Authentic Falafel Recipe

4.99 from 56 votes
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Learn how to make the best authentic falafel recipe using chickpeas, split broad beans, herbs, and spices. I’ve included easy wrapping tips and other ways to serve falafel.

Homemade falafel split in two

This authentic falafel is one of my childhood favorite Lebanese recipes. Now popular around the world, these little fried balls originate in the Middle East and are made from a base of chickpeas, broad beans (otherwise called fava beans), and a mix of onions, herbs, and spices. I love cooking them the traditional way, too—frying them in oil. They become crisp outside with a moist interior, and when done right, they don’t absorb any excess oil.

Of course, my favorite way to eat them is as a traditional falafel wrap with chopped salad and homemade tahini dressing. So follow my top tips and easy, tried-and-tested method to make the best falafel patties and falafel wraps the whole family will enjoy!

A plate with homemade falafels

Watch this authentic falafel video

Ingredients

Ingredients for falafel mix

The falafels:

  • Split broad beans (fava beans) and chickpeas: for the best results, use dried ones that you soak overnight.
  • Fresh parsley and coriander
  • Onion and garlic
  • Salt and falafel spice, which consists of cumin, black pepper, ground coriander, cayenne pepper/chili pepper, and cinnamon (optional).
  • Baking powder: this makes the falafel light and fluffy.
  • Sunflower oil for frying.

For the falafel wrap: 

How to make authentic falafel

Make the falafel mix: Rinse the beans and chickpeas and then leave them to soak in plenty of cold water overnight. Keep in mind that they will double or even triple in size, so choose a large bowl. You can keep them soaking for up to 24 hours. 

When you are ready to proceed with the recipe, drain and rinse the soaked chickpeas and beans well. Then, blend all the falafel ingredients (except the baking powder) in a food processor/blender until you obtain a smooth, uniform mixture of a beautiful green color. Place the bowl in the fridge to allow the mix to chill (15-30 minutes).

You can prepare the mixture in advance and store it covered in the fridge for up to 4 days!

When you are ready to fry the falafels, add the baking powder to the mix and incorporate well. Adding it at the last moment results in light and fluffy falafel.

Steps for making falafel mix

Fry in oil: Heat a few inches of sunflower oil in a saucepan over medium-high heat until it bubbles softly. Using a falafel scoop or a spoon/fork (or even just your hands), form the falafel balls/patties. Carefully dip them in the hot oil to deep fry them. Work in batches so you don’t overcrowd the pan.

After 3-4 minutes, carefully turn them over. The falafels are ready when they become golden-brown in color. Lay them on a piece of paper towel to drain off any excess cooking oil, although there shouldn’t be much!

Frying falafel in oil

To make the wraps: Prepare the tahini sauce by mixing all the dip ingredients in a small bowl and set it aside. Chop your veggies so they are ready for the wraps. I like to create a variety of textures so I love to grate/julienne my cucumber, roughly chop lettuce and tomatoes and thinly slice the onion.

Open a traditional pita bread and place 3 falafel balls on it. Press them with your fingers so they become flatter. Arrange the veggies and add some tahini dressing. You can also drizzle a little extra lemon juice. Roll the bread to close the wrap and enjoy your authentic falafel sandwich!

Steps for making falafel wrap

Falafel secrets

  • Always start with dried chickpeas soaked overnight. Skip the canned ones.
  • Chill your mix before shaping. This does wonders for flavor and makes shaping a breeze. You can even do this a day ahead.
  • Remember the baking powder. This is key to that fluffy texture, but add it just before frying.
  • Don’t let your falafels get cozy while frying. A little room prevents sticking and allows for even cooking.
  • Don’t skip the tahini sauce in your wrap. For an extra burst of flavor, generously add fresh herbs, tomatoes, and pickles.
  • Make a big batch to keep some in the freezer. You’ll thank yourself later.

Other ways to serve falafel

Beyond the classic falafel wrap, here are some delicious serving options:

Falafel wraps topped with tahini sauce

If you try this authentic falafel recipe, let me know how it goes in the comments below. I’d appreciate a recipe card rating and would love to see your recipe recreations – tag me on Instagram @Alphafoodie!

Authentic Falafel Recipe

4.99 from 56 votes
By: Samira
Learn how to make the best authentic falafel recipe using chickpeas, split broad beans, herbs, and spices. I've also included easy wrapping tips.
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 6

Equipment

Ingredients 
 

For the falafel

  • 2 cups split broad beans
  • 1 cup chickpeas
  • 1 cup parsley
  • 1 cup cilantro
  • 1 onion medium
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1.5 Tbsp falafel spice OR use: 1 tsp cumin, 1 tsp ground black pepper, 1 tsp ground coriander, 1 tsp cayenne pepper, 1/8 tsp cinnamon (optional)
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 Tbsp baking powder used only before frying
  • 4-5 cups sunflower oil for frying enough to fill up your saucepan

For the wraps

  • pita bread as needed
  • pink pickles
  • tomatoes
  • cucumbers
  • tahini dressing see below
  • onion

Tahini dressing

  • 1 cup yogurt
  • 1/2 cup tahini
  • 2 Tbsp lemon juice from 1/2 lemon
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1/8 tsp cumin powder
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1 Tbsp filtered water in case the dressing is too thick

Instructions 

  • Rinse the beans and chickpeas. Place them in a large bowl with plenty of cold water and leave them to soak overnight (up to 24 hours).
    Then drain and rinse well again.
  • In a food processor, blend all the falafel ingredients (except the baking powder) until you obtain a smooth green mixture.
    Place the bowl in the fridge to allow the mix to chill (15-30 minutes).
  • When you are ready to fry the falafels, add the baking powder to the mix and incorporate well.
  • Heat a few inches of sunflower oil in a saucepan over medium-high heat until it bubbles softly (350°F/180°C).
  • Form the falafel balls/patties using a falafel scoop or a spoon/fork (or even just your hands). Use about 1.5-2 tablespoons of mixture per patty.
  • Carefully dip the patties in the hot oil. Work in batches to avoid overcrowding the pan. After 3-4 minutes, carefully turn them over.
  • Lay the fried falafel on a piece of paper towel to drain off any excess cooking oil. They are ready to enjoy!

To make falafel wraps

  • Prepare the tahini dressing by mixing all the dip ingredients in a small bowl. Chop the vegetables.
  • Open a pita bread and place 3 falafel balls on it. Press them with your fingers so they become flatter. Arrange the veggies and add some tahini dressing. Roll the bread to close the wrap and enjoy your authentic falafel sandwich!

Video

Notes

You can prepare the falafel mixture in advance and store it covered in the fridge for up to 4 days! Once you are ready to fry, take it out of the fridge and add the baking powder.
You can also freeze the mixture for up to 3 months. Thaw in the fridge overnight.
Store the cooked falafel in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3-4 days.
Check the blog post for more tips and serving suggestions.
Course: Main
Cuisine: Lebanese
Freezer friendly: 3 Months
Shelf life: 3-4 Days

Nutrition

Serving: 4falafels, Calories: 212kcal, Carbohydrates: 37g, Protein: 15g, Fat: 1g, Saturated Fat: 0.2g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 0.3g, Sodium: 405mg, Potassium: 680mg, Fiber: 15g, Sugar: 4g, Vitamin A: 1.069IU, Vitamin C: 17mg, Calcium: 203mg, Iron: 5mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

4.99 from 56 votes (45 ratings without comment)

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57 Comments

  1. June says:

    Great recipe..will share

    1. Support @ Alphafoodie says:

      Thank you so much, June!

  2. Mary Logue says:

    Where are the oven baking instructions? You said that was a bonus but I don’t see it!

  3. Diane says:

    5 stars
    I’m just wondering how much parsely and cilantro to add. Whole bunches?

    1. Support @ Alphafoodie says:

      Hi Diane,
      You need one cup of each.

  4. Zouhair says:

    5 stars
    congratulation..Stunning recipe..Main Advantage is having Edamame “fave”” Beans which make Falafel Healthier..suggest to add Sumac Grounded over Falafel immediately after Frying…another advantage is not to use as you said Canned ingredients…I prefer to Have sandwich using Flat Tannour Bread like in alNa’aes..Bekeia ..will share recipe on all my social media ,Zouhair

    1. Support @ Alphafoodie says:

      Thank you for your comment!

  5. chaNL says:

    5 stars
    thanks so much Samira, i never used a mix of fava and chick pea before but i will try your well explained recipe soon . Love all your ideas

    1. Support @ Alphafoodie says:

      Thank you for your comment. I hope you like it with the fava beans. Let me know how it goes 🙂

  6. John K. says:

    5 stars
    This is a little different from the recipe in your cookbook. I like the addition of using fava beans along with the chickpeas. Both recipes are outstanding, I like having an option to slightly change things up every now and then. Thank you for sharing.
    P.S. The cookbook is a great addition to my kitchen library, highly recommended.

    1. Support @ Alphafoodie says:

      Awww, thank you so much, John! So happy you liked the recipe and the cookbook! <3

  7. Christine says:

    5 stars
    I love hommus so used tahini & hommus yummy so tasty

    1. Support @ Alphafoodie says:

      Thanks for your comment, Christine. Glad you enjoyed the recipe 🙂