These homemade vegetarian falafel balls are packed with flavor and make a perfect appetizer in just a few simple steps.
As I shared last week ( <- me with a huge falafel sandwich!), I had enjoyed the best falafel standing on the sidewalk of a busy Parisian street earlier this year. Ever since then, I’ve been dreaming about those crispy on the outside, light and fluffy inside falafel balls.
These vegetarian chickpea balls are a traditional Middle Eastern dish that is wildly popular in Paris, and here in the states too. They are packed with flavor and so filling!
Just as soon as we came back home from Europe, I started experimenting various methods to make the best falafels.
To me, the best falafels are light and fluffy on the inside with beautiful golden crispy crust. And they have to be perfectly round!! 🙂 Just kidding, but I prefer them round. They are cuter that way, right?
I was beyond happy when I finally nailed the recipe. And here I am to share it with you. Ready?
I tried making falafels with hummus, thinking it’ll be a nice shortcut. They turned out good, but they were a bit too dense and heavy to my liking.
Canned chickpeas were my best bet, quick and effortless. It’s surprisingly easy to make these balls, but one common issue is they tend to fall apart during frying. To avoid this issue, simply keep an eye on the temperature of the oil. It can’t go below 350°F, and you’ll be good to go.
Of course, it’s best to serve them right away, but they stay crispy for up to an hour or so.
Sure, you can serve them stuffed in warm pita bread with lettuce, tomato, and cucumbers and loaded with sauce. But here, I’m serving mine as an appetizer with hummus on the side.
As a die-hard meat-lover, I was surprised how hard I fell for this vegetarian dish. Not surprised though, falafels are protein-rich, incredibly filling and, most importantly, absolutely delicious!
I hope you give these babies a try, they will totally win you over in no time.
- 1 can 15oz/425gr chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- ½ cup tightly packed parsley
- 2-3 medium garlic cloves
- 2 tablespoons 16gr all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- ½ teaspoon chili powder
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- Oil for frying
- Hummus for serving if desired
- In a food processor, place all the ingredients, except for frying oil.
- Pulse the mixture until it’s nice and smooth.
- Using a medium cookie scoop, divide the mixture into 1-inch balls.
- Roll each ball between your palms to smooth out.
- Heat the oil (at least 2 inches deep) to 350°F (175°C).
- Fry the falafel balls until nice and golden brown, 6-8 balls at a time, about 3 minutes.
- Make sure the oil temperature doesn’t drop below 350°F (175°C), or falafel balls will fall apart.
- Remove the balls onto a baking sheet lined with paper towel and cooling rack, so that they stay crispy longer.