Cook's Hideout: Falafel

February 22, 2011


Falafel has been on my to-make list for the longest. I don’t like deep frying-being calorie conscious is one reason, but the other important reason is I don’t like to deal with all that used oil. If I ever make a deep fried dish, I make sure that I use the oil only once for deep frying and the leftover oil gets used in everyday dishes 1tsp at a time. I also make sure that I transfer the leftover oil from the frying pan to a smaller container to make sure that the pan doesn't form an oil stain and for easy handling.
Nice little tip I learnt from Martha Stewart for disposing used oil is to use lots of paper towels to soak up the oil before washing. Never ever drain oil directly in the sink; this will adversely affect your drainage system.
Ok since the housekeeping is taken care of; let me move onto the falafel now. The recipe is from Vegetarian Times magazine and I had it bookmarked forever now. Finally got to make it this past weekend when we had friends over for a “Middle-Eastern” themed dinner party.
The recipe uses canned chickpeas and shallow fries the patties, which is probably not authentic, but the end result was just as yummy as the fried ones. I doubled the recipe and was able to make 30 patties, enough for 8-10 servings.

FalafelRecipe from Vegetarian Times Magazine.
Ingredients (makes 15-16 medium sized patties):
Chickpeas – 1 16oz. can, rinsed and drained
Tahini – 3tbsp
Garlic clove – 1, minced
Egg – 1
Lemon zest – 2tbsp, finely grated
Lemon juice – 1tsp
Ground Coriander – 1 tsp
Ground Cumin – 1½ tsp
Chili powder – ½ tsp
Salt – to taste
All-purpose flour – ¼ cup
Onion – 2tbsp, finely chopped
Parsley – 2tbsp, finely chopped
Baking powder – ½ tsp

  • In a food processor, pulse chickpeas, garlic, tahini, egg, lemon zest & juice, salt and spices until mostly smooth, but still a little chunky.
  • Transfer to a bowl and add flour, onions and parsley. Mix well to combine. Make ¼” thick patties with about ¼ cup of chickpea mixture.
  • I lined the patties up on a foil covered baking sheet, wrapped them in plastic wrap and refrigerated them the night before I was going to make the falafel. I took them out of the fridge an hour before frying to take the chill off.
  • Pour olive oil into a shallow pan to cover about ¼” in the bottom. Add the patties in batches and fry on medium-high flame and fry for about 3 mins per side or until golden brown. Make sure that the patties don’t touch while frying.
  • Drain the patties on paper towel lined platter. Repeat with remaining patties.
I served them with Pita bread, quick tahini sauce (½ cup each of tahini & yogurt mixed with ground cumin, salt & pepper, lemon juice), store-bought hot falafel chutney and cucumber & tomato salad. Enjoy!!


  1. Pavani, this is a lovely recipe for falafel. The best part of your recipe is that you have made away with the oil that is used to deep fry the falafel; instead you recommend shallow frying, which uses very little oil in comparison. We all know that a healthy lifestyle with healthy eating can contribute towards much more quality in our living, what with the lifestyle diseases rampant today. For some expert tips on healthy eating habits check out our blog at

  2. Feel like munching some, tempting falafel..

  3. Have heard abt this but never tried. bookmarked :)

  4. Falafel, salad and tahini sauce; can't refuse this combo.. :-)

  5. I'm a big fan of just about anything with chickpeas (including falafel) and this looks great. I love the fat-savings by pan frying these. I've clipped this recipe and hope to try it soon. Thanks for sharing!

  6. Looks yum and you got it so perfect ...

  7. Do you use boiled egg in the falafel?? I'm confused since the ingredients list egg as grated..

    The falafels look fantastic for a shallow-fried version.

  8. Thank you all.

    Thanks Rivki for dropping by. Hope you enjoy the recipe as much as we did.

    Thanks Priti.

    Thanks Inji for pointing that out. I've corrected it.

  9. Hi Pavani,

    I made Pitas filled with falafels yesterday but never even got around posting it as they simply vanished. I used store bought frozen ones but I have been itching to make them of my own...Shall try soon..


  10. Falafel looks nice and crunchy.
    To answer you question, it is perfectly safe to put a condensed milk can in the pressure cooker. Just make sure there's plenty of water and that the can is not dented or damaged in any way. Hope you'll try it out.

  11. Looks delicious & crunchy ...

  12. Lol...what you say is true Pavani, the left over oil is indeed a headache. This falafel recipe should be awesome even without eggs, dont u think? Enjoyed reading the cooking & cleaning tips you have given!


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