How to Make Falafel without Frying – Falafel that is air-fried is the most like the kind that is deep-fried. It tastes like herbs and is just as crispy and crunchy on the outside, but the inside is a little less moist. What’s the best? Air-fried food has no oil at all. It’s vegan (no dairy or eggs), grain-free (gluten-free), soy-free, and nut-free, just like any other falafel.
During my trips to Lebanon, Israel, and Egypt, I ate my fair share of falafel. I’ve had falafel made with chickpeas (in Israel), fava beans (in Egypt), and a mix of the two (in Lebanon). I’ve tried them in restaurants and from vendors on street corners. I’ve put them in pita bread and put them on salads. Buy Your Air Fryer Here
Even though I’ve tried different kinds of falafel, the one thing they all had in common was that they were deep-fried. Always.
When I got back to Canada, I really wanted to make the real falafel, which is crispy and golden on the outside, moist and fluffy on the inside, and tastes like fresh herbs but has none of the oil. I know that traditional falafel is always fried in oil, but I didn’t want to do that. Deep-frying makes the most delicious and crispy falafel, but it’s not a very healthy way to cook. Buy Your Air Fryer Here
So, I tried baking the falafel in the oven and frying it in a pan with a little bit of oil, but it never got as crispy as air fry falafels. I used up bags of chickpeas trying different changes, but I just couldn’t get it right. I had never made falafel in the air fryer until one day.
How to Make Falafel without Frying
The idea of making air-fried falafel at home might sound hard, but the recipe only calls for a few things:
Chickpeas taste and feel best when you start with dried, uncooked chickpeas that have been soaked. I’ve tried to make falafel with cooked chickpeas in the past, but the mixture would fall apart as soon as it hit the heat. I later found out that cooked chickpeas are too soft and have too much water to get the right texture. When you start adding things to hold the mixture together, like all-purpose flour, breadcrumbs, or eggs, you are no longer making falafel. So, give the chickpeas time to soak.
Onion and garlic: Herbs and spices are important to the flavour of any falafel, but the real flavour comes from the aromatics, which are less flashy than herbs and spices. Aromatics are a small group of vegetables that don’t seem very important, but you can’t make good falafel without them.
Use fresh herbs at all times. They make the taste more interesting and give the dish a beautiful green colour. Fresh parsley and cilantro are my favourite herbs to use in falafel.
Chickpea flour: The flour helps to absorb the moisture from the raw ingredients and hold them together. You can use any flour you want, but chickpea flour works best because it has the same flavour as the main ingredient.
Cumin and coriander are just two of the many ways you can season falafel. Cumin and coriander are two of the most common spices. Cumin tastes like dirt, and coriander tastes like citrus and nuts. You can also add fresh green chilli pepper or cayenne pepper if you like a little bit of heat.
Salt helps herbs and spices taste their best. Buy Your Air Fryer Here
How to Make Falafel That Are Air-Fried
Falafel is usually deep-fried in the traditional way. Falafel cooked in the air is just as good, but it doesn’t use any oil.
Let the chickpeas soak. Put the chickpeas in a big bowl, cover them with water, and let them sit at room temperature for 24 hours. You might wonder if you can do a quick-soak instead, which means bringing the chickpeas to a boil and letting them sit for an hour to soften. Well, the quick-soak method doesn’t work for this recipe because the chickpeas for falafel have to be completely raw.
Mix all of the ingredients together.
Put all the falafel ingredients in the food processor and pulse them until you get a coarse meal that just holds its shape.
Put the mixture in the fridge. Let the dough rest for at least 30 minutes before rolling it into balls. This will help the falafel mixture stick together well. This lets the extra starch get rid of itself.
Make balls out of the falafel mix. Use your hands to roll the mixture into small balls that are about 1.5 inches or 3.8 centimetres in diameter. If you pack the balls too tightly, they will be hard and dense when they come out.
Air-fry. Set the air fryer’s temperature to 370°F/187°C. Put about 9 falafel balls in a single layer in the air fryer basket and cook for 13 to 15 minutes, or until they are crispy and golden brown. Buy Your Air Fryer Here
How to Serve Falafel That Was Air-Fried
Falafel tastes the best when it’s still hot. The outside will be the crispiest and the inside will be the fluffiest.
Falafel is usually served as a main dish in a pita pocket with lettuce, tomatoes, and cucumbers. Adding a traditional dip or sauce, like hummus or tahini, to a falafel pitta is a great way to add even more flavour. Buy Your Air Fryer Here
Falafel can be served as a starter on a simple salad or on its own with hummus and tahini.
How to Keep Falafel and Heat It Again
You can keep falafel either uncooked or cooked if you have some left over. I like to keep falafel that hasn’t been cooked and bake it when I need it. But if you want to plan ahead and make meals that you can quickly reheat, storing falafel that has already been cooked might be a better idea. Just remember that falafel tastes best when it’s just been cooked.
Let falafel cool to room temperature before putting them in the fridge (if storing cooked falafel). Place in an airtight container and store in the fridge for 3–4 days (for uncooked falafel) or up to 5 days (for cooked falafel) (cooked falafel).
Let falafel cool to room temperature before freezing (if storing cooked falafel). Put the falafel patties in an airtight container that can go in the freezer. Use a piece of parchment paper to separate each row so that the falafel patties don’t stick to each other as they freeze. Freeze for up to 3 months.
Before reheating, put frozen falafel in the refrigerator for 24 hours. If you want to reheat falafel that hasn’t been cooked yet, follow the directions above for air-frying. If you want to heat up already-cooked falafel, set the air fryer to 370°F/187°C. Put about 9 falafel balls in a single layer in the air fryer basket and heat them for 3–4 minutes, until they are hot and crispy again.
2 cups of dry chickpeas
1 cup of parsley, with only the leaves and soft stems
1 cup of cilantro, with only the leaves and soft stems
1 chopped onion
3 cloves of garlic, chopped up
2 teaspoons of chickpea flour
2 tsp. cumin powder
2 teaspoons of coriander powder
½ tsp. cayenne pepper (optional) (optional)
sea salt , to taste**
Let the chickpeas soak.
Pour enough water to cover the chickpeas in a large bowl. (The chickpeas will grow to twice or three times their original size, so use more water than you think you will need.) Soak the chickpeas on the counter for 24 hours. The chickpeas should then be drained, rinsed under cold running water, and used as directed.
Get the air fryer hot. Set the temperature of the air fryer to 370°F/187°C and let it heat up for 3–5 minutes.
Mix all of the ingredients together.
Put the soaked chickpeas, parsley, cilantro, onion, garlic, chickpea flour, cumin, coriander, black pepper, and salt into a food processor with a S blade and process until everything is well mixed. The chickpeas should have a rough, uneven texture, and you should still be able to see some slightly bigger pieces. When you press the mixture between your fingers, it should stay together, but it shouldn’t be completely smooth. If the mixture is too wet, add 1 tablespoon (5.7 grammes) of chickpea flour at a time. If it seems too dry and crumbly, give it a few more pulses.
Taste the food and adjust the flavour as needed by adding more salt if it tastes too salty, garlic if it tastes too strong, cumin if it tastes too earthy, coriander if it tastes citrusy and nutty, and cayenne pepper if it tastes too hot.
Put the falafel mixture in the fridge. Put the falafel mix in a bowl, cover it, and put it in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.
Make balls out of the falafel mix. Take 1 to 2 tablespoons of the mixture and roll it gently between your hands into 1.5-inch-diameter (3.8 cm) balls. If you pack the balls too tightly, they will be hard and dense when they come out. Keep doing this until all of the falafel mix is gone.
Air-fry. Put about 9 falafel balls in a single layer in the basket of an air fryer and air fry for 13 to 15 minutes, or until they are crispy and golden brown.
Serve right away, while it’s still hot and crispy, on greens or in a warmed pita with hummus, tomatoes, and shredded lettuce.
Store. Falafel that has been left over can be kept in the fridge for up to 5 days in an airtight container. However, it is best when it is still fresh. Falafel that has already been shaped but has not been cooked should be frozen in a single layer. Once the falafel is firm, put it in a bag or container that can be frozen and put it back in the freezer for up to 3 months. Falafel that has already been cooked can also be frozen, but it doesn’t taste as good.
For 3–4 minutes, re-heat a 370°F/187°C air fryer until it is hot all the way through and crispy again. If you want to bake frozen falafel that hasn’t been cooked yet, put it in the fridge 24 hours before you want to bake it. Once the food has thawed, follow the steps above for air frying.