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The Crucial Step for Perfectly Fried Falafel: Don’t Skip This!

Don’t skip this step before frying falafel: Tips for Perfectly Shaped and Delicious Falafel

Falafel is a popular Middle Eastern dish made from fried chickpea or fava bean balls. It is loved for its crispy exterior, fluffy interior, and flavorful combination of herbs and spices. Whether you’re a falafel enthusiast or a novice who wants to try your hand at making these delicious treats, there are important tips and steps you shouldn’t overlook to ensure your falafel comes out perfectly shaped and delicious. In this article, we’ll delve into the expert advice of renowned chefs and culinary experts to help you master the art of falafel making.

The importance of proper chickpea preparation

A crucial step in achieving the right texture and flavor for your falafel is preparing the chickpeas. While it may be tempting to reach for canned chickpeas for convenience, experts recommend using dried chickpeas for the best results. According to Suzy Karadsheh of The Mediterranean Dish, soaking dried chickpeas overnight is essential for optimal texture and flavor in your falafel. Canned chickpeas tend to be too moist, resulting in a dough that is too delicate and falls apart during frying.

Keeping your falafel dough firm and solid

Even if you use dry chickpeas, there are other ingredients in falafel that can introduce moisture and pose a challenge to maintaining the integrity of the dough. Onions and herbs contain water, which can make the dough too moist and brittle. To overcome this, it is recommended that the falafel dough be refrigerated for an hour or more before frying. This step will help firm up the dough and allow the falafel balls to hold their shape during frying, as suggested by The Spruce Eats.

Avoiding Common Falafel Making Pitfalls

While some try to add starch to absorb excess moisture and keep the dough intact, this approach can backfire. Cook’s Illustrated warns against using cornstarch, flour, or chickpea flour, which can result in dense and dry falafel. Instead, rely on refrigeration to achieve the desired consistency. In addition, celebrity chef Michael Solomonov recommends incorporating a leavening agent such as baking powder into the falafel mixture to achieve a light and fluffy texture.

Shaping and Storing Falafel

When it comes to forming the falafel balls, some cooks suggest using an ice cream scoop instead of your hands. This method ensures uniformity in size and shape, which makes the frying process more consistent. If you’re planning to make a large batch of falafel, you can freeze the uncooked balls until you’re ready to fry them. Freezer-obsessed chemist Billie Zeelen recommends slowly thawing them in the refrigerator before frying, for a convenient and time-saving way to enjoy homemade falafel whenever you want.


Mastering the art of falafel making requires attention to detail and adherence to key steps. By following the expert advice of renowned chefs and culinary experts, you can achieve perfectly formed, crispy-on-the-outside, fluffy-on-the-inside falafel that will delight your taste buds. Remember to start with dry chickpeas, refrigerate the mixture before frying, and consider incorporating a leavening agent for optimal texture. With these tips in mind, you’ll be well on your way to creating irresistible falafel that will impress your family and friends.


Why should I use dry chickpeas instead of canned chickpeas to make falafel?

Dry chickpeas provide the best texture and taste for falafel. Canned chickpeas tend to be too moist, resulting in a dough that is too tender and falls apart when fried.

How long should I soak dried chickpeas before making falafel?

It is recommended to soak dried chickpeas overnight, which will allow them to soften and rehydrate properly, ensuring the desired texture in your falafel.

Can I skip refrigerating the falafel batter before frying?

It is important to refrigerate the falafel batter for at least one hour before frying. This step helps to firm up the dough, making it easier to shape the falafel balls and prevent them from falling apart during frying.

Can I add cornstarch to the falafel mix to absorb excess moisture?

It is not recommended to add starch to the falafel batter. Using starch, such as cornstarch or flour, can result in dense and dry falafel. Refrigerating the mixture is a better method to achieve the desired consistency.

What can I use as a leavening agent for fluffy falafel?

Adding a leavening agent such as baking powder to the falafel mix can help achieve a light and fluffy texture. It promotes the rise of the falafel balls during frying, resulting in a more airy and tender interior.

Can I freeze the uncooked falafel balls for later use?

Yes, you can freeze the uncooked falafel balls. Freezing them allows for convenient meal preparation, and they can be thawed in the refrigerator before frying. This way you can enjoy homemade falafel whenever you want without compromising on quality.

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