Falafel: fluffy, crispy, flavorful, the answer to any veggie lover’s snack prayers! Whether you’re all in on a vegetarian lifestyle, or if you’re just craving a crunchy snack, a falafel is sure to satisfy. Today is International Falafel Day, and we’re celebrating with an easy at-home recipe for the classic Middle Eastern dish.
What is Falafel?
Falafel balls are a common Middle Eastern snack, usually made of chickpeas or fava beans. You can find them as filling for sandwiches and wraps, or atop salads and grain bowls for a textural protein boost. Perhaps most commonly, you’ll find falafel as the filling to a pita sandwich, along with other Middle Eastern staple flavors like hummus, tahini, cucumber, tomato and onion.
The falafel balls themselves usually incorporate a variety of traditional Middle Eastern spices like coriander and cumin, plus a boost of aromatic flavor from parsley, cilantro, green onion, and garlic. The chickpeas or fava beans are mashed together with the spices to create a dough-like consistency that is easily scooped and formed into balls or fritters for frying. The result is a crispy on the outside, fluffy and flavorful on the inside croquette-like snack that is super versatile, whether you’re going for a traditional sandwich, serving over rice, or on top of a fresh salad.
Making Falafel At Home
Falafel makes a great staple for protein-packed lunches, meal prep, or easy weeknight meals. These come together quickly, with the freedom to customize your flavors depending on your preference. We’ve been loving this falafel recipe from RŌTI right here in Chicago - they combine soaked, dried chickpeas and canned chickpeas together for a variety of textures, along with parsley, cilantro, green onion, garlic, spices and baking powder.
Their falafel balls end up in a heavenly Tahini rice bowl, along with Saffron rice, marinated cabbage, and homemade hummus and tahini sauce. Check out their recipe for falafel below!
RŌTI’s House-Made Falafel
8 oz. Chickpeas (drained, soaked overnight)
½ Cup Chickpeas, canned (drained)
1 Cup Parsley (roughly chopped)
1 Cup Cilantro (roughly chopped)
6 each Green Onion (chopped)
2 cloves Garlic/minced
1 tsp. Rumi Spice Wild Black Cumin, ground
½ tsp. Rumi Spice Herati Coriander, ground
½ tsp Crushed Red Pepper
1 ½ teaspoon Sea Salt
½ tsp. Baking Powder
5 tsp. Water
For Frying: 2 Cups Vegetable Oil
Drain your soaked chickpeas and place them in a food processor, add your remaining ingredients, except for the canned chickpeas. Blitz for 1 to 2 minutes on high, scraping down sides as necessary, until the chickpeas are small grains, though not as smooth as hummus. Fold in the whole canned chickpeas. Scoop up heaped tablespoons and shape into balls and place them on a tray. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Pour oil in a skillet or large pot – at least 2/3″ depth. Heat on medium high to 355F (or drop a bit of your dough in, should sizzle energetically). Place a ball in a large spoon (or tongs) and carefully place in hot oil. Cook in batches for around 4 minutes, using 2 forks to roll, until deep golden and super crusty on the outside. Drain on paper towels. Repeat with remaining falafel. Serve with sides like tomato, cucumber, saffron rice, and hummus and tahini sauce.
We’ve got you covered with all the spices to make Falafel at home. Check out Rumi Wild Black Cumin and Coriander here: