Homemade Falafel

Before we moved to New York, Kramer and I hadn’t eaten that much falafel. It’s just not something that you see a lot of in Phoenix, and even if it’s available, I never say any of my friends order it when we were out. I’m not sure why that is, as falafel is absolutely delicious, not to mention vegetarian. My favorite place for falafel is obviously Mamoun’s – it’s honestly a New York institution and I try my best to bring any friends that visit there for a falafel sandwich (with plenty of their delicious hot sauce, of course). The best part about Mamoun’s is that it’s open late (as in, until 5 AM), so you can always count on getting a phenomenal falafel stuffed inside of a warm pita for $2.50 – you can’t beat that. Sadly, though, there isn’t a Mamoun’s in Williamsburg, so when I’m craving falafel on a lazy weekend where I don’t feel like leaving my warm apartment, I am forced to fend for myself and make my own. I had already made some fantastic roasted garlic hummus and spicy harissa, so the next step was obviously falafel. Falafel is really easy to make – just puree together some chickpeas, parsley, a variety of spices, and bulgur wheat (which I think is essential for the perfect texture), roll into balls, fry, and serve alongside your favorite condiments. I love biting into these; the outside is nice and crunchy, while the inside is packed with flavor. I highly suggest having some friend over, frying up some falafel, and seeing what kind of amazing food other cultures have to offer! The best part about falafel is that if you’ve never fried anything before, it’s a great place to start, as it’s vegetarian and you don’t have to worry about under-cooking anything – see? It’s a win-win.

Homemade Falafel
Your ingredients.

Homemade Falafel Homemade Falafel
Homemade Falafel Homemade Falafel

Puree together your chickpeas and shallots, then add in your parsley and garlic and pulse until combined. Add in your bulgur wheat, flour, and spices, and pulse until the falafel comes together.

Homemade Falafel
Cover and refrigerate your falafel mixture for at least an hour, or as long as overnight.

Homemade Falafel Homemade Falafel
Homemade Falafel Homemade Falafel

Gather together your other ingredients, like bell peppers, red onions, pita bread, and hummus. Heat your oil and roll your falafel into tablespoon-sized balls. I found this size was perfect for stuffing into pita pockets, but you can make them larger, too, if you like.

Homemade FalafelHomemade Falafel
Fry them until well browned on all sides.

Homemade Falafel
Then place on paper towels to drain.

Homemade Falafel
Serve with your favorite toppings and sides and enjoy!

Homemade Falafel

Homemade Falafel
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 14-16
  • 1 14 oz. can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 2 shallots, minced
  • 8 cloves garlic, minced
  • ¼ cup roughly chopped parsley
  • 1½ teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1½ teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1½ teaspoons baking powder
  • ¼ cup bulgur wheat, plus more as needed
  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour, plus more as needed
  • vegetable or canola oil, for frying
  • pita bread, for serving
  • sliced red onions, for serving
  • sliced green bell pepper, for serving
  • hummus, for serving
  • spicy harissa, for serving
  1. Drain and rinse your chickpeas, then place in your food processor along with your minced shallots, minced garlic, parsley, salt, cumin, coriander, and red pepper flakes. Pulse until combined, but not completely pureed.
  2. Sprinkle the baking powder, bulgur wheat, and flour over the chickpea mixture, and pulse until combined. It should form into a nice ball - if it doesn't, add a bit more bulgur wheat or flour. Place the mixture in a bowl, cover tightly with plastic wrap, and place in the refrigerator for at least an hour, or as long as overnight.
  3. When you're ready to fry your falafel, form the falafel mixture into 2-tablespoon sized balls with your hands. Heat your oil in a heavy-bottomed pot - you want the oil to come up around the edges of the pot about an inch. Heat the oil to about 350 degrees F over medium-high heat, then add in your falafel in batches. Fry for 3-4 minutes on each side, then flip them over and fry the other side.
  4. Place the fried falafel on a plate lined with paper towels to drain, then stuff them into pita pockets with your preferred condiments and serve.


30 Responses

  1. aarthi says:

    I love homemade falafils with garlicky tahini sauce..they are heaven..This looks like a perfect one..I too have a recipe in my blog..


  2. I’ve never tried a falafel before but these look delicious! I’ve heard of them but I would have never imagined that these are the ingredients. I’m going to have to give these a try!

  3. Kim says:

    I got really excited when you mentioned Mamoun’s. It is the best!

  4. Deanna B says:

    I think falafel isn’t really a West coast food. Everytime I order it its been dry and kind of bland. The obvious solution is to make my own!

  5. Ama says:

    Thanks for posting this!
    I love falafel, but I only have two options when I have an falafel craving: Buying a box of falafel mix, which is almost always unsatisfying. Or stopping at Puka Puka Kitchen for some delicious but pricey -$9 – falafel pita. $9 for a meal is definitely not outrageous, but c’mon, it’s falafel! Price hikes here make me sad, especially after hearing you can get falafel for $2.50 in NYC!
    But luckily, now, I have a third option! These look tasty, I can’t wait to try them.

  6. Ashley says:

    Gah… I totally heart falafel. And I find it’s hard to get the right KIND of falafel. Sometimes it’s too dense, sometimes not fried enough. Ick. How great though to be able to make my own. And so EASY! I’m not a big frier (as in, I’ve never done it) but this is a great place to start!
    Oooh and spicy Harissa? Yes please.

  7. Jay says:

    Just a quick tip.. Dont use canned chickpeas. Dried ones soaked overnight will make a much mure light and ‘fluffy’ falafel, without it being dry. And no need for flour or bulgur for right texture.

  8. Love me some falafel! Never thought to try them at home…now if I can just dig up a tried and true recipe for cucumber sauce, I think I found dinner tonight. Excellent recipe post!

  9. Rhonda says:

    I adore falafel, or as my husband calls it Feel Awful 😉 One day I will get him to try it and I am sure he will actually like it.

  10. Falafel is one of my favorite foods! Your pictures are beautiful– I can’t wait to make these!

  11. Benjamin says:

    This looks great! Falafel is a mainstay here in Chicago with the massive Middle Eastern population and neighborhoods. After reading the other postings, i’m happy to say that most of my Lebanese haunts all have huge mound of freshly fried falafel behind the counter for a mere .50 or .60 cents!! But if you really want your mind blown…L’as du Falafel in Paris pretty much sets the bar for Falafel, IMHO.

    • Sydney says:

      I hope we get to take a trip to Chicago sometime later this year or next year – I grew up there and haven’t been back since I was 14. I will definitely be sure to grab some falafel and see how it stacks up to Mamoun’s! Any recommendations for restaurants?

  12. Mmmm! I was always wary of falafel… Something about my love for chickpeas straight from the can (or smashed into oblivion in the form of hummus) makes me not want to fry them. But this looks SO AWESOME! Super browned and crispy is totally the way to go. Thanks!

  13. Elizabeth says:

    I made these last weekend and they were amazing! I posted the recipe on my blog.

  14. carolynlee says:

    I grew up in NYC and fondly remember getting lunch from the falafel carts in Manhattan. When I first moved to Boston I occasionally saw food trucks selling falafel near universities and the Longwood medical area but it wasn’t served the same way and wasn’t on my regular path through the city.

    There are so many eating options here and no Middle Eastern restaurants in my neighborhood, that I had totally forgotten about falafel. I’m definitely going to try this recipe for a hit of nostalgia.

    • Sydney says:

      I’m surprised, I thought Boston was pretty diverse food-wise, but I’m sure that they have tons of other delicious stuff that NY doesn’t.

  15. […] preferidos e servir. (pode ver fotos do passo-a-passo no link para a receita original) receita original · […]

  16. I love a good falfafel, we had many good Mediterranean or Middle Eastern options growing up in San Francisco Bay Area. Since moving to Midwest, I’ve been so disappointed with the places I’ve tried, my Daughter hated them. We went to Paris last May, the best falfafel I’ve ever had, and my Daughter loved it too! Can’t wait to make my own with some tahini!
    I love this site, thank you so much!

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