Falafel

Tested & Perfected Recipes

Making homemade falafel is as easy as making meatballs. The secret is to avoid using canned chickpeas.

A popular vegetarian street food eaten throughout the Middle East, falafel are deep-fried patties made from ground chickpeas (or fava beans), herbs, and spices. They are traditionally stuffed into a pita or served as part of a mezze platter with Israeli salad, hummus, baba ganoush, tahini sauce, and yogurt sauce.

Making falafel at home may seem complicated, but that’s not the case at all! It’s as easy as making meatballs, and you don’t even have to deep-fry. The key is to use avoid using canned chickpeas. Many recipes call for them — and, believe me, I see their appeal — but I can tell you from experience that they don’t work (unless you want a mushy disaster on your hands). The best falafel is made with dried chickpeas that have been soaked but not cooked. If you don’t have time to soak chickpeas overnight, you can use the quick-soak method, which only takes about an hour.

What You’ll need to make falafel

ingredients for falafel

Step-By-Step Instructions

Begin by soaking the chickpeas: Put the chickpeas in a large bowl and cover with water by about 4 inches. Soak for 24 hours, adding more water as necessary to keep the chickpeas covered (they will double or triple in size).

Alternatively, if you’re short on time, you can use the quick-soak method: place the beans in a pot and cover with water by about three inches; bring to a rolling boil and boil for five minutes, then remove the pan from the heat and let stand for one hour.

soaking chickpeas

Drain the chickpeas.

draining the chickpeas Add the drained chickpeas to a food processor along with the scallions, garlic, herbs, salt, pepper, and spices.

chickpeas and other ingredients for falafel in food processor

Process until the chickpeas are finely minced, scraping the bowl as necessary, 1 to 2 minutes. The mixture won’t be totally uniform; you want a slightly nubby texture but it should hold together when you pinch it between two fingers.

nubby ground chickpea mixture

Form the mixture into patties.

falafel mixture formed into patties

Heat about 1/4-inch of oil in a nonstick sauté pan over medium heat. Pan-fry the falafel in batches, flipping once, until golden brown all over, 3 to 5 minutes total. (Before frying your first batch of falafel, you can ensure the oil is the right temperature by frying one patty in the center of the pan. If you notice that the outside of the patty is browning before a total cook time of 3 to 5 minutes, reduce the heat a bit.)

pan-frying the falafel patties

Drain on paper towels.

draining falafel patties on paper towels

Serve warm with tahini or yogurt sauce. If you have leftover cooked falafel, you can refrigerate it for up to 3 days; reheat in a 325-degree oven for 10 to 15 minutes, or until heated through.

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Falafel

Making homemade falafel is as easy as making meatballs. The secret is to avoid using canned chickpeas.

Servings: 20 to 24 falafel
Total Time: 30 Minutes, plus 1 hour to quick-soak the chickpeas

Ingredients

  • 2 cups dried chickpeas, rinsed and picked over
  • 8 scallions, light and dark green parts, from 1 bunch, coarsely chopped
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley leaves
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves
  • 4 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • Vegetable oil, for frying

Instructions

  1. Begin by soaking the chickpeas: Put the chickpeas in a large bowl and cover with water by about 4 inches. Soak for 24 hours, adding more water if necessary to keep the chickpeas covered, as they will double in size. (Alternatively, if you're short on time, you can use the quick-soak method: place the beans in a pot and cover with water by about three inches; bring to a rolling boil and boil for five minutes, then remove the pan from the heat and let stand for one hour.)
  2. Drain the chickpeas and place in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade. Add all of the other ingredients except for the oil and process until the chickpeas are finely minced, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary, 1 to 2 minutes. The mixture shouldn't be completely uniform -- you want a slightly nubby texture -- but you'll need to process it enough so that it is moistened and binds together.
  3. Form heaping tablespoonfuls of the mixture into patties about 1/2 inch thick and 1-1/2 inches wide.
  4. Heat 1/4-inch of oil in a large nonstick sauté pan over medium heat. When the oil is hot and shimmering, add half of the falafel to the pan (the falafel should sizzle immediately when you drop it in the oil; if it doesn't, wait another minute or two for the oil to heat up.) When the first side is golden, flip and cook a few minutes more until golden all over. The total cook time should be 3 to 5 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the falafel to a paper towel-lined plate to drain. Cook the second batch, then serve warm or room temperature with tahini sauce or yogurt sauce.

Pair with

Gluten-Free Adaptable Note

To the best of my knowledge, all of the ingredients used in this recipe are gluten-free or widely available in gluten-free versions. There is hidden gluten in many foods; if you're following a gluten-free diet or cooking for someone with gluten allergies, always read the labels of your ingredients to verify that they are gluten-free.

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Reviews & Comments

  • We made so many of your recipes and they were all amazing, but this one is the exception for us. First we tried to fry the patties but they were getting cooked instead of fried so we trashed them. Second batch we put in the oven instead and this was a little bit better but still tasteless.

    • — Catherine on November 29, 2020
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  • Made the falafel last night. Great hit and they stayed perfectly together. Thanks

    • — Andrea Clifford Noren on October 28, 2020
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  • I love this recipe! It’s so ridiculously easy and even my very picky two year old devours it and says “YUMMY!” whenever I make it.

    • — Valerie Potter on October 19, 2020
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  • Hi Jen,

    How long would the soaked chickpeas keep in the fridge? Do you suggest draining them or keeping it in water and put in fridge?

    Thanks

    • — Janelle on October 11, 2020
    • Reply
    • I’d say they’d last 2 – 3 days in the fridge (and I would drain them before refrigerating). Hope that helps!

      • — Jenn on October 14, 2020
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  • Hi Jen,

    Would these work in an air fryer?
    Thanks,
    Janelle

    • — Janelle on October 10, 2020
    • Reply
    • Hi Janelle, I don’t have an air fryer I don’t know much about using one so it’s hard to say for sure – I’m sorry! You may find these tips helpful in converting traditional recipes to air fryer versions. Hope that helps at least a bit!

      • — Jenn on October 12, 2020
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    • Absolutely I use the air fryer and oven all the time with these. I put the air fryer on 380 for approximately 20 to 30 mins. Spray first with a bit of olive oil. Turn Galway through and take out when nice and brown.

      • — Ricky on November 28, 2020
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  • Loved this recipe, thank you! I wonder if people who are having bad luck are cooking their chickpeas. I almost did.

    • — Anne on October 2, 2020
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  • Hi Jenn, Thank you for all of your amazing recipes. I agree with other followers that this is the most reliable food blog to find consistently outstanding recipes. I attempted your falafel recipe about a month ago and agree with other comments that the flavour is outstanding. Unfortunately however I also had trouble with the patties falling apart. I would like to try this recipe again and was wondering if you had found any solutions. I was using a cast iron pan and avacodo oil on high heat. Thank you!

    • — Celeste on September 12, 2020
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    • Hi Celeste, I wish I could give you some guidance about how to keep the falafel from falling apart but I’ve made it multiple times without being able to duplicate the problem that some people have (and have done a lot of research to try to determine what tweaks I can make, but I’ve come up empty-handed) — I’m sorry, but I’ll keep at it! (I did remove the recipe from the blog for a period of time because of the issues, but a number of people requested I put it back. It’s definitely a head-scratcher for me that it’s a problem for some but not others!!

      • — Jenn on September 13, 2020
      • Reply
      • I think the problem is they’re not grounding it down enough it should almost be like a paste. Before taking out of the food processor take a bit in your hands and press together to see if it holds it’s shape. Hope that’s helpful

        • — Ricky on November 28, 2020
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  • I am opposed to frying, do you have any suggestions for baking?

    • — diana hubbardreplyuk on August 14, 2020
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    • Hi Diana, You’ll get the best result by frying the falafel, but if you’d like to bake them, coat a baking sheet with a few Tbsp. of oil and bake them in a 375-degree oven for 10 – 15 minutes per side, or until golden.

      • — Jenn on August 15, 2020
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  • I have been following you and making your recipes for over 10 years. This is the first time nothing worked. I tried it 3 times. I love all your recipes, but I too followed the recipe exactly, when I put them in oil they fell apart and did not cook, I made sure the oil was hot, Nothing worked, Each time I made them the same thing happened. Any suggestions why?

    • — Lori Schuman on July 16, 2020
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    • Hi Lori, I’m sorry you had a problem with these (3x)! You’re not the only person to experience this. I’ve made these so many times and have not been able to replicate the problem. I’m going to do some research to see if I can determine why some people do.

      • — Jenn on July 17, 2020
      • Reply
    • Maybe try adding some chickpea flour to help bind everything.

      • — Jen Griffith on July 19, 2020
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  • Hi Jenn! Made these last night and they were a big hit! My question is do you have any other recommendations as far as the oil used for frying? We did use the vegetable oil but we prefer to cook with other types. Would olive oil or coconut oil work or was there a specific reason why the veg oil was in the recipe. Thanks! We love all your recipes.

    • — Maureen on June 26, 2020
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    • So glad you enjoyed them, Maureen! Coconut oil should work well. I don’t use olive oil for frying because it’s expensive and has a lower smoke point. Hope that helps!

      • — Jenn on June 26, 2020
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  • I had difficulty getting the falafels to stick
    together. So unfortunately they were not very
    Successful. I will try again.

    • — Elizabeth Arnold on June 19, 2020
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  • I loved being able to throw everything in the food processor, this was easy recipe (since I planned ahead and soaked peas, Although I soaked them a little longer because they still felt firmer than I thought they should’ve been but they were exactly the way they should’ve been I just have never soaked dried chickpeas before), and I had plenty leftovers for a quick snack. Thank you!

    • — Fawn on June 15, 2020
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  • Sadly, this was a complete failure for me 🙁 I was possibly foolish to even try as it says “as easy as meatballs” and meatballs are my nemesis. I have tried repeatedly but never successfully made meatballs and always end up in tears of frustration whenever I try. (They never hold together, which was exactly my problem here too.)

    I followed the recipe exactly (using dried chickpeas, not canned) and my mixture looked like yours, exactly perhaps a little less lumpy, but my patties lacked any kind of structural integrity. It didn’t seem overly dry or overly moist, though I guess it must have been too much one or the other. I tried to fry some but most fell apart on the way to the pan, and the few that did make it fell apart in the pan while cooking or when I tried to flip them. I tried to bake some in the oven, but those crumbled apart on the baking tray when I tried to flip them, or if I just looked at them funny. I ended up dumping the rest of the mixture into the frying pan and frying it until it was cooked, kind of how I would fry ground meat. The flavour was great, but it had been such a frustrating experience that I didn’t really enjoy my dinner when I finally got to eating it. Definitely not a recipe I’ll be trying again.

    • — Laura on June 14, 2020
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    • Hi Laura, so sorry you had such a problem with these! It’s a head scratcher for me as I’ve made these many times and have not been able to duplicate the problem. I’m going to do some research to see if I can figure out why some people do. Again, sorry these were such a fail!

      • — Jenn on June 15, 2020
      • Reply
    • Laura, my first batch did the same thing. my oil wasn’t hot enough. So make sure your oil is hot and keep it hot. good thing is everything is edible raw, so I put mine in and take them out as soon as they turn brown… success, I hope this helps.

      • — tcoleman on June 27, 2020
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    • Why would you give this one star, over your frustration. The rating should be based on flavor and you said they were good. I feel you should change your rating because it’s misleading. No offense but this is an easy recipe.

      • — Christina on June 28, 2020
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  • I’m so excited to make this! But just fyi, when I search Felafel on your website, nothing comes up! I had to get creative to find the recipe again!

    • — Ruthie on June 14, 2020
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    • Hi Ruthie, I think it’s the way you spelled it (with an “e” in place of the first “a” in the word). Glad you found it though and hope you enjoyed!

      • — Jenn on June 15, 2020
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  • Dear Jenn,
    I’m still on high over an hour later after making your Falafel! One bite and I said – WOW. And I mean wow.
    I’m 35 and love cooking and although I had Falafel as a child at home (that my mom tried to re-create after our many travels), I’ve never attempted it. All these years and I’ve never done it. Mom’s was bland and hard (sorry Mom). Mine was green (is that normal?) and amazing!!!! I have a vitamix and not a cusinart blender, and so it MEGA mixed it really fast. So I was petrified that it was too wet!!! (My husband watched the whole process of fear to ecstasy over the Falafel with utter amusement by the way:))I made your Tzatziki Sauce to go with it. I couldn’t find pita, but will try harder next time. The Lebanese bread readily available Down Under was too dry. But your Falafel, I am in love!!!!! Thank you thank you!!!!My children ages 2-12 loved it too! 💖💖

    • — Steph Down Under on June 6, 2020
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    • Look up “Chef John’s Pita Bread” recipe. It is simple, easy and you will never want store bought pitas again.

      • — Timothy M Gratzl on June 10, 2020
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      • Thank you! Will try!

        • — Steph Down Under on June 22, 2020
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  • I could not find dried chickpeas anywhere, so I had to use canned chickpeas. I opened and rinsed the peas then drained and let then air dry in the refrigerator for 24 hours. They turned out better than expected.

    • — Timothy M Gratzl on June 5, 2020
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  • Question. After you soak the chickpeas for 24 hours, do you drain and then boil to cook them? Or are you soaking for 24 hours, draining and then proceeding with the recipe?

    • — Lad on June 4, 2020
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    • You don’t need to cook them after soaking; just drain them and proceed with the recipe. Enjoy!

      • — Jenn on June 4, 2020
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      • Hi
        Made falafels last night!
        I had trouble with consistency and added 1 beaten egg to bind the ingredients enough to fry….they came out great!

        • — Helen on June 5, 2020
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  • These were delicious! I chilled the patties while I prepared the toppings and sauces and they held together when I fried them. Thank you!

    • — Kerri on May 15, 2020
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  • Hi Jenn,
    I want to try and make this recipe with what I’ve got in my pantry to avoid a trip to the store right now, but I don’ have dried chick peas. Do you think if I roasted canned chickpeas to dry them out a little (but not make them crispy) that it might get me closer to the texture of the dried ones? Trying to get creative!

    • — Maggie on April 6, 2020
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    • Unfortunately, that won’t work, Maggie — sorry!

      • — Jenn on April 8, 2020
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  • Hi Jenn,

    I soaked my chickpeas overnight a few days ago, drained them and put them in the fridge for that evening….and then promptly forgot about them until this morning! I should be able to use them in this recipe even though they’ve been in the fridge for a while, right? Thanks 🙂

    • — Elizabeth on April 4, 2020
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    • I think they should be fine. Please LMK how the falafel turns out!

      • — Jenn on April 5, 2020
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      • Forgot to post! Turned out totally fine – delicious as usual.

        • — Elizabeth on May 12, 2020
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        • So glad – thanks for the follow-up! 🙂

          • — Jenn on May 13, 2020
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  • Help! I’m trying to make this and it seems I over processed it because it won’t hold together. What can I add to it to make it hold? Thank you!

    • — Natalie Codner on March 28, 2020
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    • Hi Natalie, Is it possible that you haven’t processed it enough? It takes a few minutes to get to the right consistency. If that doesn’t work, you could try adding an egg to the mix, which may help to hold things together.

      • — Jenn on March 29, 2020
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  • Hi Jenn, would dried herbs work instead of fresh? How much should I use?

    • — Abi on February 15, 2020
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    • I really like the fresh herbs here, but dried should work. I’d use a generous tablespoon of both the dried cilantro and parsley. Hope you enjoy!

      • — Jenn on February 16, 2020
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  • Thank you Chef! What an amazing recipe!!

    • — Israel on January 22, 2020
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  • What a great recipe. I made these and cooked them using your latke method in the oven. They came out great and for me way easier that way.

    • — Jane C. on December 6, 2019
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  • Jenn, you mentioned that these don’t have to be fried. Maybe I missed it in the recipe, but how would you recommend cooking them if one preferred not to fry them?

    • — Kristiana on November 3, 2019
    • Reply
    • Hi Kristiana, Sorry for any confusion. The recipe doesn’t require the falafel to be deep-fried but they do get pan-fried. Hope that clarifies!

      • — Jenn on November 4, 2019
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  • This worked really, really well for me! I did the overnight soaking method and left the mixture in the fridge for a few hours before frying in the pan because I was afraid they wouldn’t stay together. But they did and are really stable! I’d been looking for a good falafel recipe for some time because I wanted to control the salt (since I find restaurant and ready-made falafel a bit too salty) and this recipe worked really well! Thank-you!

    • — Natasha on October 16, 2019
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  • 5 stars for flavor, but 1 for execution. Most of the patties made it into the oil intact, but none of them survived and I watched dinner disintegrate into a gloppy mess in the frying pan. I rescued the meal by scooping out what now resembled falafel sand with a slotted spoon and blotting it with lots of paper towels. Then I reformed into balls and baked in the oven at 400 degrees for 15 minutes. With careful handling the balls made it to the pita for serving. They disintegrated at first bite, but the flavor was there and even a little crispiness. I’m not sure where I went wrong. I used the quick-soak method on the beans and the patties stayed together until they got into the oil.

    • — Laura on September 17, 2019
    • Reply
    • Hi Laura, sorry to hear you had a problem with the falafel falling apart! I updated the recipe a few months ago to suggest that people boil/cook the chickpeas for five minutes (instead of two) that I suggested previously. Were you by any chance using the older version of the recipe? If so, that would likely explain it.

      • — Jenn on September 17, 2019
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      • I boiled the chickpeas for 5 minutes and then turned off the heat and left them in the pot for a little more than an hour. The falafel flavor was so good that I’ll try again and maybe add an egg to the mix and process everything for a longer time as some other commenters have suggested.

        • — Laura on September 18, 2019
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        • I hope you have better luck the next time around! 🙂

          • — Jenn on September 18, 2019
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  • Hi, this was my first time attempting to make falafel. Using what I had in the pantry, I mixed it up a bit & replaced the scallions for a medium red onion finely chopped, added a little more parsley & cilantro (or coriander as we call it here in Australia) and 2 teaspoons of sesame seeds as well. Recipe worked a treat! They held together perfectly. Crunchy on the outside, but not at all dry on the inside.
    Will absolutely make them again. I’m now going to have a look at some of your other recipes – Thank you!

    • — Karen on September 14, 2019
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  • Hi Jen,

    I only have a small food processor or a large Breville blender. Would it be better to use the food processor and do this in batches or do it all at once in the Breville blender?

    Thanks!

    • — Jen on August 28, 2019
    • Reply
    • Hi Jen, I’d do batches in the food processor. Hope you enjoy!

      • — Jenn on August 28, 2019
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  • These were wonderful…the slight hint of cinnamon is delicious as a compliment to the savory ingredients. I used the overnight soaking method and think the trick may be to process everything long enough to be able to form patties but not turn mixture into paste. The store bought pitas did not do these justice so will make homemade pitas next time. Maybe you could post a recipe…didn’t see one on the site. Love your recipes and cook from your site frequently. Thanks!!

    • — Lorraine on August 24, 2019
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    • Also interested in a pita recipe. Thanks

      • — Harvey on June 5, 2020
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      • I’ll add it to my list of recipes to potentially develop! 🙂

        • — Jenn on June 5, 2020
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  • So I was just in NYC and had falafel 4 times from a food cart just outside our hotel. They were fantastic. I was thinking that maybe I should attempt to make my own at home. Just a few days later this recipe appeared in my box. You read my mind Jen! These are fabulous, very flavorful, and crunchy on the outside. Yum! I was sure to blend the mixture until pasty and it held together just fine. They were just what I was looking for and more. Thanks!

    • — Laurie Reilly on August 21, 2019
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  • So delicious and seriously irresistible! Can’t comprehend though, how something so small and made from chickpeas could hold that much calories (228) in a single piece!?

    • — Sue H. on August 20, 2019
    • Reply
    • Hi Sue, glad you like these! When calculating nutritional information for something that is fried in oil like this, I have to guesstimate how much oil gets absorbed. Keep in mind that because of that, that the numbers here are just estimates — each piece may very well have fewer calories. Hope that clarifies (at least a bit)!

      • — Jenn on August 23, 2019
      • Reply
  • I’ve never made falafel before but accepted the challenge today (trying to mix up the food routine). Oh.My.Gosh. I will never try another recipe because this was SOOOOO good! Instead of using cinnamon I substituted crushed red chili flakes. Yum-o-rama!
    QUESTION: Would it be possible to make these in an air fryer?

    • — Dawna on August 18, 2019
    • Reply
    • So glad you enjoyed the falafel, Dawna! I don’t have any experience with an air fryer so I don’t know enough to tell you whether or not they would work in one–sorry!

      • — Jenn on August 18, 2019
      • Reply
  • Another spectacular recipe, and success on my first attempt 😀 As mentioned in your prior comment, Jenn, I think that pulsing for a little longer does help the mixture to combine better. Again, falafel is another item that I have never made before, but is something that my son has been constantly searching for since the first time he tried a dish that he just fell in love with; however, since then, he’s not been able to find another dish that tasted like it did that first time….. until now! His verdict is that this recipe is IT, and his search is over (LOL) – if he can get it this good at home, he’s not looking elsewhere anymore!! Your recipes are getting me quite a reputation, Jenn, but I always attribute my success to you 😉

    • — Sue H. on July 31, 2019
    • Reply
    • 😊

      • — Jenn on July 31, 2019
      • Reply
  • Hi Jenn,
    I followed the recipe exactly, using the quick soak method for the dried chickpeas. I too found the mixture to be too dry and crumbly to hold together to form patties. I added a little olive oil and some water and was able to get a few patties to hold together so I could pan fry them. The flavor was delicious, but I ended up giving up and getting rid of the rest of the mixture. I’ll try adding an egg next time. I wonder if the batter needs to be refrigerated for a little while so it will be easier to form the patties. I made your crab cake recipe the same night for the non-vegetarians in my family and they were delicious. I find your recipes to work so well that I was surprised by my falafel fail. Keep the great recipes coming!
    Thanks,
    Linda Geen, Washington DC

    • — Linda Geen on July 19, 2019
    • Reply
    • Hi Linda, I’m guessing that you just needed to process the chickpeas for a bit longer; it takes a few minutes to get to a pasty consistency that binds together.

      • — Jenn on June 3, 2020
      • Reply
  • Made falafel for a mid-eastern luncheon yesterday with tahini, bulgar salad, etc. The dried chickpeas really make a big difference to the texture since previously I used packaged mixes.
    My problem was that it didn’t hold together to fry. Ended up blending in an egg which did the trick. Even more fun, I placed large spoonfuls in each section of a waffle iron without frying and served them as “fawaffles”. Still fit pita if desired and was a hit with the tahini drizzled over top with sliced cukes and shredded lettuce. Never do it any other way again.
    Thanks Jen.

    Susan

    • — Susan Rittenberg on July 17, 2019
    • Reply
  • Absolutely the best tasting falafel I have had.
    Based on previous comments, in advance, I searched online about the patties breaking up. I found the following: The trick is to make and fry patties without a lot of time elapsing in order to preserve the moisture. I also drizzled some olive oil into the mixture, used a cookie scoop, and then cupped them in my hands and pressed tightly and immediately dropped them in the oil. You need to work fast. They held together very well.

    • — Michael on July 16, 2019
    • Reply
  • Epic failure. Like many others, there was no getting the patties to hold their shape. I followed the instructions exactly, using dried chick peas, not canned. Given the number of people who had the same issue, I think the recipe instructions are missing something fundamental. Too bad, it looked like it would have tasted great if I could have kept the patties together.

    • — Sue on July 13, 2019
    • Reply
    • I’ve made this recipe many times and never had an issue with it. It is the best falafel recipe I’ve ever made or eaten. I would encourage you to try again, it’s amazing!

      • — Bry on July 15, 2019
      • Reply
  • Hi, can you freeze the patties?

    • — Kelly on July 10, 2019
    • Reply
    • Hi Kelly, I’ve never frozen falafel before, so I can’t say for sure, but I think it should work. Please let me know how they are once you thaw them!

      • — Jenn on July 11, 2019
      • Reply
  • Hi! I adore your recipes, I have made at least half of them and they are perfection every time. Also, as a working mom, I appreciate the honesty of your prep time quotes. THANK YOU. Do you think it would be possible to bake these instead of pan fry? I know it wouldn’t be nearly as tasty or have the exterior crunch, but possible?

    • — Cara on July 10, 2019
    • Reply
    • Hi Cara, so glad you like the recipes! You’ll get the best result by frying the falafel, but if you’d like to bake them, coat a baking sheet with a few Tbsp. of oil and bake them in a 375-degree oven for 10 – 15 minutes per side, or until golden. Hope you enjoy! 🙂

      • — Jenn on July 10, 2019
      • Reply
  • I’m throwing out all of my other falafel recipes. This was SO GOOD! I was skeptical of how well they’d hold their shape since the patties would fall apart a bit while shaping them, but once they were in the pan they held together perfectly.

    I never would’ve identified cinnamon as the missing taste, but it added a warmth I was missing from falafel stands.

    • — Julia on May 27, 2019
    • Reply
  • These are fabulous! Another thumbs up meal from all four of us!

    I omitted the cilantro (husband is allergic) and added extra parsley. I was worried about adding the cinnamon (not a fan in savory cooking) but the flavor was perfect and we didn’t even detect the cinnamon. Served in pita pockets with TJ’s tzatziki sauce, chopped cucumbers and tomatoes, hummus and pickled onions. Will certainly be on our dinner rotation! Thanks for another terrific recipe.

    • — LisaR on February 12, 2019
    • Reply
  • Hi, Thank you for sharing your recipes! I enjoyed the flavor of your falafels but they keep falling apart on me despite following the directions. I found recipes from 2 Israeli cooks where they added flour – like 4-6 tbsps – to their mixture. Others suggest refrigerating the mixture before frying. An ideas?

    • — LC on February 11, 2019
    • Reply
    • Hi LC, sorry you had a hard time with the falafel falling apart. Not sure that I love the idea of adding flour to the mixture as I think that would just make it more dry and crumbly. It’s worth a try to refrigerate the patties for a little while before frying them. Additionally, try processing the chickpeas a bit more in your food processor before adding the other ingredients. Hope you have better luck with them this time around!

      • — Jenn on February 12, 2019
      • Reply
      • The chickpea mixture was delicious but the patties fell apart especially after putting in the nonstick pan with 1/4″ of oil. I fried remaining patties in a copper nonstick pan with just a teaspoon of oil and had more success however they were still fragile. Next time I will sauté the chickpea mixture in a little oil in a nonstick pan. The chickpea mixture was so delicious and by making a felafel crumble (?) instead it will save time and I won’t need as much oil.

        • — Cathy on July 11, 2019
        • Reply
  • Is it possible to omit all of the salt for a low-sodium diet?

    • — Louise on January 20, 2019
    • Reply
    • Hi Louise, you could, but they may lack in flavor with no salt; if you’re able to cut back on salt and have it still work for your diet, I’d try cutting it in half. Hope you enjoy!

      • — Jenn on January 22, 2019
      • Reply
  • I loved these and found it easy to make. Can it be baked instead of fried?

    • Hi Tracey, You’ll get the best result by frying them, but if you’d like to bake them, coat a baking sheet with a few Tbsp. of oil and bake them in a 375-degree oven for 10 – 15 minutes per side, or until golden. Hope you enjoy!

  • Can’t wait to try this!

    Is the cilantro potent? My boyfriend hates it – but I’d love to sneak it in there 😉

    • Hi Jill, I’d definitely leave it out and/or substitute more parsley – the falafel will still be delish.

  • This is a great falafel recipe! I made it as written several times, though this time we tried out our new airfryer as an alternative cooking method…400 degrees for about 10 minutes. 17 balls ( using a small scoop -approx 1.5 Tablespoon size) to fit on a single layer in the basket. There was still about 1 cup mix remaining, so I froze that. I’ve had good luck thawing the uncooked mix and using for a quick dinner. I also make a lemon tahini dressing (started with Moosewood recipe) which can also be frozen.

    I served the falafel with pita, broccoli sprouts, tomatoes, hummus, and the lemon tahini sauce. We also had a side of tabbouli salad (also from Moosewood) and had Jenn’s fabulous raspberry ricotta cheesecake. My guests were very complimentary throughout dinner and delighted to take leftovers home for another meal.

    Jenn, thanks so much for providing these great recipes. It seems like all of the recipes that I’ve tried on your site are phenomenal which leads me to have great trust in everything that you provide us. Thank you!

  • I made this tonight and it is definitely going into the regular rotation. I love falafel but never even thought to make it myself til now. This recipe comes together really quickly. I soaked the beans the night before and the rest took about 20 minutes from start to plate. I realized after looking at the photos that I used less oil than was called for – probably had 1/8 inch which was enough. I made the tzatziki to go with it and a simple salad of red lettuce and an heirloom yellow tomato. Can’t wait to take the leftovers for lunch!

    • An update to my original review.

      1. I mixed mine for a full minute in the food processor after reading other reviews and they stayed together no problem.

      2. These are really amazing right out of the pan. They are pretty good a day after making them, but after that mine dried out. I’d recommend making them right before you eat them – crispy and delicious.

      • Is it possible to freeze the cooked falafel patties.

        • — Sandy Moran on July 10, 2019
        • Reply
        • Hi Sandy, I’ve never frozen falafel before, so I can’t say for sure, but I think it should work. Please let me know how they are once you thaw them!

          • — Jenn on July 10, 2019
          • Reply
  • hi there….is it possible to make these a day early, refrigerate and then re-heat? Will it affect the texture etc? Thank you!!

    • Hi Melissa, I’ve only eaten these right after cooking them, but I think they would reheat nicely. I’d reheat them in a 325-degree oven for 10 -15 minutes, or until heated through. Hope you enjoy!

  • This is a tasty and straightforward recipe; practically perfect in every way! I make these in about 25 minutes, start (after rehydrating the chickpeas overnight) to finish.

    Definitely use dried chickpeas and rehydrate them overnight. The raw chickpeas stay together the best and have a better texture than even the quick boiled version.

    I don’t have a food processor so after prepping all of the ingredients, I break them up into approximately 1/3 batches and use my ninja chopper. After a quick stir in a bowl to blend the batches together, they’re ready to pan-fry.

    One tip, pack the falafel patties tightly when forming in your hands or they may break up in the pan.

    Really easy, delicious recipe! Thank you!

  • This was such an exciting recipe to attempt! I’d never made anything remotely similar, but Jenn’s instructions made it fool proof. It was almost magical to watch the uncooked patties become falafel before my eyes! I’ve now made this dish twice, and reduced both the salt and cinnamon by half the second time around…That was a nearly perfect spice blend for my husband and I, but next time I may try using 3/4 tsp salt and rolling the patties in sesame seeds before frying. This is a recipe I always can’t wait to try again!

  • Hi Jen.
    Do I cover the chickpeas with a cloth towel or saran wrap when letting soak over night?
    Don’t want to mess up as I would love to be able to make homemade falafel.
    Thanks
    Megan

    • Hi Megan, It won’t have a huge impact on the recipe one way or the other, but yes, I’d cover them when letting them soak. Hope you enjoy!

  • Once again, your recipe has made dinner a complete winner in our home! These falafels were fabulous. I had some trouble with the amount of chickpeas in my food processor — there were almost more than my processor (a Ninja) could handle. So, I processed the chickpeas on their own for about a minute. Then when they were ground down enough that they weren’t up to the lid any longer, I added the rest of the ingredients and blended for about 3-4 more minutes, scraping down the sides after every minute. I used an ice-cream scoop to shape the falafels and had no trouble at all with them falling apart while cooking. Another 5-star recipe! I look forward to trying something new from your website every week. Thank you so much for making meal time fun again. I can’t wait to get my hands on your cookbook!

    • So happy you’re enjoying the recipes, Leah! 😊

  • Made for the first time today. Really great and sooo easy! They fried beautifully after soaking the dried chickpeas for almost 24h. Looking forward to making again and will try to freeze some. Thanks for all your fantastic recipes- you are now my go to site for recipes!

  • My daughter (who recently became vegetarian) and I made these last night and they were absolutely fabulous. I soaked the chickpeas for 24 hours. We kept hearing a popping/clicking noise in the kitchen and finally realized that the chickpeas were making that noise as they expanded in the soaking water! We used avocado oil for frying and served these on a bed of fresh spinach along with cucumbers, tomatoes and yogurt sauce. The seasoning was spot on. So delicious!

  • Just finished making these….had the same experience as some of the other people who’ve commented: they wouldn’t hold together before getting them in the pan, so I put them back in the food processor and processed them for a full minute. This time they held together nicely. I discovered that I really like these with tahini sauce, tomatoes and spinach.

  • I made these a few days ago, this recipe is a keeper! I am about to make another batch right now. Thank You! I am thinking about making the donut muffins next.

  • These were super tasty. Beautifully balanced flavors. I did soak the chickpeas for 3 days. The mixture was just perfect and they held their shape while being fried in my cast iron pan. Just moved them a bit underneath with a spatula while they were frying and I had no issues with them sticking. Thank you so much for your great recipes!

  • Hey Jenn,
    I followed this recipe closely, except used canned chick peas (which is what my son used when successfully making your recipe). When I went to fry the patties in the oil, which was sizzling and hot as per your recipe, they disintegrated- mushy mess- completely inedible. What did I do wrong?
    PS: I love all of your other recipes I’ve tried and made successfully.

    • Hi Amy, It’s the canned chickpeas — unfortunately, they do not work for falafel (not sure what your son did but I’ve tried it and experienced the same problem you did). Hope you’ll try them again!

  • Hi Jenn, These look great and I am thinking about making them for a party on Saturday. I’d have to cook them at home, and then bring them over but they would cool off. What do you think would be the easiest/best/fastest way to reheat them at the party? Thanks in advance!

    • Hi Pam, I’d reheat them in a 325-degree oven for 10 -15 minutes, or until heated through. Hope you enjoy!

  • Hi Jenn!
    Many thanks as usual for such awesome recipes!
    A quick one on these: my son (turning 3) isn’t really into pepper and I wanted to know: if I reduce the black pepper to 1/4 teaspoon, will it alter the taste tremendously? I know he will love them as long as he cant ‘feel’ the pepper. Thanks!

    • Nope – feel free to reduce it :). Hope your little guy enjoys!

      • I made them last night and they were amazing! He loved them! I found that for them to hold their shape I had to process them real good. I really look forward to that cookbook 🙂 🙂

  • Hi Jenn,

    I enjoy your recipes and found them to be foolproof until this one. The mix tasted good and I chose to refrigerate prior to forming patties since the mixture seemed too dry. That seemed to help and they held their shape until I flipped them over in the pan. That’s when they fell apart. I followed your recipe to the letter and the pan and oil was to temp. prior to adding the patties. Any ideas of what to add to the mixture to bind it better?

    • Hi Jennifer, Sorry you had a problem with the falafel. You may just need to process the mixture a bit more until it gets moistened and pasty; it takes a few minutes.

      • Thank you for responding so quickly.! Yes, I soaked the chickpeas as per your instructions. Some of your reviewers posted that they also experienced difficulty and added flour or soda. I used avocado oil and an All Clad saute pan. Perhaps more success with a cast iron skillet?

        • Hi Jennifer, When I was testing this recipe, I tried baking soda and I don’t think that binds them together any differently. Maybe the mixture was a bit too chunky? If you try them again, I’d puree them for a bit longer in the food processor. Also, although I’m not sure it makes a difference, you could try cooking them in a non-stick or cast iron skillet.

  • I’m middle eastern and picky about my falafel and love this! Added some baking soda to the chickpeas to help with the grinding as it’s supposed to make them softer when soaking. My 5 year old son just gobbled them up. thank you for another great recipe.

    • — Travellerwannabe
    • Reply
  • I plan on doubling the recipe. Can I make the mix the night before and let it sit in the fridge overnight?

    • Yes, Naz, I think that would work. Please let me know how they turn out!

      • They turned out great and the falafel party was big hit! Served with your bulgar salad and homemade pita along with the regular fixings!
        Thank you! Love all your recipes!

  • So my falafels fell apart in the pan, they disintegrated into the oil. Would love to know how to keep them together?

    • — Amanda Mc Kinley
    • Reply
    • Hi Amanda, Sorry to hear that these didn’t hold their shape! I’m guessing you just need to process the mixture a bit longer until it gets pasty.

      • Hi Jenn, second attempt went much better. We soaked the chickpeas for longer, but also added just a little pinch of flour.
        They taste great the next day also!
        I found your website a few months ago and I’m really enjoying trying your recipes.

        • — Amanda Mc Kinley
        • Reply
  • My go-to falafel recipe. I make a big batch, freeze it, and reheat it when I want it.

  • Where can I find dried chickpeas?

    • — Anais Kahermanes
    • Reply
    • Hi Anais, Most large grocery stores will carry them. If not, you may want to try an ethnic market or a store with a bulk bin section. Hope that helps!

  • This was great! I soaked my beans for about 24 hours and had no issue with the falafel patties falling apart while cooking. Very tasty and my family thought they tasted better than our local Greek restaurant!

  • We love falafels but the only “homemade” ones I’ve made came from a box. Easy but not the best tasting or texture. This recipe is great. The secret is starting with dried garbanzos. They came together nicely, held up to cooking and tasted REALLY wonderful and authentic. The cilantro and spice combo are right on target!

  • I’ve tried the falafel recipe twice now and the parties keep falling apart in the oil while cooking. Any suggestions? It still tastes really good!

    • Hi Steve, I’m sorry to hear you had a hard time with the falafel– they should hold together without a problem. is there a chance you measured something incorrectly? Did you soak the chickpeas?

      • I also made this recipe twice and had same problem. The patties are falling apart.I add one tablespoon flour to the mixture and it helped. My family like the taste of these falafels a lot!

  • Delicious! I was concerned because the chickpeas were a bit crunchy, even after soaking for 20 hours. I had to squeeze a bit to form the balls (patties), but it worked and they stayed together and have a very nice texture.

  • So good! These were the best falafel I’ve ever had, hands down.

  • Hi Jenn,

    I’m so excited to make these tonight for dinner. I am just wondering about the beans I have soaked, which have doubled in volume. Do I use the full amount of soaked beans in this recipe?

    • Yes, Angie — the measurement is for dried beans so use all of them. Please come back and lmk how it turns out!

  • Hi Jenn,
    Do you know the calories for this recipe?
    Thanks,
    Carol

    • Hi Carol, Basing the serving being falafel, the calories come out to 228. If you’d like to see all of the nutritional stats, scroll down beneath the recipe. Enjoy!

  • Delicious. Mine crumbled and fell apart first time around – did some research and reformed the patties after adding some baking soda to the recipe – worked like magic. Can’t wait to make again.

  • Hi Jenn,
    In a pinch can these be made with canned chick peas? -Would love to make them tonight for lunches during the week!
    Love, love,love every recipe of yours I’ve tried. My 9 yr. old daughter is mastering muffins this summer with your strawberry recipe and our fresh picked stawberries!
    Thanks for sharing your expertise and recipes,
    Jenn McG

    • Hi Jenn, So glad to hear you’re enjoying the recipes (and that your daughter is in on it too)! For the best results, I strongly recommend dried chickpeas here. I’ve tried preparing these with canned and they were kind of a mushy mess!

  • This looks wonderful and I can’t wait to try it! I was wondering if this would be a freezer-friendly recipe? Would it work to either make the mixture ahead of time and freeze (or refrigerate) before cooking, or could you fry up the falafel patties and then freeze/refrigerate them before reheating and serving?

    • Hi Kelly, I do think you could get away with refrigerating either the uncooked or cooked falafel, but I’ve never frozen these (either cooked or uncooked) so I can’t say for sure. I’m sorry I can’t be more helpful!

      • Hi Jenn –

        Sorry it’s taken me so long to follow up on this, but I wanted to let you (and interested readers) know: I have had great success with freezing these!

        I put a sheet of parchment on a baking sheet and use a cookie dough scoop to portion out individual falafels. Then I pop the pan in the freezer for a couple of hours. Once they are frozen, I transfer them to a ziploc bag. Whenever I want falafel, it’s easy to grab a handful so I can make just a few at a time. These have become a freezer staple in our house. Thanks again for the great recipe!

        • Thanks for sharing this tip, Kelly! I’m sure it will be helpful to others.

  • How well do these keep and reheat? Can you freeze? Thanks!

    • Hi Stacy, I’ve only eaten this fresh, so I can’t say for sure, but I think they would reheat nicely. And regarding freezing, unfortunately I don’t know because I’ve never frozen them! If you do freeze them, I’d love to know how they turn out when reheated.

      • we in Egypt freeze it before frying and it’s as fresh, but we also make it with fava bean (dried chopped in halves then soaked in water) just like what you did to the chickpeas.
        try it, it’s much better than using chickpeas.

        • almost forgot to tell you we also add dill,coriander and leek to recipe the above.

          • the best falafel I have ever eaten were at Carnival restaurant in Los Angeles. I had never heard of them being made with fava beans until then–absolutely delicious! Thank you so much for helping with the substitution, am going shopping now…

            • — Lauri
  • I’ve never made falafel at home but that looks really yummy and easy. What would you recommend as a substitute for the cilantro?

    • Hi Mim, you can double the parsley in the recipe or use an equivalent amount of fresh dill. Hope you enjoy!

  • Not to harp on the no frying question but what about an air fryer?

    • Hi Tamera, I’ve never used an air fryer, so it’s hard to say how they’ll turn out. If you do prepare them this way, I’d love to hear about the results!

  • Thanks for the recipe!!
    Simple instructions and lovely photos..tempts me to try it soon

  • Felafel – long time eater, first time making! The result was delicious, the recipe easy to follow and robust enough to cope easily with a few adjustments. I didn’t have cilantro or spring onions in the garden just now but an abundance of parsley, chives, and garlic scapes (instead of garlic), substitutions that worked fine. I cooked in grapeseed oil. This is the second recipe of yours that I’ve tried and both have been wonderful – thank you!

  • Wonderful flavour and texture, straight-forward to make, and simply delicious! I made it with your hummus on the side and the mid-east chicken kabobs – a great meal! Can’t thank you enough for this collection of great recipes.

  • Hi Jen – is it possible to bake them rather than pan fry them? Thanks!

    • Hi Allison, I think you’ll get the best result by frying them, but if you’d like to bake them, coat a baking sheet with a few Tbsp. of oil and bake them in a 375 degree oven for 10 – 15 minutes per side, or until golden.

  • Hi Jenn,
    The recipe sounds great but I was wondering how you would recommend cooking it without frying. I try to make things as healthy as possible. :).
    Thank you!
    Geri

    • Hi Geri, These really are best fried, but if you’d like to bake them, coat a baking sheet with a few Tbsp of oil and bake them in a 375 degree oven for 10 -15 minutes per side, or until golden. I’d love to know how the baked version turns out!

      • Hi there! I just tried this recipe as I love falafel and so does my husband who is a strict vegetarian. I was hoping this recipe would work for me but I did everything as you instructed but when it came to me forming my patties they didn’t shape well and basically fell apart when I attempted to fry them. Do you know why that may have happened? Could it maybe be altitude that did this? They became too dry and crumbled apart? I’m so confused and really want to make this recipe work. Your help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

        Sharmila

        • Hi Sharmila, I’m sorry to hear you had a hard time with the falafel! The patties should be moist enough hold together without a problem. The altitude shouldn’t affect them. I’m wondering if perhaps you didn’t process the mixture enough? It takes a good few minutes to get to the right consistency.

          • I did soak the chickpeas per the instructions but I do that on a regular basis and then freeze them. I used some of my presoaked chickpeas and thawed them out so perhaps the problem was that they were pre-frozen? Your opinion on that would be greatly appreciated.

            It wasn’t a total loss though because even the crumbled falafel was tasty which I paired with my own home made babaganoush. I ate them both with whole wheat pita break and it still made for a very tasty lunch. I will keep trying and see if it will work the next time.

            Is altitude only something of concern for baking?

            Thanks for your response. I really like your website. I think you have fantastic recipes. I made your rum cake and it was such a hit. Being in Calgary, Canada we are at higher altitude and so your instructions on the bake times to accommodate were very helpful. Keep up the good work Jenn on this fabulous site you have.

            • — Sharmila
          • I’m glad you were able to salvage the pieces and enjoy your lunch! I can’t imagine freezing/thawing the chickpeas would make a big difference but, if that’s the only thing that you did differently, perhaps it’s worth trying again with fresh. And, correct, altitude not an issue for anything but baking.

            • — Jenn
  • Hi Jenn,

    Love eating falafel! These looks so yummy.
    Thanks for the detailed photos & instructions! Saving the recipe for later. 🙂

    Amy

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