Falafel
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Falafel: This recipe makes them perfect!

I don't even know where to start here... When we came to Germany as refugees from Lebanon in 1984, falafel (these delicious vegan meatballs made from chickpeas) were largely unknown - or at least not really widely available.

I was 3 years old at the time and I can hardly remember that time. My parents told me that we were stranded at the airport in Berlin at that time and just went on by train. My parents, who didn't speak a word of German at the time, just lifted their passports at the ticket check and said "Asylum?".

When we were allowed to move from the refugee home to our first own flat - we lived in a small village in the Lüneburg Heath - my parents began to make friends with the villagers. And so I did too - in kindergarten.

While my parents unfortunately struggled a bit with the language, I soon spoke German better than Arabic! Even my dreams and thoughts were in German - my parents thought it was crazy, but good. But we still speak Arabic in the family.

Back to the falafel. On my birthdays - or those of my siblings - my parents always liked to invite the neighbours and their children as well as the classmates. And now guess what they always had for dinner?! That's right, falafel!

Falafel as a meatball with hummus or baba ghanoush. Rolled into a wrap with tahini sauce (or rather, a wrapped bride). With ketchup, with mayo, mustard, plain or - disgustingly - dipped in cola... Yes, kids try funny things....

All right, there was cake too, of course 😉

You quickly get to know a foreign culture through its cuisine. My parents always made the greatest effort to share our (food) culture with their friends from the village, and we in turn took part in the village life with curiosity.

In every kitchen there is a real star - for us - but also for our Israeli or Syrian neighbours - it is the falafel. And in the meantime, falafel are known everywhere and enjoy extreme popularity.

So the vegan meatballs played a big part in our integration - a very tasty part, in fact.

I would also like to thank our former neighbours from the village of Wieren for their openness, help and warm-heartedness!


Falafel
Print recipe
Preparation time 30 Min.
Preparation time 30 Min.
You should soak the chickpeas for at least 12 hours! 12 Stdn.
Working time 13 Stdn.
Servings 20 Falafel

Ingredients

  • 250 g dried chickpeas1
  • 2 Garlic cloves
  • 1 Onion
  • 1 small bunch Coriander
  • 1 bunch flat leaf parsley
  • 2 TSP Cumin (cumin)
  • 1 TSP Coriander seeds ground
  • 1 TSP Salt
  • Oil for frying

Preparation

  • Soak the chickpeas in water overnight. (At least 12 hours)
  • Peel the onion and garlic. Cut the onion into quarters.
  • Strain the chickpeas in a sieve.
  • Blend the chickpeas with the garlic, onion, coriander (fresh and ground), parsley, cumin and salt in a powerful blender until homogeneous. To avoid overloading your food processor, you can also produce the mixture in 2 - 4 parts and mix by hand afterwards.
  • Transfer the mixture to a bowl, flatten and place in the fridge for approx. 1 hour to infuse.
  • Heat the deep fryer or a pot with the oil.
  • Now shape the mixture with a falafel scoop and place it in the hot oil. If you don't have a portioner, you can shape the mixture with spoons or your hands. The taste remains the same 🙂
  • Fry the falafel for approx. 3 minutes until golden brown.

Notes

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If you liked the recipe, I am very happy about a small tip. You are helping me to bring more great recipes to the blog. Thank you so much 🙂Donate here: continue to Paypal

You can find all the information about chickpeas in the chickpea guide. Falafel are also available as croutons for salads.

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34 comments

  1. If there is one positive thing to take away from the war in Lebanon and your escape back then, it is that you share these great recipes from your home country and from your mother.
    The falafel looks great!
    People like you and your family enrich our society immensely!

    1. Hello Chris! Thank you so much for your compliment, I am really touched by your words and I am happy that you like the blog and the idea behind it so much. That motivates me enormously. Thank you again. Best regards, Rafik

  2. Hello Rafik,
    I'm just so happy about finding the recipe! I have one small question though - when I soak chickpeas for hummus, they are still very firm and need to be cooked. Your blender manages to chop these chickpeas, right? Out of fear for the blender, I'd rather ask again 😉 I don't know.

    1. Hey Elisa,
      and I'm glad that you found my blog 🙂
      For hummus, the chickpeas definitely need to be cooked and nice and soft. For falafel, I would only use soaked chickpeas (not cooked) and grind them in the blender. My blender does this without any problems. However, a blender might have problems with the soaked chickpeas.

      Have fun with the "falafeln" 😉
      Kind regards
      Rafik

  3. Hello Rafik,
    thank you for the block and the very tasty recipes. I found it when I was looking for batata harra, which I always eat in a Lebanese restaurant. And they really are just as delicious....
    Now for the falafel. Do you think you can prepare the mixture a day in advance? I want to make them for Easter brunch and it would save time if you only have to fry them in the morning.
    Many greetings
    Steffi

    1. Hello Stefanie,
      Thank you very much for your great feedback. I'm very pleased that you like it here 🙂 .
      You can definitely prepare the falafel the night before and put it in the fridge overnight. That's no problem at all.
      Have a delicious easter brunch 🙂
      Best wishes
      Rafik

  4. Hello Rafik,
    I just found your blog by chance. Today I tried a recipe for the second time that is identical to yours, except that there was breadcrumbs involved. Unfortunately, it just doesn't work for me, they just fall apart. However, I used a vegetable fat for frying. Do you have any idea what the problem could be? In my opinion, the consistency of the mass was completely okay, they could also be formed well.
    Best regards, Barbara

    1. Hello Barbara,
      welcome to the blog 🙂

      Did you use baking powder or soda by any chance? If so, that could be the reason. The falafel will rise and fall apart during frying.
      Are you using dried chickpeas that have been soaked overnight or canned chickpeas? If you use canned chickpeas, they are already cooked and not really suitable for falafel. The only thing that helps is to use chickpea flour.
      Try my recipe. So far it has always worked 🙂

      Kind regards
      Rafik

  5. 5 stars
    I love falafel and this recipe is just a dream! I love your writing!

    1. Lauraaa,

      Thank you very much! I am very happy about your praise! Thank you!

      Kind regards
      Rafik

  6. 5 stars
    I am super excited about your falafel. The best recipe ever. My family was blown away.
    I had made falafel many times before, but it always went wrong. Finally I know that the chickpeas are not cooked. Thank you.
    Thank you so much for sharing your recipes with us. A really beautiful and emotional blog,

    Kind regards
    Brigitte

    1. Hello dear Brigitte,

      Thank you so much for your great and lovely feedback. I am really happy that you and your family enjoy the falafel so much 🙂

      Kind regards
      Rafik

  7. Hello Rafik,
    Thank you very much for the wonderful recipes - your blog now elicits a comment from me 😉
    I made falafel yesterday for the first time (I've always used the pre-cooked peas from the can)!
    Apart from that, I had your fattoush, baba ganoush and hummus yesterday. With the remaining chickpeas, I'll probably try the salad with beetroot and the roasted snack today - perfect quarantine pastime 🙂
    Kind regards
    Agnes

    1. Hey Agnes,
      Thank you so much for your great feedback. It all sounds like a really good feast 🙂 I wish you lots of fun trying it out.
      I hope you have lots of fun trying it out. Stay healthy and cheerful!

      Kind regards
      Rafik

  8. Today, after several attempts, the falafel disappeared into thin air. A super recipe. Saved it immediately and declared it THE recipe. Never again another. Thank you very much and stay healthy 😊. Love, Maggy

    1. Hello Maggy,

      Thank you very much for your great feedback! Mega good! I'm very happy that everything went well.
      Stay healthy and cheerful and see you hopefully very soon 🙂

      Kind regards
      Rafik

  9. Wow, the falafel look great. I would love to serve them for dinner tonight. Do you think soaking them for 8 hours would be enough? And can I make them in the oven instead of deep frying them? Thank you very much for your answer

    1. Hello Julia,
      thank you so much 🙂 I would definitely not soak the chickpeas for a shorter time.
      I definitely wouldn't soak the chickpeas for a shorter time. Otherwise the falafel become really dry and hard. That doesn't taste so good. You can try to add water to the dough if you only let them soak for 8 hours. But I have never tried that myself. Since fat is a great flavour carrier, I would not prepare the falafel in the oven. I'm sure it would work somehow, but even then they will probably be rather dry and not as nice and crispy. I hope I could help you 🙂

      Kind regards
      Rafik

  10. Dear Rafik
    It actually worked with just under 8 hours of soaking and with a little addition of water;-) Thank you so much for the best falafel I have ever eaten! I had your fantastic Baba Ganush with it!
    Best regards
    Julia

    1. Hello Julia,
      mega! I'm so glad that everything worked out and that you enjoyed it 🙂

      Kind regards
      Rafik

  11. 5 stars
    Hello Rafik,

    I think your blog is great. Thank you for it and for the recipe.
    I think your story is very beautiful. I myself came to Germany from Poland 21 years ago, when I was 19. That's why I know the difficult initial time.
    I hope your parents are doing well too.

    I have a few questions and would be very grateful if you could find the time to answer them.

    I'll be making your falafel on Sunday. I'd like to bake them in the oil tomorrow and then heat them up again in the oven on Sunday before dinner.
    Will they still be crispy at all? Will they still taste like freshly made?
    Can I do the same with thin strips of chicken in a sesame breading?

    I'm going to serve the falafel in wraps, I want to make those on their own too. Or I'll make a falafel bowl, or both.I usually make too much food ;),
    Oh dear, I need lots more recipes, for the salads, dips, etc.
    I'll have a look around your blog, maybe you'll have some goodies to go with them 🙂

    I wish you all the best for the future.
    Kind regards
    Anna

    1. Hi Anna,
      Thank you so much for your great feedback 🙂 .
      I would indeed always prepare falafel directly fresh. I wouldn't deep-fry them the day before because they won't be crispy the next day. But you can prepare the falafel dough the day before. That way you only have to fry them on Sunday.
      I usually make too much food too. I can't help it 😀
      I'm sure you'll find some more on the blog. I recommend tahini sauce and hummus as a dip with the falafel. Taboulé is also perfect with falafel if you want to make a bowl.

      I hope I could help you 🙂

      Kind regards
      Rafik

      1. 5 stars
        Hello Liber Refik,
        Your blog is so great! I discovered you on Insta and have been on your blog for 2 hours now at 01:00 at night 😅
        But what I wanted to say, I was in Palestine/Jerusalem last year and I also saw a buffet where falaffels were sold, but somehow I never got around to buying and tasting them 🥺 It's still on my mind. Since then I've been looking for falaffel recipes and when I scrolled down your page, I kept praying that a falaffel recipe would come along 😂 Of course there are really many and varied recipes at the moment, but I'm not really interested in falaffel dough, but rather in what an original falaffel wrap or pita bread looks like, what all goes into it, what sauces or dips you add. Because I somehow saw that there was a white (I think tahini sauce) and a red sauce ama didn't find the right one somehow 😅
        I'm sorry, it really has become a long text, what you can write about a falaffel 😂
        Kind regards

        1. Hi Mihriban,
          wow!! Up so late? 😀 That's a really great compliment 🙂 You really went to Jerusalem and didn't get to try falafel?
          You were really in Jerusalem and didn't manage to try falafel? That's really sad. I'm sure you tried lots of other delicacies though, right?
          I've already published how to make a falafel wrap here on the blog. But it's time to dig out the article again and place it a little more prominently 🙂 I hope you continue to have fun on the road.
          I wish you lots of fun on the blog - and of course a good appetite 🙂

          Kind regards
          Rafik

  12. Hello Rafik,
    I read your falafel recipe with great interest. I came across it by chance while looking for just such a recipe. I have tried other recipes, all nothing, but yours sounds very good. I'm going to try it soon.
    I think it's great that there are people like you, it makes our culture all the more diverse and also better. Thank you for that.

    1. Hello Hubert,
      Thank you very much for your great feedback. I wish you a lot of fun while cooking and of course a good hunger.

      Many greetings
      Rafik

  13. 5 stars
    I love love love Lebanese food, all these components coming together,just heavenly.... Thanks to your blog, I was inspired for a Lebanese evening, with many delicious dishes♥️ All these great posts on your recipes, you can really feel the love that goes into them.

    1. Hello Maida,
      Thank you very much for your great feedback. I am really happy that you like it on my blog 🙂

      Kind regards
      Rafik

  14. Hello Rafik,

    another super recipe!.. I made it 2 days ago with my son for his birthday party in double quantity and the falafel were really very tasty! Only the portion-white Zerkelineren was very tedious in our blender. Can you recommend a blender/food processor that does this well in such quantities?

    1. Hey Christoph,
      Thank you very much for your great feedback. I'm very pleased that you liked it 🙂 Actually, I now use a really good hand blender (Braun MQ9).
      In fact, I now use a really good hand blender (MQ9) from Braun, which quickly blends the chickpeas and herbs into a dough.

      Kind regards
      Rafik

  15. Thank you for the great recipe. The falafel were as I know them from my childhood. My dad was from Palestine and my mom from Germany, my dad liked to cook for us when he had time.

    1. Hello Marjam,
      thank you so much for your great feedback. I am very happy that the falafel remind you of your childhood 🙂
      Continue to enjoy your meal 🙂

      Kind regards
      Rafik

  16. HI Rafik, I am wondering if it would work to bake the falafel rather than fry them? I have seen many recipes where the falafel is baked, and while I know that is not the traditional way, it is healthier... 🙂 So I'd like to try it... Thank you

    1. Hey Dalia, that's a good question and one I've been asking myself a lot lately too. I wanted to develop and try the recipe for this also as a variant from the oven or Airfryer. So there will be an expanded recipe here soon. But what I can already give you: It can help to add oil already in the falafel dough, so that the falafel become crispy in the oven.

      Kind regards
      Rafik

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