Alotta Falafel

How to Make Authentic Falafel at Home | Umami GirlEven for the avid home cook, certain foods are worth buying at a street cart in the middle of a particularly tough day, biting in when you know they’re still too hot, letting the sauce dribble down your chin. There’s satisfaction is tossing those flimsy paper napkins into a wire trash can on the street corner, checking your teeth with a shop window glance, and stepping back into the office as if the whole salacious affair never happened. The escapism’s the thing.

I used to think falafel was one of those escapist foods. If you’d still like to think of it that way, please, don’t let me deny you the pleasure. Honestly, it’s only since Shake Shack entered my life that I’ve been able to see falafel as anything more than a fling—as something to bring home to my family. If you’re not ready to take the leap, I won’t mind if you sit this one out.

How to Make Authentic Falafel at Home | Umami GirlIt was Kim O’Donnel, writing about Meatless Monday back in the days of A Mighty Appetite, who convinced me to try falafel at home. The glug-glug of a quart of oil pouring into a Dutch oven on your very own stovetop may just be the antithesis of escapism. But it turns out that falafel is not only easy to make at home—it’s also dearly beloved by children and adults, zealots and skeptics, veg-heads and carnivores alike. It’s a real crowd-pleaser, is what I’m trying to say here. And if there’s one thing better than escaping from the crowd, it’s being responsible for putting soulful, herb-flecked grins on their faces. It’s a wholesome, grown-up pleasure, to be sure, befitting of cloth napkins more than paper ones. Still and all, I highly recommend it.

How to Make Authentic Falafel at Home | Umami Girl


  • Jill

    Sounds mighty DE-lish. And quite perf for our family!
    We are also looking forward to a visit to Shake Shack at the end of the month! ;o)ReplyCancel

    • Thanks, Jill! You might find me hiding in your cargo space on the way to Shake Shack. I’ve started manufacturing excuses to go to the city to get me sommadat.ReplyCancel

  • Tastespotting has always been good to me at helping me discover some gorgeous food bloggers/photographers! Today I found u :-)
    You have a lovely space and the recipe just did it for me! I have so many wonderful memories related to falafel. Thanks for sharing the recipe!
    Following u from now on to stay in touch!ReplyCancel

    • Hi Prerna, thank you so much for visiting. Your blog is lovely, too. I’m a huge Indian food fan and cook from Madhur Jaffrey from time to time (although I have to admit that since our Whole Foods started procuring their Indian food from an excellent local restaurant, a lot of the time I get my fix at lunchtime from there instead). Looking forward to reading more!ReplyCancel

  • Awww, what a great write up! I agree totally, I just made falafel at home last week :)ReplyCancel

    • Thanks, Manny. Glad to know there are other homemade falafel devotees out there.ReplyCancel

  • I just love falafel, hard to get anything close over here but I can get good chick peas so I’m going to have to try this soon. (sans cillantro, though, even harder to find in Italy.

    • Joshua, a lack of falafel may be the first reason—or at least the first culinary reason—that I’ve ever heard to be sad about living in Italy.

      It’s totally fine to double the parsley instead of using cilantro.ReplyCancel

  • Oh my. I think I’m getting a touch of the vapors just thinking about the deliciousness that is falafel.

    I’ve never thought about trying to make it at home, but now the idea is in my head and I feel it’s only right that I put said idea into practice. I think it would simply be…wrong…unconstitutional…a sin!…to not make these.ReplyCancel

  • I love your photography! And hey that looks pretty simple to make too, I can’t wait to give it a try sometime :DReplyCancel

  • […] for World Vegan Month: Let’s face it. Without falafel, the world would suck. Get the recipe here. Print, PDF or Share This […]ReplyCancel

  • Lauren

    If I were to use canned chickpeas how much of the canned stuff would equal the four dried cups? Thanks!ReplyCancel

  • Leslie

    Once, after having made homemade falafel, I had them on racks to cool. My husband, coming home from who knows where now, saw said falafel and though to himself, “COOKIES! nom nom nom!” and went for them. Imagine his shock when they weren’t cookies at all!!ReplyCancel

  • […] since they disintegrated.  So I baked them and they turned out perfectly.  I kind of followed this recipe. Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:LikeBe the first to like this post. Posted by juicedmeredith […]ReplyCancel

  • “candy/deep fry thermometer ” what is that.. is it a small electronic thing I must buy or a simple hard boiled sweet.ReplyCancel

  • I have tried this recipe before and it really works. it is delicious both fried or baked. This x-mas I am going to do it again. thanks for sharing the recipe.ReplyCancel

  • Peggy

    I had trouble getting them to stick together. My falafel that were grainer disintegrated while cooking. I had to grind them up pretty much to get a ‘paste’ did I do it wrong?ReplyCancel

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