Side Dish, Main Dish
Cuisine: Middle East
Appliance: Blender
Servings: 5 people
Author: Prachee


  • 250 gm chickpeas/garbanzo beans soaked overnight
  • 1 cup onion chopped
  • 1 cup coriander/cilantro chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1 tbsp tahini
  • paprika
  • cumin powder
  • baking soda
  • oil for frying
  • 1/2 cup mint optional


  • Prepping for the falafels takes the night, but it is worth the wait. Take dried chickpeas and soak them in lukewarm water overnight with a pinch of baking soda. There is the option of going for canned chickpeas, but we strongly suggest against it. We don't think that the results are close to each other.
    Chickpea in a pan with ingredients for cooking falafel, vegetarian healthy dieting.
  • Leave them for 6-9 hours and you will find that they have softened the next morning. Drain the water.
  • Start by patting the chickpeas dry. Add these to the blender and blend till you achieve a grainy breakdown of the beans. At this consistency, they will hold their shape while frying but not taste like a nutty paste.
  • Add this to a food processor with the other ingredients and blend them till they've mixed well. Use cumin, paprika, and salt as per your taste. If you like the sharpness of garlic, feel free to add a couple of cloves more. It blends well when roughly mashed.
  • With wet hands, bring this mixture together and start molding them into balls. While making each ball, make sure your hands are slightly wet. It helps the mixture hold shape. Also, if you are new to deep-frying or making fritters, stick to making golf ball-sized rounds.
  • Let these rest for ten minutes, while you prepare your oil for deep-frying.
  • Take a wok or a deep frying pan. Make sure it is dry. Place it on high heat for half a minute.
  • To this, add your frying oil. Use oil enough to cover the falafels while frying. We recommend a neutral oil, to begin with. Peanut, soybean, or vegetable oils work well, but you can also use your regular oil unless it has a low smoking point.
  • Let the oil heat. If you are sure your oil is hot enough, here's a test. Carefully drop a pinch of bread or the falafel dough, if leftover, into the pan. If it rises up and starts bubbling, and does not stick to the bottom or settle in, your oil is ready for frying. 
  • Start by carefully dropping the fritters one-by-one in the oil. Ensure you do not drop them from a distance, otherwise, the oil will splatter out. Also, do not get your hand too close to the hot oil.
  • Do not overcrowd the pan. Once you see the oil around the individual fritters bubble, gently move them around the pan to ensure all sides have faced downwards. 
  • Once the falafel has browned on all sides, take one out. Break it open to see if it has cooked through properly. If not, reduce the flame before you put it in the next batch. If you are not too sure about your frying skills, test this out with a single falafel first.
  • Once you have fried your falafels, let them rest for a couple of minutes.
    Hummus, falafel, salad in a pan with yoghurt and tahini


  • If you are keen on trying out the fava beans version, swap out the garbanzo beans for the same amount of fava beans. However, the latter will not turn out into a mixture as grainy as the chickpeas. Instead, it will be quite creamy. The end result will also be a bit smoother and creamier than the Israeli version we're trying in the recipe.
  • You can also get the best of both worlds. Mix equal amounts of both beans for a surprising result.
  • There are several versions now involve either baking or air frying falafels. However, we don't recommend that, especially if you are trying falafels for the first time. Try the proper fried version first, before you turn to anything else.
  • Similarly, you might even be tempted to try the canned beans instead of taking the additional step of soaking them. We assure you the step is worth the 5 minutes of effort and planning.
  • Once you are more confident about the recipe, you can make variations like adding other herbs or coating the falafels with sesame before frying for some extra crunch.