Pounding sound from the large stone mortar and pestle making falafel in the early morning hours. Sizzling hot oil and the smell of freshly fried falafel were all part of my morning walk to school. Falafel has been a street food in Egypt since the early days of history I believe. Let me show you how to make easy green falafel with a step by step guide.
Falafel was one of the few breakfast sandwiches that I would really eat when I was a little kid. My beautiful mama would wake up early to fry some falafel patties and make morning and lunch sandwiches to motivate me to eat. Until recently my kids did not like falafel but after going to Egypt last summer the big boys fell in love while the youngest is not there yet.
Falafel in Egypt is much greener than the usual falafel here in the United states and it is made with peeled and split beans not chickpeas.
Although chickpeas falafel are now very common in Egypt, everone of my friends still long to the traditional falafel of Egypt. Nowadays falafel in Egypt are less green and the dough has a consistency that I dare to say like whipping cream. I was wondering how they do that? it is so fluffy and airy.
After doing some research I learned that the reason for such fluffy falafel dough is that it is whisked so hard to fill it with air. It is then fried and stuffed in pita pockets with tahini, greens, tomato and pickles. Crispy outside while airy and fluffy and green and delicious inside.
- Dry fave beans: this is a key ingredient for Egyptian falafel. Peeled and split beans are used, chickpeas are also commonly used and highly spread.
- Fresh herbs: parsley and cilantro are main herbs for falafel and you do not want to skip either. I used to put almost double the amount I am using here.
- Leek: is one of the main ingredients in this falafel, I used green onion instead as it is easier to find. You can also use regular onion but leek gives a more authentic flavor.
- Spices: salt and pepper, cumin and coriander. Dry ground coriander also gives an authentic flavor to falafel and sometimes falafel patties are dipped in ground cumin instead of sesame seeds before frying.
- Baking soda: I use this because my mom and her mom did. It is used to fluff the falafel even more and preserve the green color.
- Place all the above ingredients in a food processor and process several times until you achieve your desired texture. If you are planning to freeze the falafel then do not add the spices just add the baking soda to the herbs and beans.
- I like my falafel a bit grainy like the texture above, some people like it very fine so it is really up to your taste.
- Now for the fun part, using a whisk or your electric beaters, beat for like 5 minutes. Yes 5 minutes until it gets really airy and fluffy.
- Form falafel into balls or discs dip in sesame seeds (optional) and fry in hot oil until golden brown.
Falafel tips and tricks
That's it for now guys, if I remember anything I will make sure to come back and add it. Just follow the recipe and let me know what do you think. Serve this with tahini, greens, tomato, red onions and pickles.
More Falafel Recipes
- Have you tried stuffed falafel? I like mine stuffed with feta but many like them stuffed with sumac onions.
- If you want to cut back on fried food, try these baked falafel made with canned chickpeas!!.
- Popular Middle Eastern street food, falafel pita sandwich, is a must have when you visit Egypt. But you can certainly make them at home with a variety of toppings and condiments.
If you like this recipe do not forget to give it a ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ star rating and attach a photo of your finished dish. It is always a pleasure of mine to see your photos and check your own take of the recipe. Thank you.
- 1 cup (180g) split dry fava beans.
- 1 (30g) green onion, chopped both green and white part.
- ½ cup (15g) parsley, roughly chopped.
- ½ cup (15g) cilantro, roughly chopped.
- 2 (10g) big garlic cloves.
- ½ teaspoon baking soda.
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander.
- ½ teaspoon ground cumin.
- 1 teaspoon salt or to your taste.
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper.
- 1-2 Tablespoon water.
- Sesame seeds for dipping.
- Wash beans under running water then place in a deep bowl.
- Cover with water and let it soak for 2-3 hours changing the water once in the middle.
- Drain beans and place in the food processor.
- Place all other ingredients except for water. Note1
- Process until very fine. If you feel the dough texture is rough add 1 tablespoon of water at a time and mix until you get a fine dough.
- Place the dough in a deep bowl and whisk it hard with an electric mixer or a hand held whisk for about 4 to 5 minutes until it gets foamy and super airy. Note2
- Heat oil in a heavy bottom skillet or a cast iron skillet.
- Scoop about 2 tablespoons of the falafel and form into a ball or a disk.
- Dip the disks from one side into a flat plate of sesame seeds and fry for 2-3 minutes per side until it gets nicely browned all over.
- Transfer to a paper lined plate.
- Serve with tahini dip, tomato, pickles, cucumber, onions and green salad.
Note2: The falafel dough is Egypt that is sold by street vendors are super fluffy I would dare to say the texture is like whipping cream!! So this step is done to try to approach that texture as much as possible. Please check the nutrition disclaimer policy.
Absolutely love this recipe, my husband says it taste like home. I have a question, have you tried to cook these in an air fryer? I would like to use less oil but I'm afraid I could break the little falafels .
I've been wanting to make these in the air fryer. I did a quick search and I believe you would spray with oil and air fry on 390F for about 20 minutes flipping in the middle. I haven't tested that but I will let you know when I make it. Thanks.
My husband from Egypt always said he didn’t care for the chick less cause his mom always used fafa beans I love both thanx for recipe great job
Salem iidek ya Amira !!! Alf chokran.
ana masreyaa . aicha menn 40 sana fe europa oua wahasshni Masr - el Masreyin, al logha el arabia, el akl ....
Claudy you are sooo sweet, I always miss Egypt and feel my vacations there are too short!
These tasted good but fell apart - any suggestions?
Hmm it should not, but if it did add a bit more flour, you can add chickpea flour or all purpose flour. I hope this helps.
I'm enjoying your recipes very much as I am married to an Egyptian from Zamalek, Cairo.. almost 50 years together now so I am very experienced with many of the national dishes.. My husband is cousin to Boutros Boutros Ghali, so as you can imagine many of the family recipes have been handed down to me, a Ukrainian.. We live north of Toronto, Ontario, Canada..
My question to you is this- how much oil is needed? I am trying to cut down on oil.. are the falafel deep fried? I have used only enough to cover the bottom of pan. Please let me know the amount of oil that is best for the recipe.. Shoukran for sharing ..
Hello Lillian, so glad you are here. Well usually falafel is deep fried, some like to shallow fry them and sometimes I also finish them in the oven like this oven baked falafel. Although these are not the authentic way to cook falafel but it is much healthier. I usually put like an inch or so of oil in the pan and flip the falafel halfway through. You can also air fry your falafel. Hope this helps.