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Air Fryer Falafel Recipe - vegan and gluten-free
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3.67 from 3 votes

Easy Air Fryer Falafel Recipe

These air fryer falafels are super yummy and taste as good as the original deep fried ones. This is vegan and gluten-free recipe and will become your family favorite.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Soaking Time12 hrs
Course: Lunch/Dinner, Main / Dinner, Side Dish, Snacks / Brunch / Appetizers
Cuisine: Mediterranean, Middle Eastern
Keyword: air fryer appetizers, air fryer falafel, Air Fryer Recipes, vegan air fryer recipes
Servings: 30 falafels
Calories: 22kcal
Author: simplyvegetarian777

Equipment

  • Measuring Spoons, Measuring Cups, Stirring Spoon,
  • Chopping board and knife
  • Air fryer parchment paper
  • Air Fryer
  • mixing bowl
  • Food Processor
  • Stirring Spoon
  • Ice cream scooper

Ingredients

  • 2 cups Chickpeas dry
  • 1 medium Onion, white chopped
  • 3-4 cloves Garlic minced
  • 1/2 cup Parsley with its leaves & tender stems thick stems removed
  • 1/2 cup Cilantro with its leaves & tender stems thick stems removed
  • 3-4 tbsp Chickpea flour use 1 tbsp at a time to bind the mix
  • 1/2 tbsp Coriander powder
  • 1/2 tbsp Cumin powder
  • 1/2 tsp Paprika
  • 1/2 tsp Baking Soda
  • 1&1/2 to 2 tsp Salt or to taste
  • Few sprays of Oil Spray

Instructions

Read the complete recipe first. Then gather ingredients. ALWAYS READ NOTES FOR TIPS & INFORMATION.

    Soaking the Chickpeas

    • Wash Chickpeas couple of times under running cold water. Since these beans double and triple in size after soaking, so make sure to soak them in enough water in a large Bowl. Soak these for at least  10-12 hrs or overnight. When ready to use, drain the water and set aside.

    Making the Falafel Mix

    • Take your large Food Processor and add roughly chopped onion and garlic to it. Process it fine (not paste).
    • Herbs - Make sure that the herbs are thoroughly washed. Remove the hard parts of parsley and cilantro and use only the tender stems plus leaves. Now add parsley and cilantro to the processor. Process it a little to mix with onion & garlic. Open the processor and loosen up the mix with a Stirring Spoon.
    • Now add the soaked and drained Chickpeas, Chickpea flour, Baking Soda, Coriander powder, Cumin powder, paprika, Salt to the processor. Pulse and process the mixture till chickpeas are crushed. In between, stop the processor few times, open and loosen the mixture if needed. Uneven pieces of chickpeas are ok. Don't process it too fine. Falafel are grainy in texture. We need grainy mix for falafel.
    • Finally remove the falafel mixture to a large Mixing Bowl. Mix well with a Stirring Spoon or hands. It will be a grainy mix but will combine well because of chickpea flour. If needed, add more Chickpea flour to bind the mix. 

    Refrigerating the Mix

    • Now cover and refrigerate the mix for 25-30 minutes. It becomes easy to handle when refrigerated.

    Shaping the Falafel

    • Prepare a cookie tray with parchment paper on it. You will use this tray to keep the shaped falafels till ready to be air-fried.
    • Shaping can be a bit tricky depending upon how well combined your falafel mix is. I use ice cream scooper to scoop the dough and place it directly on the Air fryer parchment paper. Then patted these scoops a bit down to form about 2 inches wide mini patties for even cooking. You can leave these dome shaped too. Or if your mix is firm enough, then roll between your hands and air fry. You can make smaller size falafels too. Time will vary and be faster for smaller size. 
    • I did not make a tight mix. My falafel mix was slightly soft and ice-cream scoop worked really well. If you do not have ice cream scoop, then you can use a soup spoon as well to scoop and shape. 

    Air frying Falafel

    • Pre-heat AIR FRYER at 390*F for 5 minutes. Then place 7-9 falafels on a parchment paper & place inside the basket. Spray these falafels with the oil spray lightly. 
    • AIR FRY FALAFELS at 390*F for up to 20 minutes till crispy from all the sides. If you are making smaller falafels, those might get done between 13-15 minutes. The timing will also depend upon how dry or wet your mix is. Drier mix will cook faster and wet mix will take time. I like slightly wet mix since it keeps the falafel moist from inside. Try slightly wet mix. It is totally worth the texture.
    • I will be honest, I love using Air fryer parchment paper for most of my air-fried recipes. It makes the cooking and cleaning so convenient. And later I remove the parchment paper and transfer these directly to the basket for crisping up from all the sides. Air fry directly on the air fryer basket minus the parchment paper for last 2-3 minutes.
    • If you do not have air fryer parchment paper then you can place them directly on the basket. Make sure to grease the basket properly. 

    Serving Suggestion

    • Serve these warm immediately. These are well served with hummus, tzatziki and tahini, pickled vegetables on the side. We love stuffing Pita Pockets with falafel, hummus, tzatziki, & pickled onions. You can add lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, olives to the pocket along with falafels. It makes a delicious meal. You can serve these as appetizers also along with all the sauces. Lately, falafel burgers are making a wave too. SO make mini-sliders with these for your get-togethers.

    How to make falafels in the Oven?

    • You will follow the same instructions for preparing the chickpeas, making the falafel mix, and shaping these. Now preheat the oven at 425*F and then oven bake these falafels for 25-30 minutes till crispy.

    Is this recipe good for Deep Frying?

    • Yes. But for deep-frying make sure that the falafel mix is tight and is not falling apart. Then deep fry at medium heat till golden brown.

    Instant pot air fryer lid instructions

    • You will follow the same instructions as the air fryer. It might cook the falafels faster than the regular air fryer.

    Notes

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    Can I use canned chickpeas for this recipe?

    ABSOLUTELY NOT. Please use dry chickpeas for this recipe.

    Is it ok to make falafels in advance?

    Yes you can make these in advance. I always make these in bulk and refrigerate for healthy snacking. 

    Can I freeze these?

    I have not tried freezing these. But if you freeze them separately on a flat try first and then put them in a freezer friendly bag and FREEZE. 

    How to re-heat the falafels?

    Place the refrigerated falafels in the air fryer basket and air fry at 390*F for 2-4 minutes till they are hot in the middle. 

    How to store the leftovers?

    Bring these to the room temperature and then refrigerate these in air tight container.

    Is air fryer falafel healthy?

    YES air fryer falafel are very healthy. These are high in protein, fiber & minerals. Since these have minimal amount of oil, this is heart healthy and good for diabetics.

    Kitchen Gadgets for the Recipe

    Measuring Cups & Spoon
    AIR FRYER
    Air fryer parchment paper
    Mixing Bowl
    Ice-cream scooper
    Chopping Board & Knife
    Food Processor
    Stirring Spoon

    Nutrition

    Serving: 30balls | Calories: 22kcal | Carbohydrates: 4g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 446mg | Potassium: 45mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 9IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 9mg | Iron: 1mg