Ever since I can remember trying falafel for the first time, I've been a big fan of it. But really, it's kind of hard not to fall in love with crispy fried balls of chickpeas. And over the years, I've definitely had my fair share of great and not so great ones. These bright green falafel balls are great, if I do say so myself. I love ordering falafel at my favourite spot in Toronto (Parallel restaurant is the best), so this is my attempt to make them at home (obviously, they're not as good, but still very delicious!). They're packed with lots of fresh herbs, serrano and a few spices and they do come together pretty easily. With that being said, it's still a bit of a process to make them. Although, you end up with quite a bit, so the time is well spent as you can stock your fridge or freeze them for later.
Here's everything you'll need to make these beautiful and easy super green falafel.
Making these easy green falafels at home is fairly straightforward. You do need some prep time to soak the chickpeas overnight and refrigerate the dough before forming into balls.
Here's how to make them at home.
Rinse dry chickpeas and then transfer to a large bowl. Cover with water and let sit overnight, covered with a clean kitchen towel.
Drain the chickpeas and add to a food processor (if using a smaller food processor, do this in two batches).
Add the herbs (cilantro, parsley and mint), pepper, garlic, cumin, salt, cardamom and lemon juice to the food processor.
Process on high until combined, stopping to scrape down the sides as needed. A little bit of chunkiness from the chickpeas is ok, but relatively smooth in texture is the best.
Transfer the chickpea mixture to a large bowl and add the flour and mix to combine. Transfer to the fridge and let it sit for about 20 to 30 minutes, this helps the mixture firm up a bit.
Sprinkle in the baking powder and mix with a spoon. Using a cookie scoop (or your hands), roll the mixture into balls, slightly bigger than a golf ball. If the mixture is not holding together, add a little more flour as needed. Repeat until all balls are formed.
Shallow frying at home is really easy so long as you have a few things.
I recommend using a dutch oven or a well seasoned wok.
I prefer deep or shallow frying in a wok as the bottom isn't as deep so you don't have to use as much oil. I love this carbon steel wok from Made In which I've been using for about a year and highly recommend it.
Heat a large dutch oven/pot or wok over medium heat. Pour in enough oil to fill up the bottom and around 1 1/2 inches up the side (for a shallow fry).
Once the oil is hot (use a temperature gun to measure that it is between 375ºF and 400ºF). Carefully drop in each ball (working in batches) and fry for about two minutes per side, adjusting the heat as needed to maintain a temperature of 350ºF.
Falafel should be deep golden grown. Remove with a slotted spoon and place on a plate lined with paper towel.
If you prefer to bake these green falafel in the oven, here's how to do that.
I'd suggest baking them on an oiled/greased pan at 425ºF for 25 to 30 minutes, flipping carefully halfway through. Be sure to spray the tops of the falafel with oil before going in the oven as well.
Flatten the balls slightly into small patties as this will be a better texture and shape for baking.
If you do bake them, they will get a little crispy on the outside, but not as much as you get from pan frying/shallow frying, obviously. They are still delicious!
If you prefer to air fry the falafel balls, here's how to do that.
Preheat the air fryer to 375ºF.
Spray the basket with oil. Add the falafel balls to the air fryer basket being sure to not have them overlapping. Spray the tops of the balls.
Bake for 14 to 16 minutes, flipping halfway through. Spray more oil if needed at the halfway point.
Always check on the falafel at the halfway point to see how they are doing. Adjust the temperature if needed to reduce the browning.
This is the air fryer I use and love it.
I love serving falafel inside pita with hummus, tahini drizzled on top, fresh greens inside, chopped cucumber and more fresh herbs.
They're also delicious served as a protein source on top of salads, or on their own with a drizzle of tahini dressing. The ones pictured below are served with a beet tahini dressing from Parallel Brothers.
To make a drizzly tahini dressing, simply add a few heaping spoonfuls of tahini to a bowl. Add a squeeze of lemon juice and then slowly drizzle in water while whisking together. The mixture should be thin and drippy and the colour will change to a lighter colour.
Store leftover fried falafel in the fridge for up to three days in a sealed container.
Store leftover fried falafel in the freezer in a sealed freezer safe plastic bag for up to three months. Defrost overnight and then reheat in the oven, or in the air fryer until warmed through.
You can also store uncooked falafel mixture (in balls) in the freezer as well. Place the green falafel balls on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and freeze. When they harden, transfer the falafel balls into a freezer safe bag. They will keep well in the freezer for about a month or so. Then simply bake, or fry once defrosted.
Are you ready to make this? Let's get to it!
As always, if you make these vibrant green falafel please share with me, by tagging me on Instagram or leave a comment and/or review below. I truly love seeing and hearing form you!
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These bright green falafel are perfectly crispy on the outside and fluffy on the inside. Enjoy them on their own with tahini dressing or in a pita.
This recipe makes about 20 balls.
Dry your herbs: to prevent the chickpea mixture from being too wet, it's important to dry your herbs very well with paper towel.
Watch the temperature of the oil: using an infrared thermometer temperature gun, like this one I have makes this so much easier. If the oil isn't hot enough, food will be greasy when fried in it and if it's too hot, it will burn.
Refrigerate the mixture: you can store the chickpea mixture in the fridge overnight if you want to make these in advance.
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