Pan-Fried Falafel Recipe

Falafel burger patties and roundels on a plate with humus and other accompaniments

Falafel, once rarely known, is now one of the most common Mediterranean recipes cooked around the world. You can have them just as snack with humus or other dips. It also is a great meatless substitute for burgers. Some choose to stick with pita sandwiches or gyros. This flexibility of serving falafels in many different ways makes them a great hit for tailgating parties, festivals, family gatherings and other occasions.

Falafel burger

Evolution of Falafel in my Kitchen

Evolution of healthy pan-fried falafels in my kitchen is a story in itself. When I visited Amsterdam for the first time back in 2008, my brother-in-law introduced me to this popular street food there. I had never heard about the falafel pita sandwich before and in those cold January winter evenings those warm falafels just tasted divine. For rest of that trip and many other trips, Falafel continued to be our family’s dinner choice.

Falafel on Pita Bread

Back home in USA, I tried falafels in different restaurants, but I was not satisfied with the taste. One day I saw a falafel mixture box in the grocery store and I instantly grabbed one to try out at home. I made a few batches with that box in unsuccessful attempts to recreate the taste that I had in my nostalgic memories of the first falafel sandwich.

Most of the ingredients listed on the falafel box were readily available in my home pantry, so I started trying making them at home with fresh ingredients. This was a complete game changer in terms of flavors. Fresh parsley and cilantro added so much herb-y flavor to the falafels. Since then, every time I try a slightly new version of the recipe.

Falafel Recipe Ingredients

How to make Healthy Falafel?

Falafel is a very healthy and cheap recipe to fulfill our daily nutritional needs. With chickpeas as the main ingredient, falafels can be a great source for protein and fiber when cooked in the right manner.  The original falafel recipe calls for deep frying, which significantly increases the carbohydrate to protein ratio. Hence over a period of time, I have tried and tested many falafel recipes with different methods of cooking.

Falafel Roundels served with humus

This cooked chickpea version came into existence as a result of my attempts to make it suitable for my kid’s palate. My kids are very sensitive to food texture; hence I modified the previously posted recipe by using boiled chickpeas instead of raw soaked chickpeas, which brings a much smoother texture in falafels. I have also added some vegetables to make them even more moist.

During my initial trials, I first came up with low-fat falafel recipe using soaked chickpeas, which is the authentic way of making falafels. But instead of deep frying, I used aebleskiver or takoyaki pan to make it low fat. This version also turns out to be the lighter compared to previous low-fat version. Every time I make it, it is a super-hit in the family and friends.

Falafel Recipe Ingredients

Falafel recipe ingredients

From My Pantry

Produce

  • Frozen mixed veggies- 1 cup
  • Beetroot- 1 cup
  • Onion – 1 medium sized finely chopped
  • Italian parsley – 1 cup roughly chopped
  • Cilantro – 1 cup roughly chopped
  • Green chilies – 2 or 3 chilies chopped
  • Ginger – 1-inch piece finely chopped or grated
  • Lemon juice – 1 tbs

Pan-fried Falafel Recipe

  1. Make sure you have soaked the chickpeas for at least 6 hours before you start with the recipe below.
  2. Start with boiling the soaked chickpeas along with one cup of mixed frozen vegetables and one cup chopped beetroots in a pressure cooker. When setting the cooker up, contents should be dipped in water to the top but not submerged. I boiled them for 15 minutes in Mealthy multi-pot pressure cooker  with natural pressure release (NPR). Tip: In case you are using the regular stove top pressure cooker, cook until the first whistle and the then let the pressure release naturally. Make sure you don’t overcook them. Chickpeas needs to be little al dente.

    Soaked chickpeas in pressure cooker

    Soaked chickpeas in pressure cooker with vegetables
  3. While the chickpeas are getting boiled, roughly chop the onions, cilantro, parsley, green chilies and ginger.

    Mealthy Instant Pot

    Chopped Grrens

  4. Once the pressure is completely released strain the chickpeas and the veggies into a colander. Tip: Don’t throw away the liquid, instead save it to knead the dough or to make vegan aquafaba to replace the egg-whites in the cooking.  

    Boiled chickpeas and vegetables

    Boiled chickpeas and vegetables

  5. Now place the drained chickpeas and vegetable mix along with roughly chopped parsley, cilantro, onions, ginger and green chilies in a food processor. Pulse it using a chopping blade until a rough coarse texture is achieved. Don’t over process into a paste.

    boiled Chickpeas and vegetables in Food Processor

    Processed falafel mixture

  6. Transfer the contents of food processor into a mixing bowl. Then add all the spices and flour (salt, black pepper, roasted cumin powder, flax seed meal, hemp seed, almond flour and lemon juice). Adding spices
  7. Mix it to assimilate all the ingredients nicely. Final falafel mixture with spices
  8. Now use this mixture to make into flat falafel patties or conventional round falafels. Tip: For even sizing use an ice-cream scoop or similar spoon. Portion out the whole mixture into patties or roundels. 

    Falafel patties ready to freeze

    Falafel roundels ready to freeze

  9. Place these falafel patties and/or roundels on to a lined baking sheet and refrigerate them for 30 minutes. Tip: At this point, patties/roundels can also be frozen for later use.
  10. Grilling/Cooking: You can now use any one of several ways to cook these falafels. You deep fry them in a conventional manner or to make healthier version opt for baking or shallow frying. Among the health cooking methods, even though these could be baked but shallow frying or pan frying makes them moist. 
  11. For shallow frying, preheat and grease the appropriate pan. For patties use a griddle and for roundels use an aebleskiver or takoyaki pan. Tip: Patties will soak up all the oil you put so be very conscious with the quantity of oil you add. In general, half tsp of oil should be enough to brown them evenly.

    Falafel patties being pan-fried

    Falafel roundels being pan-fried

  12. Place the patties and/or roundels on preheated pan. Cook for few minutes until golden brown from bottom and gently flip them. Use a chopstick or skewer to flip the roundels in aebleskiver or takoyaki pan.
  13. Remove the cooked falafel patties or falafel balls on a cooling rack to avoid getting them soggy with the steam. Falafel patties being pan fried
  14. Repeat the process until all the patties and/or roundels are cooked.
  15. Serve these falafel patties in a burger, serve them with a mezz-style platter, tuck them into a fluffy pita bread, crumble them little on a wrap or serve them just like that as a snack/appetizer with tazatki, tahini sauce or your favorite hummus the possibilities are endless.
Falafel Burger

Other popular snack recipes from EYP:

Other vegetarian pan-fried patty options from EYP:

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4.5 from 2 votes
Falafel burger patties and roundels on a plate with humus and other accompaniments
Pan-fried Falafel Recipe
Prep Time
35 mins
Cook Time
15 mins
Soaking
6 hrs
Total Time
6 hrs 50 mins
 

Pan-fried Falafel recipe full with herb-y and zesty flavors modified to make falafels crispy outside while keeping inside smooth and moist. Made from scratch with all-natural ingredients.

Course: Appetizer, Main Course, Salad, Side Dish, Snack
Cuisine: Global, Mediterranean
Keyword: chickpeas, Falafel, low-fat, pan-fried, pan-fry
Servings: 8
Calories: 280 kcal
Author: Rupali Agarwal
Ingredients
From My Pantry
Produce
  • 1 cup Frozen mixed veggies
  • 1 cup Beetroot washed and chopped
  • 1 cup Italian parsley washed chopped
  • 1 cup fresh Cilantro washed and chopped
  • 1 tsp Green chilies chopped
  • 1 tbs Ginger grated
  • 1 cup Onion chopped
  • 1 tbs Lemon juice
Instructions
  1. Make sure you have soaked the chickpeas for at least 6 hours before you start with the recipe below.
  2. Start with boiling the soaked chickpeas along with one cup of mixed frozen vegetables and one cup chopped beetroots in a pressure cooker. When setting the cooker up, contents should be dipped in water to the top but not submerged. I boiled them for 15 minutes in Mealthy multi-pot pressure cooker for 15 minutes with natural pressure release (NPR). Tip: In case you are using the regular stove top pressure cooker, cook until the first whistle and the then let the pressure release naturally. Make sure you don’t overcook them. It needs to be little aldente.

  3. While the chickpeas are getting boiled, roughly chop the onions, cilantro, parsley, green chilies and ginger.
  4. Once the pressure is completely released strain the chickpeas and the veggies into a colander. Tip: Don’t throw away the liquid, instead save it to knead the dough or to make vegan aquafaba to replace the egg-whites in the cooking.

  5. Now place the drained chickpeas and vegetable mix along with roughly chopped parsley, cilantro, onions, ginger and green chilies in a food processor. Pulse it using a chopping blade until a rough coarse texture is achieved. Don’t over process into a paste.
  6. Transfer the contents of food processor into a mixing bowl. Then add all the spices and flour (salt, black pepper, roasted cumin powder, flaxseed meal, hempseed, almond flour and lemon juice).
  7. Mix it to assimilate all the ingredients nicely.
  8. Now use this mixture to make into flat falafel patties or conventional round falafels. Tip: For even sizing use an ice-cream scoop or similar spoon. Portion out the whole mixture into patties or roundels.
  9. Place these falafel patties and/or roundels on to a lined baking sheet and refrigerate them for 30 minutes. Tip: At this point, patties/roundels can also be frozen for later use.
  10. Grilling/Cooking: You can now use any one of several ways to cook these falafels. You deep fry them in a conventional manner or to make healthier version opt for baking or shallow frying. Among the health cooking methods, even though these could be baked but shallow frying or pan frying makes them moist.

  11. For shallow frying, pre-heat and grease the appropriate pan. For patties use a griddle and for roundels use an aebleskiver or takoyaki pan. Tip: Patties will soak up all the oil you put so be very conscious with the quantity of oil you add. In general, half tsp of oil should be enough to brown them evenly.

  12. Place the patties and/or roundels on pre-heated pan. Cook for few minutes until golden brown from bottom and gently flip them. Use a chopstick or skewer to flip the roundels in aebleskiver or takoyaki pan.

  13. Remove the cooked falafel patties or falafel balls on a cooling rack to avoid getting them soggy with the steam.

  14. Repeat the process until all the patties and/or roundels are cooked.

  15. Serve these falafel patties in a burger, serve them with a mezz-style plater, tuck them into a fluffy pita bread, crumble them little on a wrap or serve them just like that as a snack/appetizer with tazatki, tahini sauce or your favorite hummus the possibilities are endless.

Nutrition Facts
Pan-fried Falafel Recipe
Amount Per Serving
Calories 280 Calories from Fat 135
% Daily Value*
Fat 15g23%
Saturated Fat 1g6%
Sodium 334mg15%
Potassium 459mg13%
Carbohydrates 27g9%
Fiber 9g38%
Sugar 5g6%
Protein 11g22%
Vitamin A 1970IU39%
Vitamin C 17.2mg21%
Calcium 92mg9%
Iron 4.1mg23%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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