Traditional Falafel Recipe | Vegetarian Times Skip to main content

Traditional Falafel

The most time-consuming step in this recipe is soaking the chickpeas for 24 hours. After that, the falafel balls come together quickly and easily. Serve with lettuce, tomatoes, tahini, hot sauce, and a minty yogurt sauce, such as Cucumber Raita from



Ingredient Line: 
1 cup dried chickpeas, rinsed and sorted
Ingredient Line: 
½ tsp. plus ⅓ tsp. baking soda, divided
Ingredient Line: 
1 small leek, white and light green part cut into 4 or 5 pieces
Ingredient Line: 
1 cup fresh parsley leaves
Ingredient Line: 
3 cloves garlic, peeled
Ingredient Line: 
1 Tbs. lemon juice
Ingredient Line: 
1 tsp. ground cumin
Ingredient Line: 
½ tsp. salt
Ingredient Line: 
¼ tsp. ground black pepper
Ingredient Line: 
2 cups canola oil


1. Place chickpeas and 1/2 tsp. baking soda in large bowl, and cover with 3 to 4 cups water. Soak chickpeas 24 hours. Drain.

2. Place chickpeas, remaining 1/3 tsp. baking soda, leek, parsley, garlic, lemon juice, cumin, salt, pepper, and hot sauce (if using) in bowl of food processor. Process 30 seconds to 1 minute, or until chunky paste forms.

3. Shape 1 Tbs. chickpea mixture into compact ball, pressing out any excess moisture, and place on plate. Repeat with remaining mixture.

4. Heat oil to 350°F in large skillet over medium heat. Add 12 falafel balls, and cook 1 to 2 minutes, or until browned on bottoms. Roll, and cook 1 to 2 minutes more, or until golden brown all over. Transfer to paper-towel-lined plate to drain. Repeat with remaining falafel balls.

Nutrition Information: 

1 g
Total Fat: 
2 g
Saturated Fat: 
<1 g
4 g
0 mg
46 mg
<1 g
<1 g
Makes 36 falafel balls

Comments on this Recipe

Traditional? I am new to these types of foods and I would enjoy being able to try felafel balls without the expense of buying a food processor. Thank you Richard

Wouldn't a blender suffice? That's what I plan to do when I try them.

Wonderful! Its a classic!

Is there a way to bake these rather than deepfry? I want to eliminate or greatly reduce the oil.

Thank you, I always wondered how to make these.

can chickpea flour be used instead

Where are the chamoutz? The pickle slices???

A blender would only work if you do very small amounts at a time &amp; pulse it until you get the desired consistency. You don't want to puree it or the falafels would be mushy. Falafel is wonderful. I used to buy some at a place that used to be in Royal Centre Mall in Vancouver. I think they have their own brick &amp; mortar restaurant now. Mona would put the Falafels (broken in half), some salad, yogurt sauce (Lebanese version of Tsatziki), and pickled turnips in a fairly large pita &amp; roll it up. It was awesome! Tasty, filling, and healthy!

Could I use canned chickpeas to skip the soaking time?

@Richard: Traditionally, the cook ground the soaked chickpeas in a mortar, using a pestle. It's not difficult or strenuous, it just takes longer. (A mortar-and-pestle costs anywhere from 2% to 20% the price of a food processor, and for my kitchen, anyway, is a LOT more versatile.) @Ada: Canned chickpeas are also, by definition, pre-cooked. The flavor will be fine (at least to my Western palate!) but you will get a different texture - it might need flour/breadcrumbs/something to thicken the batter, so it'll hold together. Pan-frying might work better than deep-frying, in that case.

So good


Sounds great

Yogurt is NOT vegan! This is supposed to be vegan and dairy free

Why use canola oil for anything? Use something else.

I LOVE this recipe. It's my "go to" recipe for falafel. I do not fry them however, I put them on a silpat mat and flatten them a little then broil each side--perfect--and much less fat!

I made this. Very good. I tried using soy yogurt (augh!) it was terrible. So just did a nice non fat Greek real yogurt. Rich and not full of the fat/calories.

Try this

1/3 tsp.???