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Homemade falafel are delicious, golden brown and crispy on the outside, fluffy tender and soft inside. Plus, they're vegan, loaded with plant-based protein. |


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  • Author: Sam Hu | Ahead of Thyme
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 20 falafel balls
  • Diet: Vegan


Homemade falafel are delicious, golden brown and crispy on the outside,  fluffy tender and soft inside. Plus, they're vegan, loaded with plant-based protein. 


  • 1 + 1/2 cup dried chickpeas (raw), soaked overnight (not canned chickpeas)
  • 1 small onion, roughly chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1/2 cup fresh dill, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 1 teaspoon cardamom (or Italian seasoning)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3-4 cups vegetable oil (for frying)
  • 1/2 cup tahini sauce (for serving)


  1. Fill a large mixing bowl with water and add the dried chickpeas. Soak them overnight (8-10 hours or longer). Make sure all the chickpeas are completely submerged in water the whole time.
  2. Drain the chickpeas in a colander and transfer into a food processor.
  3. Add onions, garlic, parsley, cilantro, dill, cumin, cardamom, salt, and pepper. Pulse on an off for about 1 minute until a fine consistency is achieved.
  4. Transfer the falafel mixture into a large mixing bowl and stir in flour (optional) and baking soda until evenly combined. If the mixture is too wet, then adding flour will help keep the falafel from falling apart when being fried.
  5. Cover the bowl with plastic cling wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. This helps the mixture soak in all the flavor.
  6. Apply some water to your hands to prevent sticking and use your hands to shape the falafel into 1-inch balls (like meatballs). Alternatively, you can use an ice cream scoop to form into even rounds.
  7. Add oil into a cooking pot at least 2-inches deep. Heat over medium-high heat for 3-4 minutes until the oil is sizzling hot and shimmering. 
  8. Deep fry the falafel in batches (about 4-5 pieces each time) until golden brown, about 2-3 minutes. Turn the falafel occasionally to get an even golden crust on all sizes.
  9. Transfer the falafel to a paper towel lined plate to drain excess oil and let cool for 5 minutes before serving. Serve with tahini sauce and a sprinkle of chopped parsley on top. 


Tips for frying falafel: When frying foods, it’s essential to maintain the right temperature oil. Ensure your oil is fully preheated before introducing the falafel patties. Keep in mind that the cold patties will lower the oil temperature too.

Air fryer instructions: Preheat the air fryer to 375 F, about 3 minutes. Place falafel in a single layer in the air fryer basket and lightly spray with cooking oil to coat evenly. Air fry the falafel for 12-14 minutes until browned. Shake the basket halfway during cooking to brown evenly.

How to store: Before storing falafel, allow them to cool completely to room temperature on a paper towel-lined plate. Once cool, place in an airtight container and store in the refrigerator for up to 4-6 days.

How to reheat: For best results, reheat leftover falafel in a preheated 350F oven or air fryer for 10-20 minutes until warm and crisp. You can also microwave leftover falafel, but it will lose some of its crispiness.

  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Soaking Time: 8 hours
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Deep Fry
  • Cuisine: Middle Eastern