Easy falafels

Easy falafels

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(9 ratings)

Prep: 15 mins Cook: 20 mins plus at least 8 hrs soaking


makes 16

Pair John Torode's easy falafels with soft flatbreads, well-spiced humous and crunchy pickles for a magnificent meze of a lunch, or a shareable starter

Nutrition and extra info

  • Healthy
  • Gluten-free
  • Vegetarian
  • Vegan

Nutrition: per falafel

  • kcal139
  • fat7g
  • saturates1g
  • carbs11g
  • sugars1g
  • fibre3g
  • protein5g
  • salt0.1g
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  • 250g dried chickpeas or dried split broad beans
  • ½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
    Bicarbonate of soda

    Bicarbonate of soda

    Bicarbonate of soda, or baking soda, is an alkali which is used to raise soda breads and full-…

  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1 onion, roughly chopped



    Onions are endlessly versatile and an essential ingredient in countless recipes. Native to Asia…

  • 1 leek, roughly chopped



    Like garlic and onion, leeks are a member of the allium family, but have their own distinct…

  • 1 celery stick, roughly chopped
  • 1 small chilli, roughly chopped (deseeded if you don't like it too hot)



    Part of the capsicum family, chillies come in scores of varieties and colours (from green…

  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp sumac



    This wine-coloured ground spice is one of the most useful but least known and most…

  • good handful chopped coriander
  • good handful chopped parsley



    One of the most ubiquitous herbs in British cookery, parsley is also popular in European and…

  • 80g gram flour
  • 100ml vegetable oil

To serve

  • houmous, tabbouleh and pickled red onion & radish (see goes well with), flatbreads, shop-bought or see goes well with (optional)


  1. Soak the chickpeas in cold water for 8 hrs, or overnight.

  2. Drain the chickpeas and pulse with the bicarb in a food processor until roughly chopped. Remove 3/4 of the mixture and set aside.

  3. Add the garlic, vegetables, spices and herbs to the remaining mixture in the processor and purée to a paste. Stir the paste into the rough purée of chickpeas, add the gram flour, season and mix well.

  4. Heat oven to 110C/90C fan/gas 1/4. Heat a large, non-stick frying pan over a medium heat and add some of the oil. Use your hands to form the mixture into patties (there should be enough to make about 16). Fry for 2 mins each side until crisp. Keep in a warm oven while you fry the remainder of the mixture, continuing to add a little oil to the pan with each batch. Serve wrapped in flatbreads, if you like, alongside the houmous, tabbouleh and pickled red onion & radish.

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Comments, questions and tips

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1st Jul, 2020
Made tonight for dinner. Was really filling as served with homemade tabbouleh and the picked red onion and radish(very tasty and adds a sharpness to the dish) plus shop bought hummus, that I already had in fridge. Served on lovely shop bought nan bread. Like mandamoo2 I was very sceptical about not cooking the dried chickpeas after steeping(I steeped for 24hrs and changed the steeping water several times....advice I’d been given to reduce the effects of pulses!). However then followed recipe but baked in hot oven for 30 mins, on non stick tin foil, turning halfway. Thank you mandamoo2 for that advice. I then felt more confident that the mixture was cooked! They were lovely and brown with a crisp outer and soft inside. Thoroughly recommend.
31st Mar, 2020
Hi please can you add a printer option to this app. Ingredients and method on b&w no frills printer efficient format. Thanks.
8th Mar, 2020
I really loved the recipe, the flavours were subtle and delicious. I was very suspicious that there was no need to cook the chickpeas, so I soaked them for 2 days and the final texture was perfect. The one thing that I didn't get on with was frying them. So, I googled a few other recipes and brushed them with oil and baked them for 30 mins at 200 degrees C on the top shelf of the oven, turning them half way through cooking. Delicious!
12th Jan, 2018
Delicious! They held together really well and I got a lovely crunchy outer. I think I was mean with the herbs so will add more next time. Husband loved the spice so will leave that in, but this could be easily altered for the kids.
25th Feb, 2017
These are delicious; once you have soaked chickpeas it really is chuck it all in food processor, shape and fry, quick and easy. This recipe has shown me the benefits of dried chick peas, mostly the texture. First attempt I soaked for 8 hours but thought chickpeas were still too hard so simmered for an hour, however second attempt I just followed recipe and they were better. You can swap out sumac for lemon zest, gram flour for plain flour and cayenne for paprika. Gram flour is tastier but plain flour makes them easier to shape. Paprika just makes them less spicy and didn’t add chilli to the kids ones. The mixture is really wet but if you can shape it and get it into the pan then it tightens up, flip and they are perfect. Once cooked have frozen them and then just reheated from frozen by wrapping in tin foil and cooking gas mark 6 for 20 mins.
13th Jul, 2019
Obviously if you swap out plain flour for the gram flour they will no longer be gluten free - just thought I'd point that out.
26th Feb, 2017
Thanks for this info - I have just posted a question about cooking the chick peas or not, before seeing your comment. I will go ahead with them as they are !
15th Jan, 2019
Can you cook these in the oven rather than frying?
goodfoodteam's picture
17th Jan, 2019
Thanks for your question. We haven't tested these in the oven but if you want to give it a go try cooking them at 190C/ 170C fan for around 15 mins, turning them halfway through, and let us know how you get on!
12th Jan, 2018
What is the reason that tinned chickpeas aren’t recommended? Calling this an easy recipe, but then requiring 8 hours soaking (and therefore the planning to remember to soak them) seems odd.
goodfoodteam's picture
22nd Jan, 2018
Thanks for your question. Using dried, soaked chickpeas does provide good texture but you can substitute with drained canned chickpeas.
26th Feb, 2017
Can it be right that you don't have to cook the chick peas? I have soaked them overnight ang they are still like bullets ....
goodfoodteam's picture
3rd Mar, 2017
Hi Lorraine, sorry to hear that. Were they fully submerged in water the whole time? If not, they need to have sufficient water to allow for expansion and still be immersed. If you did this and they weren't soft enough to blitz, we'd suggest leaving them to soak for another day. Hope that helps.
11th Feb, 2019
I loved this recipe and so did the rest of my family! One thing I did was after a few times of cooking it, discovered that using less gram flour made it better.
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