This Falafel Thermomix recipe makes delicious fresh homemade falafel perfect for a healthy, filling snack or lunch.
Making falafel from scratch is really pretty easy. You just need to be a bit organised, as it requires you to soak the chickpeas overnight and then rest the falafel mixture once it is made and before cooking.
But once you have made up a batch they can be frozen for later and they are then quick and easy to cook. I use this easy falafel recipe all the time and always have a batch of falafel in my freezer for when I need a healthy last-minute lunch.
What is Falafel?
Falafel is a traditional Middle Eastern snack food made of chickpeas or fava beans. Mixed with various herbs and spices, they are made into balls or patties and deep fried.
Typically this street food would be served in a pita bread with salad and pickled vegetables and drizzled with a tahini-based sauce.
Ingredients for Falafel
This Thermomix falafels recipe has quite a long ingredient list. However, most you should have in your store cupboard. Also you can play around with spices, and don't worry too much if you need to leave one out, although for me the ground cumin is a must.
Also you will notice that this is a green falafel recipe. I never used to make green falafel, but then I watched a program about Mamoun's Falafel restaurant in New York and they swear by lots of parsley in their falafel. And they are famous worldwide for their falafel, so I reckon they must be doing it right!
I then looked up the traditional falafel recipe in my Ottolenghi cookbook and he uses both parsley and cilantro/coriander, so I threw some extra of that in too.
If you prefer non-green falafel, you can easily cut back on the amount of parsley and coriander in this recipe.
These are the ingredients you will need:
- Chickpeas - first things first, you obviously need chickpeas to make falafel. Make sure you use DRIED chickpeas, NOT canned chickpeas. You won't get the right consistency with canned chickpeas. Okay for hummus; not good for falafel. Dried chickpeas need to be soaked overnight, so plan ahead.
- Herbs - fresh parsley and cilantro/coriander. As stated above, this not only gives a wonderful flavor but gives you the distinctive green color. You can tone this down if you prefer non-green falafel.
- Spices - ground cumin, coriander, cardamom, black pepper and cayenne pepper. If you don't have all these spices, don't worry too much but for me the cumin gives a wonderful flavor to these falafel so don't leave that out.
- Flour and baking powder
- Sesame seeds - these are optional but can look nice and give some extra crunch to the outside. For the batch of falafel on this page, I did some of each so you can see the difference.
How to Make Falafel from scratch
The first thing you need to do when making falafel at home is to soak the chickpeas.
To do this, put them in a large bowl and cover them with plenty of water - you want the water to be a good couple of inches above the level of the chickpeas to allow plenty of room for them to expand.
Leave them to soak overnight or for a minimum of 12 hours. Then drain and rinse them well before use.
Next, we just need to chop up the onion and garlic in the Thermomix, then add in all the other ingredients and mix it up.
To do this, mix it in 30 second bursts at speed 5 until you get the desired consistency. Usually this will take four or five goes. Give it a good scrape down the sides and stir with the spatula each time too.
You want to end up with a thick paste-like consistency but you still want plenty of texture to it - not like a hummus.
Now transfer the mixture to a bowl, cover it and refrigerate it for an hour or two.
When you are ready to make the falafel, either use a tablespoon or a cookie scoop to scoop up roughly 2 tablespoons of the mixture. My small cookie scoop is the perfect size for this.
Use wet hands to roll the mixture into balls, pressing gently to bind it together. The mixture should hold together well. If you are using sesame seeds, roll the balls in the seeds until they are coated.
If you are going to freeze the falafel, now is the time to pop them in the freezer.
How to Cook Falafel
I definitely recommend frying falafel. You can bake them in the oven, but I have never had much success with this. I find them too dry and you don't get the nice crunchy outside on them.
You need to add enough oil to your skillet so that it reaches half way up the falafel balls when added. This means you only need to turn the falafel once when frying.
The falafel should take around 2-3 minutes each side to cook. I recommend doing a test one first to check that your oil is at the right temperature before adding the rest.
Once they are golden-dark brown on the outside, transfer them to a bowl lined with paper towels. You can eat them warm or later at room temperature.
Can you freeze Falafel?
Yes you can - Falafel freezes very well. After you formed the falafel balls, place them on a tray in the freezer. Once they are frozen you can transfer them to a freezer bag to store for up to 3 months.
To cook them, no need to defrost. Just heat the oil and cook from frozen. This makes them ideal for a quick and easy last minute snack or meal.
What to serve with Falafels
You can't beat falafel with pita and my favorite way to eat it is in a homemade pita bread with some salad, some tzatziki and a drizzle of tahini and parsley sauce. Just perfect!
We also eat falafel salad bowls, or falafel, hummus and roasted vegetable wraps are delicious too.
They are also great for finger food at picnics and for putting in lunch boxes.
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- 500g dried chickpeas
- 1 small onion
- 4 cloves garlic
- 25g fresh parsley, leaves only
- 10g fresh cilantro (coriander)
- 2 tbsp plain flour
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp ground coriander
- 1/2 tsp ground cardamom
- 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
- 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1 tsp baking powder
- sesame seeds for rolling (optional)
- oil for frying
- Peel and quarter the onion and add to the Thermomix bowl with the peeled garlic cloves. Chop for 5 seconds / speed 5.
- Add all the other ingredients (see note) to the Thermomix.
- Mix for 30 seconds / speed 5. Scrape, stir and repeat four times until you have the correct consistency. You want it to be a rough paste, still with some texture.
- Transfer to a bowl, cover and refrigerate for a minimum of 1 hour.
- When ready to make the falafels, use a cookie scoop or spoon to portion 2 tablespoons of mixture. Use wet hands to form balls. Roll in sesame seeds, if desired.
- Set aside until ready to cook.
- Heat the oil in a large skillet until hot. You want the oil to be deep enough to cover half the falafel, so you only need to turn it once, so the amount you use will depend on the size of your skillet and your falafel.
- Fry for around 2-3 minutes each side until a deep brown color.
If you are using a TM31, you will need to mix this falafel mix in batches as it will be too much for the bowl.
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 31Total Fat: 1gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 80mgCarbohydrates: 5gFiber: 1gSugar: 1gProtein: 2g