How to make soft crispy parathas

Make falafel yourself - this is how the balls get crispy!

"One ball for you, two for me, ...". My friend protests. "We didn't bet like that." But I can't help it Falafel I don't know anything. You bring my weakness for Chickpeas to the point. With a fresh pita bread, some salad and homemade hummus - perfect, a meal doesn't have to have more for me.

Why am I so addicted to the little balls? They are more than healthy, taste irresistibly good and are easy to prepare. If it were up to me, I could have falafel every day - for lunch, before bed, or as a small snack in between. Layered between lettuce leaves or served in a pita bread - not from my favorite snack around the corner, but from my home kitchen. How it works? Stir together the chickpeas, onions and herbs, fry in fat - done!

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What are falafel and how do they taste?

A crispy shell and a soft core - at first glance, the golden-brown, deep-fried balls remind me a bit of croquettes, maybe also of small dumplings. On the second, I quickly realize that they have little in common with either of them.

Falafel are traditionally made from pureed chickpeas, broad beans, or a combination of both. This gives them their loose consistency and their nutty taste.

Fresh coriander and parsley should not be missing in your falafel.

What else is in it? Much fresher coriander and parsley. The more herbs you use, the greener the falafel mixture and the more aromatic it tastes.

Also included: cumin, garlic, salt, onion and lemon. A spicy variety of flavors that will make you dream of the Middle East with every bite.

You can also vary the base of the falafel mass and add spices such as tahini, chilli and turmeric to it. For example, what do you think of lentils or couscous? I dared to try a variant with cauliflower. And what should I say? The small cauliflower balls with beetroot dip taste almost better than the original - but only almost.

Where do falafel come from?

Where do the little balls come from? Some call it so, others so. The first clues lead to Egypt. Falafel is said to have been enjoyed here as a vegetarian dish during Lent. Also known as the country of origin: Lebanon and Palestine. It is traditionally eaten with tahini - a sesame sauce that has a slightly tart taste. In addition: creamy hummus and fried vegetables.

Crispy on the outside, soft on the inside - this is how a good falafel should be.

Today the little balls are not only available in North Africa and the Near and Middle East, but also here - as an alternative to kebab and Co. Or just like that.

Falafel - a healthy fast food?

Compared to pizza, fries and burgers, the falafel is a low-calorie snack - at least at first glance. On the second one it quickly becomes clear that the small balls are in them. Fried in fat and served with cheese, they quickly turn into little calorie bombs. My tip: Avoid pita bread, cheese and sauce. And prefer to enjoy it with a fresh salad. Even better: do not prepare falafel in the deep fryer, but in the oven or pan.

What else is in them: Lots of protein and fiber, vitamins and minerals - thanks to chickpeas and beans. So it is ideal to satisfy the small hunger in between.

Which chickpeas are better? Dried vs. pre-cooked chickpeas

In the main role: chickpeas. Dried or pre-cooked - the choice is huge. But which ones are best for the small balls? Personally, I like dried chickpeas best. Not only because they have a longer shelf life, but also because the falafel mixture holds together better this way. Do they differ in taste from canned chickpeas? No!

If you choose dried chickpeas, you have to wash them well before processing and soak them in plenty of water - at least 12 hours, but better overnight.

The quick falafel base

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Preparation steps

Cover the chickpeas in a bowl with plenty of water and leave to soak for at least 12 hours. Drain the chickpeas and rinse with water. Squeeze the lemon and grate the peel.
Peel the garlic cloves. Roughly chop the red onion. Wash the coriander and parsley and pluck the leaves from the stems. Halve the chilli lengthways, remove the seeds and cut the chilli into pieces.
Put the chickpeas, coriander, parsley, onion, garlic, chilli, 1 tablespoon lemon juice and zest, cumin, salt and chickpea flour in the food processor.
Puree the ingredients to a creamy mass. A few more bits can still be seen.
Shape the falafel mixture into small balls with your hands.

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Make falafel yourself: 1 base, 3 preparation options

You can prepare your falafel in three different ways - in the oven, in the pan or in hot fat. If you want it to be quick, bake your falafel in hot fat. If you want to save a few calories, preparation in the oven or in the pan is right for you.

Fry the falafel in hot oil

Falafel are traditionally fried in oil. This makes them particularly crispy, golden brown on the outside and soft on the inside.

Falafel are traditionally fried in hot oil.

How to do it: 1 liter of vegetable oilwith high smoke point (e.g. peanut oil, or refined rapeseed oil) in a saucepan Heat 180 ° C. Place the falafel balls one after the other in the hot fat and bake for 3-4 minutes, then drain on kitchen paper.

Don't have a kitchen thermometer at home? Simply hold the end of a wooden spoon into the oil and wait for small bubbles to rise. Only then does the oil have the right temperature.

Bake falafel in the oven

If you want to prepare your falafel a little less fat, you can bake them golden yellow in the oven. The small balls will be less crispy, but still taste very good.

The low-fat variant - falafel from the oven.

How to do it: The small balls will be particularly crispy if you shape them into flat slices instead of balls. Preheat the oven to 190 ° C, line the baking sheet with parchment paper. Place the falafel on the baking sheet and brush with oil. In the hot oven 25-30 minutes Bake, turn after 15 minutes and brush with oil on the other side. The falafels are ready when they are golden brown and give slightly when pressed with a finger.

Fry the falafel in the pan

The variant in the oven takes too long for you? You can also prepare your falafel in the pan - it only takes 10 minutes and tastes at least as delicious.

How to do it: Shape the falafel mixture into thalers. Oil in one non-stick pan heat and falafel from each side5 minutes fry.

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Is your falafel falling apart? A little breakdown assistance

To ensure that your falafel mass does not disintegrate when baking, all ingredients have to stick together well. The falafel balls also broke apart on my first try. Instead of golden-brown balls, there were many small crumbs. What was that?

  1. Use more flour: Flour binds the ingredients and ensures that they stick together in the hot fat. Depending on your taste, you can use chickpea, wheat or almond flour.
  1. Let the falafel mixture rest: You already know today that you want to make falafel tomorrow? Great! Prepare the mixture and chill overnight. In this way, the mass can be shaped particularly well and sticks together better.

What to eat with falafel?

I always prepare a whole batch of falafel right away. The small balls taste best fresh, but they can be made without any problems 5 daysin the refrigerator store. A little tip: The small balls will be crispy again if you place them in your microwave grill or on your contact grill (in pita bread!) For a few minutes.

Falafel are tasty fresh out of the pan and cold in the office. I prefer to dip the small balls in homemade avocado hummus - this is my favorite variant of my hummus recipes - or I crumble them over my salad. Also delicious: as a breadless burger or in a paprika.

Falafel are very classic as Falafel platter - So with salad and vegetables - or as Falafel doner kebab - the vegetarian version of the kebab - served. How else can you enjoy your falafel?

6 recipes are not enough for you? Here you get 12 falafel ideas at a glance.

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