Homemade Falafel with Tahini-Yogurt

If I could live in any cuisine for the rest of my life, it would be Middle Eastern. Of course I am retracting myself as I write this because in my little bio page I talk about how I can live in Chianti and red wine for the rest of my life and be happy. So, if there were 2 cuisines I had to chose from, Italian and Middle Eastern would be it.

Homemade Falafel with Yogurt-Tahini via LittleFerraroKitchen.com

I grew up on a lot of ethnic foods, especially Sephardic cuisine, but falafel never made a huge appearance growing up. I would have it here and there when I would stop in the Mediterranean markets and now that I’m older, it’s the first thing I order whenever we eat Middle Eastern. I’ve had this listed on my Culinary Bucket list since the beginning of the year, but I have to be honest here…I was afraid of dried beans!

See, falafel has simple but intense flavors. Chickpeas or fava beans with fresh herbs and spices, that’s it! I always have canned beans in the house but with falafel, dry is best. You soak the dried beans in water overnight (I don’t know why I was so afraid of this simple step) and pulse together with the rest of the ingredients.

Homemade Falafel with Yogurt-Tahini via LittleFerraroKitchen.com_0105

What I love so much about falafel is how easy it is! The only preparation you have to do is soak beans overnight. Which is pretty cool to see. The beans are small and hard but once they soak up all the liquid they expand to double its size! I also love the flavor combo! Fresh and leafy greens like parsley and cilantro dye the fritters pale green and cumin and coriander provide smoky and deep flavor. These are some f my favorite flavor combinations!…I’m getting hungry just writing about this!

Method:

1) Soak dried chickpeas overnight in a large bowl filled with water.

Homemade Falafel with Yogurt-Tahini via LittleFerraroKitchen.com

2) The next day, drain the chickpeas and pulse in a food processor until crumbly and there are no whole chickpeas left. Transfer to a large bowl.

Homemade Falafel with Yogurt-Tahini via LittleFerraroKitchen.com

3) In the same food processor, pulse together the onion, garlic, parsley and cilantro. Pulse until it almost looks like a paste. Add parsley mixture to beans.

Homemade Falafel with Yogurt-Tahini via LittleFerraroKitchen.com

4) Use a large spatula to mix the beans and herbs together. Add cumin, cayenne, salt, pepper and flour. Mix well. Add baking powder and soda just before frying. Mix everything well.

5) Heat a large skillet with vegetable oil and bring oil up to about 370 degrees F. You can test to see if the oil is hot by dropping a small piece of batter. If it sizzles, it’s ready.

6) Use a large tablespoon and form batter into balls. I scoop about 2 tablespoons worth and form a ball between your hands.

Homemade Falafel with Yogurt-Tahini via LittleFerraroKitchen.com

7) Carefully place the falafel in the hot oil. You can fit 4-5 in at once but don’t overcrowd the pan. Fry on 1 side until you can see it browning on the sides, about 4-5 minutes. Then flip over and fry other side.

Homemade Falafel with Yogurt-Tahini via LittleFerraroKitchen.com
Homemade Falafel with Yogurt-Tahini via LittleFerraroKitchen.com

8) The falafel should be crisp on the outside and soft on the inside. To make tahini yogurt, just ix tahini and Greek yogurt together.

9) You can eat alone with tahini or make a falafel sandwich with pita bread, tomatoes, cucumber, pickles and tahini.

Homemade Falafel with Yogurt-Tahini via LittleFerraroKitchen.com

Homemade Falafel with Tahini-Yogurt

Yield: 24-30 falafel

Recipe adapted from DedeMed.com

Ingredients

  • 2 cups dried chickpeas
  • 1 onion, cut in quarters
  • 4-5 garlic cloves, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 1 small bunch fresh parsley (about 1 cup)
  • 1 small bunch fresh cilantro (about 1 cup)
  • 2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 Tb coriander
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 3 Tb flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder

Instructions

  1. Soak dried chickpeas overnight in a large bowl filled with water.
  2. The next day, drain the chickpeas and pulse in a food processor until crumbly and there are no whole chickpeas left. Transfer to a large bowl.
  3. In the same food processor, pulse together the onion, garlic, parsley and cilantro. Pulse until it almost looks like a paste. Add parsley mixture to beans.
  4. Use a large spatula to mix the beans and herbs together. Add cumin, cayenne, salt, pepper and flour. Mix well. Add baking powder and soda just before frying. Mix everything well.
  5. Heat a large skillet with vegetable oil and bring oil up to about 370 degrees F. You can test to see if the oil is hot by dropping a small piece of batter. If it sizzles, it's ready.
  6. Use a large tablespoon and form batter into balls. I scoop about 2 tablespoons worth and form a ball between your hands.
  7. Carefully place the falafel in the hot oil. You can fit 4-5 in at once but don't overcrowd the pan. Fry on 1 side until you can see it browning on the sides, about 4-5 minutes. Then flip over and fry other side.
  8. The falafel should be crisp on the outside and soft on the inside. To make tahini yogurt, just ix tahini and Greek yogurt together.

Make sure to ad baking powder and baking soda within 20 minutes of making falafel.

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Homemade Falafel with Yogurt-Tahini via LittleFerraroKitchen.com

Comments

  1. Kristi says

    I’ve made falafel before, but your recipe is by far the best we’ve had……had them two day’s in a row. They were a total hit with all eight of our children….even the littles. Thanks so much!

    • SamanthaSamantha says

      Hi Kristi!! That makes me SOOO happy…thank you so much!!! I am so thrilled you AND the kids enjoyed falafel!! Let me know if you have anymore recipe suggestions and thank you so much for following my blog!

  2. Paul says

    Superb! Just like the first falafel I had in Arabia 20 years ago, I’ve had trouble finding anything equally good ever since.
    Halving the quantities still gives more than enough for two. I served it the traditional way, with salad in an Egyptian flatbread “pita”. I din’t have any yoghurt so I put just a little tahina on it.

  3. Jess says

    Mine’s didn’t turn brown at all!!! And my oil was hOT!
    I had to add bread crumbs to the few I didn’t place at first and still turned to mush on the frying pan. I am so disappointed :(

    • SamanthaSamantha says

      Hi jess! So sorry it didn’t work out! How many did you put it? The more you put in, the lower your oil temperature will get, that is why I recommend just putting in a few at a time. Did you test the oil and did it sizzle? If it sizzled, then your falafel should have browned up nicely. Hope you try it again and let me know if you have any more questions! Thanks!

      • Jess says

        Yes my oil sizzled- I put 3 at a time.
        Everything just mushed over the oil :(
        I’m gonna try again next week, but this time I’ll pass it over egg yolks , flour & bread crumbs and leave overnight. My stepdad is Lebanese, he told me to try it that way, we’ll see.

        • SamanthaSamantha says

          Hmm..gosh I wish I was there to see it..lol I am also wondering..did you use dried chickpeas or canned? The mixture is more of a “dryer” consistency since all it has is the ground beans, herbs and spices! I have never had falafel with egg..so I have no idea how it will come out. Please let me know! Thanks Jess!

          • Jess says

            I use canned!
            Maybe that was it? That’s why it May have been so mushy ….I’ll try it next week with dried ones. Thanks so much for your replies!

          • SamanthaSamantha says

            Yes I believe that is why..Ok..see falafel is the ONLY recipe where you use dried chickpeas without cooking them first. See other recipes, like hummus you need to cook them first so it becomes creamy, like canned, which are cooked. Buy dried beans and soak over night..this helps expand them. You must soak them overnight! You’ll see them expand. Then pulse in food processor and follow rest of instructions. I think we solved the mystery :)

    • says

      @Jess : I know its late, but FYI: If you are using canned beans, you can skip the first step (soaking the beans overnight).

      @Samantha : very nice preparation and photographs. Loves your webspace. You have got a new follower from India.
      Kerala Recipes recently posted..Summer Ragi ShotsMy Profile

  4. says

    Samantha, I adore falafel and enjoyed it at a couple of LA eateries back in the day. Haven’t quite found a place in the north that grabs me, but this recipe, by all accounts, looks to hit the mark. Pinned for a trial in the kitchen soon!

  5. Tom says

    One of the most enjoyable recipes I’ve ever made and eaten! This is definitely going to be one of those go-to recipes for me – full of flavour, beautifully crisp, and the yoghurty type sauces just work perfectly. I will be recommending this recipe to vegetarian and non-vegetarian friends alike. In fact, I’m going to make it for my mum the next time I see her! :) Thank you for the recipe!

    • SamanthaSamantha says

      You are wonderful Tom..thank you!! Making this for your mom makes my heart warm :) I am planning on a “non-traditional” black bean falafel in the near future as well!

      • Tom says

        Looking forward to it, and by a coincidence I bought some dried black beans recently!

        Making this recipe was also the first time I had ever deep fried, much easier than I thought! Will be eagerly following your site from now on, well done.

  6. says

    Good recipe, but it’s really temperature sensitive, and for that reason probably not good for a beginning cook.
    Falafel will sizzle in oil that’s not even close to hot enough, and then disintegrate into the oil because it didn’t brown fast enough to hold the falafel together long enough for it to cook. The oil really has to be at least 370 degrees F at the point you’re putting them in the pan.
    Best to use a cooking thermometer. Short of that, you should notice them start to brown almost right away when the oil is about the right temperature. As you see them turn brown you’ll probably want to turn the burner down to give the inside a chance to cook without burning the outside. They cook fast so be prepared to not multi-task. Ours were ready to turn over after about 3 minutes.

    • SamanthaSamantha says

      Thank you for your great tips Walker!! The sizzle test has always worked for me, but yes I do sometimes adjust once several falafel are in the pan since it lowers the temperature.

  7. Ashley says

    This recipe is absolutely brilliant. Having lived in the Middle East, I was taken right back with the taste of these delightful little falafels. I used canned beans and had no problems, but was sure to make sure my oil was very hot. Oddly, it only made 9 (the recipe says 24-30), and it only took about 1-2 minutes on each side. Not sure what happened there, but it doesn’t matter, because they were great!

    • SamanthaSamantha says

      Hi Ashley! So glad you enjoyed the falafel.that makes me soo happy! As for the amount, how many cans did you use? I used 2 cups of dried chickpeas which just about doubles in size after soaking = about 4 cups. Which is probably why I had so much to work with! Also, as with the cooking time, again, I used uncooked chickpeas and you used canned, which are cooked already. I am thinking that is why yours cooked much faster than mine, because your already went through a cooking process and mine needed longer. Does that make sense? lol So glad it worked out! I tried with black canned beans once and it was a disaster lol

      • Ashley says

        That makes sense! I only used one can which was around 450 ml (with water), so now that I think of it, that is probably why there wasn’t as much. :)

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