Falafel in Air-Fryer: Healthy & Crispy is a wonderful example of how simple, oil-free dishes can also be full of taste and lip-smacking.
Ever since I have got my air fryer, I have been looking for all that can be air fried. Potatoes for Dum Alloo or for chaat, paneer for Matar Paneer/Pulao, nuts n onions for Biryani, frozen items, masala peanuts, breadsticks, cutlets/kebabs are some of the items I have been successfully doing in air fryer. Day by day my usage of air fryer is being increased. And the latest I made falafel in air fryer.
You know once what happened? I tried roasting Papad in it. I laid one papad in it. After 30 seconds or so, when I opened it, the papad was not there. What? Puzzled a lot, I looked for it everywhere, taking out the air-fryer basket also but no. It wasn’t there. Any idea where was it? Got burnt or what? No, because of the air inside the fryer, the poor thin papad flew and stuck to the roof the air-fryer 🙂 Coming back to our falafels.
Falafel is a famous Middle Eastern street food made of chickpeas. In simple words, Falafels are chickpeas fritters served either as a snack with dips like Tahini or Hummus or is tucked in the pockets of pita bread or make a burger .
The beauty of the falafels is that they are crisp from the outside but are soft from inside. And making these is also very easy because unlike other lentil fritters you don’t have to beat the mixture. Just grind and make.
For vegetarians, it is a boon as chickpeas, as we all know is loaded with proteins and is a super healthy food in itself.
Falafel is rich in protein, carbohydrates, fibre and nutrients like calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium, vitamin C etc. Chickpeas are low in fat without any cholesterol but unfortunately falafel, being fried, absorb a lot of fat and thus the nutrients are overpowered by fat. So, if we can avoid fat then nothing like it.
Thus I tried Falafels in air fryer and they came out superb, keeping all the nutrients intact. If not air fryer, then you can make them in the oven or in an appe pan or pan fry these. But to avail full benefits of falafels, avoid frying them.
I have tried falafels with both raw as well with boiled chickpeas. But seriously, nothing to match with the falafels made with raw chickpeas. Soaked chickpeas, when grounded with herbs like parsley and onion-garlic then, believe me, the aroma it gives is simply mind-blowing. They are made so easily whereas the ones made with boiled chickpeas fall apart and is slightly ticklish to make.
While making falafel, just keep in mind few things. First of all, the chickpeas should be properly soaked. Soak till they become double in size. Like 1 cup chickpeas when soaked easily become 2 cups. Soak overnight or for 4 to 5 hours. Shall I give you a tip? If you do not have much time then soak these in a casserole in lukewarm water, your job will be done in almost half the time.
Secondly, while grinding, keep it coarse and do not make a paste out of it. Do not use any water while grinding. As it is onions too will release some water while grinding. I prefer grinding it in my food processor. I add everything… soaked chickpeas, cilantro, parsley and spices in the food processor and then grind it. If you grind it in a grinder then keep a watch that they are not overdone. Also, do not add parsley, onion etc while grinding in the grinder. Just grind the chickpeas coarsely and then add all other things.
That’s it. now add little chickpeas flour for binding. Chickpeas flour makes it gluten-free and healthy too. You can add oatmeal or all-purpose flour also instead of chickpeas flour. Keep the mixture in the refrigerator for at least half an hour. During this time starch will seep out and will facilitate the process of making balls. Though I knew its better to refrigerate the dough before forming balls but didn’t know the exact reason behind this. I got this reasoning from here. After half an hour, take out the mix, make balls and cook as you wish… air fryer or oven or deep fry or pan fry.
‘This recipe is more or less adapted from here and it makes scrumptious Falafels.
Let’s see how to make falafel in air fryer in detail…
Preparation Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes (2 batches of 15 minute each)
Passive Time: 6 to 8 hours
Yields: 18 to 20 Balls/Falafels
(My 1 Cup= 250 ml)
1 Cup (200 g) Chickpeas (Kabuli Chana)
1 Pc Onion Chopped roughly
3 to 4 Cloves Garlic, crushed
1/2 Cup Parsley, Roughly Chopped
1/4 Cup Cilantro, Roughly Chopped
1/2 teaspoon Cumin Seeds
Black Pepper as per taste
Salt as per taste
2 Tablespoon Chickpeas Flour (Besan)
- Wash chickpeas thoroughly and soak them in enough water for 4 to 6 hours or overnight.
- Roughly chop onion, garlic, parsley and cilantro.
- Once chickpeas are properly soaked and doubled in size, drain all the water and put them in the food processor.
- Add chopped onion, garlic, parsley, cilantro, salt and pepper.
- Grind coarsely everything. It looks like a crumbled dough and is wet also because of onions.
- Take out this crumbled dough in a bowl and add very little chickpeas flour until no longer wet and you can form balls out of it. It should not stick to your hands. If it does, add little more chickpeas flour.
- Keep the dough in the refrigerator for at least half an hour. If possible for an hour or two. This resting period allows the excess starch to seep out and mixture binds together easily, thus becomes easy to form balls.
- Preheat air fryer for 1o minutes at 180 degrees C.
- Mix and make medium sized balls.
- When the air fryer is preheated, take out the basket of air fryer and keep the balls in it and put the basket back in the air fryer.
- After 7 to 8 minutes. flip the balls so that they are properly cooked from both sides.
- After another 6 to 7 minutes, see that the falafels are properly cooked and golden in colour.
- Serve these with hummus or with pita bread and hummus.
- Ensure that you soak chickpeas in enough water as they absorb water and swell after some time.
- Before grinding, put the soaked chickpeas in the strainer so that all water drips out.
- If grinding in the grinder then it is better to grind chickpeas only. When coarsely grounded then add other ingredients like onion etc.
- In the absence of air fryer, cook these in an appe pan or in the oven or pan fry them. Preheat oven to 180 degrees C for 10 minutes, brush oil on the baking tray and lay falafels on it.
- If you want to deep fry these falafels then add little more chickpeas flour so that they bind properly. Add one falafel in hot oil. If it breaks or falls apart then add little more chickpeas flour.
- Before air frying, you may brush little oil on the balls.
Detailed Recipe with Pics
Roughly chop parsley, cilantro, onion and garlic.
Put soaked and drained chickpeas, chopped onion, garlic, parsley, cilantro and salt, pepper in the food processor.
Add chickpeas flour.
Start preheating air fryer. During this time make balls.
Put the balls in air fryer basket. Brush oil on these if you like (I didn’t).
Air fry for about 15 minutes.
Serve these with hummus.
Or, tuck them in pockets of air fryer, apply hummus and lettuce etc and serve. (I served without any salad as I didn’t have any that day))
So, how did you like it? I am sure you will give it a try and then share your feedback along with pics. And do not forget to leave a comment below. Your feedback fuels my enthusiasm to post more good content. Also, join me on my Facebook page for more interesting tips and facts.
And Now, Its Time For …
Food For Soul
A Recipe has NO SOUL… You As the Cook Must Bring Soul To The Recipe