Homemade Israeli Falafel: Recipe from the Holy Land

Falafel is a popular crispy treat in Israel. Here's a falafel recipe that walks through the steps on how to make traditional Israeli falafels along with toppings.

By Carmen Slabbert
Edited by Taj Schlebusch

Published September 27, 2021.

The falafel is a popular crispy treat in Israel. The Israeli borrowed this cuisine from the Middle East, and it is made from legumes, mostly ground chickpeas or fava beans.

Traditionally, falafel is served in a warm pita pocket with popular Israeli falafel toppings such as tahini sauce and fresh vegetables. It is also served as a platter on a bed of rice, as a wrap, burger, or in salads.

Below is an authentic falafel and tahini recipe.

Ingredients for traditional falafel

  • 1lb dry chickpeas
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • 1 roughly cut onion
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 3-5 cloves of garlic
  • 1½ tbsp flour or chickpea flour
  • 1¾ tsp salt
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • ¼ tsp black pepper
  • ¼ tsp cayenne pepper
  • Pinch of ground cardamom
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • Oil for frying


  • Soak dry chickpeas in 3 inches of cold water, add ½ tsp of baking soda to the water, and stir. Cover the bowl and let them soak overnight in a cool dark place.
  • Drain and rinse the chickpeas well. Pour them into your food processor along with onions, garlic, parsley, flour, salt, cumin, coriander, black pepper, cayenne pepper, and cardamom.
  • Pulse all the ingredients together until a rough, coarse meal forms, between the texture of couscous and a paste.
  • Pour it out into a bowl and use a fork to stir. Remove any large chickpea chunks.
  • Cover the bowl and refrigerate for 1-2 hours.
  • Fill a skillet with 1½ inch of oil and heat slowly over medium heat.
  • Form the falafel mixture into round balls or patties.
  • Fry the falafels in batches of 5-6 at a time until golden brown on both sides.
  • Remove from the oil and let it drain on a paper towel.

Tips for making the best falafel:

  • Although you can make falafel with canned chickpeas. The results are best when using dry chickpeas. Soaking them in water for 24 hours will give you the best texture and flavor.
  • Chill the mixture for at least 1 hour (or overnight) will help with the shaping.
  • Add baking powder to the falafel mixture before forming it into balls or patties. The baking powder will help to make the falafel on the fluffy side.
  • Fry in bubbling oil, and do not crowd the saucepan.
  • Once cooked, falafel should be crispy and medium brown on the outside, fluffy and light green on the inside.
  • If you want to bake with this falafel recipe instead of frying it, we recommend adding a few tablespoons of flour to assist with binding before rolling.
  • There are a couple of sauces that are delish with falafels. Some would recommend tahini while others advocate for a yogurt base.