Savor every bite of these crispy Authentic Lebanese Falafels! This Lebanese falafel recipe is made with garbanzo beans/chickpeas, parsley and cilantro making it a great nutritious, substitute for vegetarians and vegans. Serve these mouth-watering falafels with salads, wraps and sandwiches.
About this Recipe
These authentic falafels are as delicious as it gets, they are perfectly crispy on the outside, soft and moist on the inside and seasoned to perfection! I tend to make large batches of falafels because my family enjoys them so much due to their versatility. We often snack on them or eat them in wraps.
Falafels are shaped like balls or patties and are brown on the outside because they are deep-fried and green on the inside as they include parsley and cilantro/coriander. This Lebanese falafel recipe includes chickpeas however, they can be made with fava beans or in some recipes, a combination of both. Falafels are enjoyed throughout North Africa, the Meditteranean and the Middle East. It is believed that they originate from Egypt and were inspired by Indians however, like many recipes this is debated.
Thanks to the high protein content in falafels, many home cooks are using them as a meat substitute in recipes. Falafels are usually served on their own with a side dip but modern recipes have seen falafel being used in various ways. Now you can find falafel in salad recipes, wrap recipes, sandwich recipes and even burger recipes.
Lebanese Falafel Recipe Ingredients
- Chickpeas: The chickpeas should be dried and uncooked for this recipe. They are soaked overnight in water and the water is absorbed to soften the chickpeas and make them easy to pulse. Once the chickpeas have been soaked in the water leave them to dry or pat them with a paper towel before adding them to a food processor. If the chickpeas are not dry before pulsing then the texture of the mixture will be affected and the bean patties may fall apart. Do not use canned chickpeas as they do not give the falafel mixture a good consistency and may also result in soggy falafel patties!
- Fresh parsley: It’s best to use fresh parsley for this recipe as it adds a delicious herby flavor to the falafels. The parsley is also what gives falafels their notorious green color on the inside!
- Cilantro: Just like parsley, fresh cilantro is best for this recipe and also contributes to the green filling. You can alter the proportions of both to suit your taste.
- Onion: Use white onions for this falafel recipe.
- Garlic cloves: As this is an authentic recipe it is best to use fresh garlic cloves in this recipe. If you don’t have any you can substitute them with garlic powder.
- Cumin: Adds a spicy herby flavor to the falafel mix.
- Cayenne pepper: Is added to balance the flavors in the falafels and add some heat you can adjust the amount in the recipe by less or more depending on your personal preference.
- Salt: to taste
- Black pepper: to taste
- Baking powder: Help the patties stick together when frying.
How to Make Authentic Lebanese Falafels
1.To make the falafels, first, soak the chickpeas in water for at least 12 hours. You can also soak the chickpeas overnight.
2. Once the chickpeas have soaked and absorbed the water, pat them dry or leave them to air dry. Then, add the chickpeas, parsley, cumin, cilantro, pepper, salt, cayenne pepper, onion and garlic to a food processor.
3. Blend the falafel mixture until the mixture is fine. You may need to stop blending to scrape down the sides of the food processor from time to time.
4. Once the falafel mixture is ready add it to a bowl and cover it with cling film. Then, leave the mixture to sit in the fridge for at least 1 hour before shaping. The mixture can be kept in the fridge for up to a day.
5. Next, remove the mixture from the fridge, add the baking powder and mix well. The baking powder helps the patties to maintain their shape.
6. Shape the falafel mixture into patties or balls.
Tip: Wet the palm of your hands when shaping to prevent the falafel mix from sticking to your hands. Alternatively, you can use an ice scoop to shape the falafels.
7. Heat oil in a pan and fry the bean patties for 4-6 minutes or until golden brown.
Tip: Make sure the oil is not too hot as you don’t want the falafels to burn.
8. Add the falafels to a paper towel to drain excess oil before serving.
9. Serve these mouth-watering Authentic Lebanese Falafel with salad, wraps, sandwiches or with a dip. Falafels can also be served as an appetizer or mezze along with tabbouleh, hummus, baba ganoush and more.
Authentic Lebanese Falafel Recipe Tips and Tricks
- Chickpeas: Dry uncooked chickpeas are used for this recipe so it is important to soak them in water overnight before preparing the falafel mixture so that they are able to absorb the water and soften.
- Water: Make sure the water is at least 2 inches above the chickpeas as you have to make sure that enough water is absorbed.
- Falafels: To make it easier to shape the falafels, use wet hands as falafel mixtures tend to be sticky. Using wet hands will help prevent the mixture from sticking to your hands.
- Baking powder: The baking powder allows the mixture to rise a bit so the balls/patties are not flat without some rise.
- Make-ahead: Falafels are a great make-ahead recipe. Simply make the falafel patties and then store in the fridge or freezer until you are ready to fry them.
Lebanese falafels are normally made with raw chickpeas or garbanzo beans, herbs, spices, onions and a binding/rising agent such as baking powder.
Depending on the region, falafels can be made with raw chickpeas or raw fava beans. In other recipes, falafel can be made with a combination of raw chickpeas and fava beans.
While canned chickpeas might work in falafel recipes, it is not recommended. Canned chickpeas tend to produce a mushy- soft falafel that easily breaks apart. This is because canned chickpeas have been boiled and to achieve the best results with falafel, you need to use chickpeas that have been soaked. The soaking makes it easier to grind the chickpeas.
Therefore, the best chickpeas to use in your falafel recipe are chickpeas that have been soaked for a minimum of 8 hours.
While chickpeas are the main ingredient in falafels, there are still different types of falafel. The use of extra ingredients like herbs, seasoning and cooking methods creates various falafels. Different types of falafels include traditional falafels, baked herb falafel, vegetable falafel, breakfast falafel, almond meal & chickpea falafel, lemon falafel, sweet falafel and many more.
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Authentic Lebanese Falafel Recipe
- Food processor
- 3 cups of chickpeas
- 1.5 cups of fresh parsley
- 1.25 cup of cilantro
- 1 onion
- 6 garlic cloves
- 1.5 tsp cumin
- 0.25 tsp of cayenne pepper
- Salt to taste
- Black pepper to taste
- 1.25 tsp baking powder
- Start by soaking dried chickpeas in water in a large bowl overnight or for 12 hours. Make sure the water is covering the chickpeas by a couple of inches.
- Once the chickpeas have absorbed the water leave them to dry or pat them down with a paper towel. Add dried chickpeas, parsley, cilantro, onion, garlic, cumin, cayenne, salt to taste, black pepper to taste to a food processor and pulse until the mixture becomes fine.
- Then, leave the mixture to sit in the fridge for at least 1 hour before frying. The mixture can be refrigerated for up to a day.
- Before frying add baking powder to the falafel mix and stir well. Then shape falafels into equal-sized patties or balls.
- Heat oil in a pan and cook falafels 4-6 minutes or until crispy and brown on the outside.
- Leave falafels to drain on a paper towel. Serve in a wrap or with salad.
I made these Lebanese falafel to stuff into pitas for our Meatless Monday dinner and the family raved about how crunchy and flavorful they were. For me the herbs really sealed the deal.
I have been obsessed with falafel for over 30 years but never tried to prepare it until now. It came out so well I never have to go out to satisfy my craving again.
This was my first time making falafel and your recipe made it so easy. And they are delicious. Thank you!
Great recipe. Sumac is another great addition to the mix. Maybe 1 teaspoon for this recipe to get a citrus flavor.
I love falafel and have always wanted to try making them. This recipe was surprisingly easy and the flavor and texture was just perfect! Will be my go-to.
Falafel has always been one of my favorite foods! I’m so glad that I found this recipe because now I can make it at home. It came out SO good!