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Makes about 25 Falafel

2 hours 50 minutes active, plus soaking

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Across Amman, Jordan, we tasted numerous versions of falafel and concluded that perfection entails a combination of three things: a crisp, beautifully burnished crust without any greasiness; an interior that has a light and tender texture; and bold but well-balanced seasonings that complement the earthiness of the chickpeas. To develop our own recipe, we borrowed techniques from home cooks as well as professionals who taught us their methods and formulas, but we also came up with a few tricks of our own. Namely, we add both salt and baking soda to the water for soaking the dried chickpeas to help tenderize both the interiors and exteriors of the legumes. For varied texture in the processed chickpea mixture, we finely grind half in the food processor before tossing in the remainder and pulsing only until the second addition is finely nubby. This results in fried falafel that hold together but have crisp, lacy exteriors. Additional baking soda plus baking powder provides leavening, yielding falafel that are practically airy. Parsley and cilantro bring fresh herbal flavor, and baharat, an all-purpose Middle Eastern seasoning blend, lends complex spiciness. Baharat can be purchased at larger supermarkets, or use our recipe to make your own. To form the falafel and drop them into the oil, you will need a 1¾-inch (2-tablespoon) spring-loaded ice cream/dough scoop. Our favorite way to eat falafel is to stuff them into fresh pita bread along with slices of ripe tomato, cucumber and onion, then drizzle on lemony tahini sauce.

Makes about 25



Don’t try to shortcut the soaking time for the chickpeas. They require at least 12 hours at room temperature to soften properly. After processing the chickpeas with the other ingredients, be sure to chill the mixture for at least 1 hour or up to 3 hours; this helps ensure the falafel hold together during frying. When adding portions of the mixture into the hot oil for frying, hold the scoop just above the surface of the oil to avoid splashing. Finally, don’t overcrowd the pot during frying, which will result in greasy falafel.

2 hours

50 minutes active, plus soaking


  • 12

    ounces dried chickpeas

  • Kosher salt and ground black pepper


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Jill N.
June 25, 2023
The Best!
Have made these multiple times and will never use another recipe! So flavorful and the best texture! Wondering if the batter would freeze well? Would love to premeasure the falafels and freeze them so I can break them out and have freshly fried falafels!
Linda H.
April 2, 2023
A Winner! I will make them again.
I made this recipe for dinner at my cohousing community and everyone said they were the best falafels they ever tasted. I formed the balls the day before and they were too wet to hold together, so I drained off some of the water using cheesecloth. They still came out light and fluffy. Next time I will reduce the amount of water I add, probably to about 3/4ths of a cup. And I want to do homemade pita too.
Michael P.
February 8, 2023
The best falafel I've had
Nice crisp and light, not dense at all. Really great recipe. Next time I'll fresh made the pitas to go with then we'll really have an award winning dinner.
John H.
October 5, 2022
Curious about freezing / batching for future use?
Was wondering if anyone had any experience freezing these to have on hand as needed - would love to batch these out for an easy(ish) lunch instead of frying up a whole recipe all at once, or better yet, making a double recipe and freezing.
Graham W.
September 26, 2022
Delicious! Also works well frozen in the air fryer.
I made these and they were delicious. I'm making them again tonight because the family asked for them. I had a lot left over last time so I scooped them into balls and then froze the balls. They turned out great. Then I had the idea to air fry them, and not knowing what to do I dunked them in canola oil, still frozen, and then let them drip dry. Then I air fried them and they were just lovely - almost if not the same as deep frying without all the terrifying (to me) hot oil and mess. This is a great recipe. Thank you very much for breaking it down for me and taking apart some of the mysteries of falafel.