Last Updated on June 13, 2022
Lebanese Falafel Recipe
Falafel is a delicious Middle-Eastern gourmet food that has become popular in the West over the past several years. It’s basically deep fried chick peas or fava beans paste balls, that are crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside. The Lebanese Falafel Recipe includes a host of other ingredients such as onions, herbs and spices.
Different Recipe Available for Lebanese Falafel
Different countries in the Middle East prepare Falafel differently…the main tracks being chickpeas (garbanzo beans) based, or fava beans based.
Palestinian Falafel Recipe
Our favorite recipe which is featured here has both chickpeas and fava beans. When we discussed it with a Palestinian friend, he noted that in Palestine they don’t add Fava beans to their Falafel. They make it solely with Chickpeas similarly to how most Lebanese make it. In some parts of Palestine, they even use dried green peas instead of chickpeas. In Egypt however, Falafel is made from Fava beans exclusively and is called “Toh’miyya”… so there, be creative and feel free to explore with different beans especially if trying to avoid allergenic beans.
Storing Falafel dough
Leftover Falafel dough can be stored in a ziplog plastic bag in the freezer for a few weeks. All ingredients of this Falafel recipe can be purchased at Middle Eastern grocery stores.
Lebanese Falafel Recipe - Chickpeas and Fava Beans Falafel
- 1 lb fava beans dried, peeled
- 3/4 lbs chickpeas dried
- 1 cup Italian parsley finely minced, drained from excess juice
- 2 cups cilantro leaves finely minced, drained from excess juice
- 1/2 cup green onions finely minced
- 10 cloves garlic
- 1/2 yellow onion
- 2 tablespoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 2 tablespoons flour
- 1 teaspoon of baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon chili powder optional, if spicy falafel is desired
- 1 teaspoon cumin powder
- 3 teaspoons coriander powder
- 3 cups Vegetable Oil for deep frying
Tahini Sauce Ingredients
- 2 tablespoons Tahini Paste
- 1 cup Lemon Juice
- 3 cloves garlic
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
Optional Falafel Serving Sides and Garnish
- Salty Lebanese Pickles cucumbers, turnips, pickled chilli peppers
- 2 Tomatoes chopped
- 1 cup Italian parsley chopped
- 8 loafs Pita bread
Preparing the Falafel Mix
- Soak the fava beans and the chickpeas in water in separate containers overnight so that they soften.
- The following day drain the all beans and rinse with fresh water. Peel the fava beans and discard the skins (or you can save time by buying peeled fava beans).
- Drain the fava beans in a colander then run them in the food processor for a minute or two until they look like bread crumbs. Set aside in a large bowl.
- Similarly rinse and drain the chickpeas then run them in the food processor until they reach the same consistency of the Fava beans. Pour in the bowl on top of the fava beans.
- Place the garlic, onions, green onions, parsley, cilantro, flour and all spices except for the baking soda in the food processor and run for a minute until they turn into a thick paste.
- Add them to the bowl on top of the beans and knead with hands until they reach a doughy texture. If they feel dry add a bit of water and kneed a bit more. If they feel too pasty add a bit of flour. At this point feel free to taste the Falafel mix to make sure it has a balanced flavor.
Frying the Falafel
- Right before frying, add and mix the baking soda into the Falfel mix kneading it, then let it rest for a bit. When ready heat up 1-2 inches deep of cooking oil in a frying pan on medium heat.
- Scoop the falafel by using a special Falafel scoop. If not available use an ice cream scoop, a small 1 Oz measuring cup, or 2 regular tablespoons whereby you would scoop the falafel paste in one, and press the other spoon against it to compact into a "cake" then drop gently into the frying pan.
- Fry for a few minutes while turning the falafel if needed until it turns light brown and crispy on the outside, then scoop them out into a colander for a couple of minutes to get rid of the excess oil before placing them in a serving bowl.
- Optional: You can roll the falafel in sesame seeds as soon as they are taken out of the frying pan.
Alternative Method: Bake the Falafel
- For the health conscious, you can scoop then layer the falafel patties on an aluminum/cooking tray that has been lightly oiled and bake in the oven at 400F for 7-10 minutes or until crispy on the outside.
Falafel Tahini Sauce Preparation
- Mix the Tahini sauce ingredients in the blender until they reach a homogeneous texture.
- Sample to ensure a balance of flavors. A good Falafel Tahini sauce should be tangy and garlicky.
- Serve as a side/dip.
Putting Together a Falafel Sandwich
- While still hot, crush 3 or 4 cooked falafel balls along the diameter of a pita bread, garnish with some chopped parsley leaves, add a table spoon of Tahini sauce, chopped tomatoes, salted Lebanese cucumber and turnip pickles, and an optional red hot sauce (Shatta) . Roll and enjoy.
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It turned out great! I left the mixture in the fridge overnight to absorb the excess moisture from the herbs and aromatics before frying. I subbed navy beans since I didn’t have fava, and added a teaspoon of cardamom powder
Israelis use 100% chickpeas. Arabs don’t.
Israelis learned to do Falafel from Arabs. Then claimed it theirs. just like did with the land. 🙂
What a stupid thing to say. What about Lebanese Jews or Syrian Jews that were run out of Lebanon/Syria and ended up in Israel with these recipes? Did they now claim these recipes as theirs? Get lost with your antisemitic comments you clown.
Actually, it depends on the country. Lebanese, Palestinian, and Syrian, and Israeli falafel mostly use chickpeas (at times a combination…). Egyptian falafel (the originals) are mostly made using fava beans.
Great recipe made with chickpeas alone also and love it!
Hi ,I made the falafel with 75% of chic peas dried, and 25% of frozen broad beans peeled. Turned out really well. I bought brown dried faba beans ,will they be fine for flavour this time?
Glad the 75/25 mix worked for you George. I haven’t tried the falafel with brown fava beans. It’d be interesting to give it a shot. I’ve heard of folks making the falafel with various beans, including green peas and garbanzo beans.
Hi. How do you peal the dry fava beans please?
I’m living since two years in the Middle East and I try to discover the local kitchen, spices etc. The recipe is simple to follow, it was the first time I ever did Falafel on my own and all went well. This recipe was the best and most flavoury falafels I ever ate. Thank you very much for sharing this recipe with us. Can’t wait to try other recipe from your website.