Pan-Fried Falafel with Tzatziki (2024)

Table of Contents
Ingredients Directions FAQs

Around the world, falafel is as common on menus as burgers are. It’s an easy, versatile, and satisfying meal. Serve as an appetizer, roll into a pita sandwich, atop a salad or a bed of rice with roasted vegetables.

Greek Garden Organic olive oil is smooth and well-balanced with a light finish to enhance the flavors of dishes such as hummus, Tzatziki and falafel. Using olive oil is a healthier option for frying, as it creates a thick crust that stops the oil from being absorbed into the food. Olive oil can be re-used 4-5 times and increases in volume when reheated, requiring less oil for frying.


For the Falafel

  • 2 cups chickpeas, cooked and drained
  • 1 small onion peeled, cut in half
  • ½ cup chopped fresh curly parsley
  • 3 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 3 tbsp flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • ¼ cup sesame seeds
  • 2 cups olive oil for frying (try AMORIS Every Day)

Pan-Fried Falafel with Tzatziki (1)

For the Tzatziki Sauce

  • 1 cup sour cream
  • ¼ cup coarsely chopped cucumber
  • small handful fresh curly parsley
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 2 tbsp olive oil (tryGreek Garden Organic)
  • salt and pepper to taste


  1. Make Tzatziki ahead. Place cucumber, parsley, and garlic into a small food processor and pulse until finely chopped. Transfer to small bowl. Mix in sour cream, lemon and olive oil. Add salt and pepper to taste. Refrigerate until falafel is ready.
  2. In food processor, combine all falafel ingredients except sesame seeds and oil.Pulse until pasty and easy to roll into small 1.5 inch balls. Set falafel balls aside on a plate.
  3. In a deep frying pan, heat the oil on medium-high. When you think it might be hot enough, drop a small piece of falafel batter into the oil. It should sizzle immediately, then turn golden brown in less than a minute. If it’s smoking, turn the heat down. If it doesn’t sizzle, wait a little longer or turn up the heat.
  4. Place sesame seeds in a small bowl and roll each falafel ball in the seeds. (This will make the falafel coating crunchier and add a nutty flavor.)
  5. Pick up a falafel ball with a non-plastic utensil and gently lower it into the oil. Repeat with a few more balls–don’t crowd the pan. Cook each side until dark brown, 1-2 minutes then let drain on paper towels.

Makes 20 small falafel.

Pan-Fried Falafel with Tzatziki (2024)


What is the best oil for frying falafel? ›

Greek Garden Organic olive oil is smooth and well-balanced with a light finish to enhance the flavors of dishes such as hummus, Tzatziki and falafel. Using olive oil is a healthier option for frying, as it creates a thick crust that stops the oil from being absorbed into the food.

Should you refrigerate falafel before frying? ›

Refrigerate for at least 15 minutes to help the balls hold together when cooking. If you are making this ahead, you can refrigerate the covered mixture for a few days.

Are falafels healthy fried? ›

That said, falafel is traditionally deep-fried in oil, so falafel purchased at restaurants can be high in fat and calories. Falafel contains a variety of important nutrients, but it's traditionally deep-fried in oil, which can make it high in fat and calories.

Why can't you use cooked chickpeas for falafel? ›

If you cook those dried chickpeas before making falafel, you run into the same issues you find with canned—they just don't bind. The key to great falafel is to soak the dried chickpeas, but grind them while they're still completely raw.

Why does my falafel fall apart when I fry it? ›

If the mixture is too wet, the falafel has a tendency to fall apart when being fried so please pat dry the ingredients before using them. If you find the mixture is too wet, simply add little more breadcrumbs. The falafel mixture after prepared can be shaped by hand or with a tool called an alb falafel (falafel mold).

How do you fry falafel without it falling apart? ›

Make a mixture of a little bit of olive oil and the crumbles. Before putting the falafel in the frying pan, dip them in this mixture. Because the crumbles form a bit of a crust, it's easier to flip them over without them falling apart.

Is it better to deep fry or air fry falafel? ›

Or you could air fry them.

It's true that the falafel cooked this way doesn't get 100 percent as crispy as a traditional deep fry, but it's very close. Plus, the the easy clean-up and use of less oil make it totally worth it.

Is falafel OK for weight loss? ›

Is falafel good for weight loss? Falafel can be part of a weight loss diet when consumed in moderation due to its high fiber and protein content, which helps promote satiety. However, it's essential to consider portion sizes and cooking methods, as deep-fried falafel can be higher in calories.

Is falafel Greek or Middle Eastern? ›

The origins of the falafel can be traced back to Egypt, which is located between Africa and the Middle East. Egyptians are said to eat falafels every day. In fact, falafels are considered their national dish. Falafels reached North America and Germany in the 20th century.

Why add baking soda to falafel mix? ›

Baking soda and powder: Baking soda breaks down and softens the chickpeas as they soak. Baking powder, mixed in just before baking, makes the falafel light and airy. Fresh herbs: The tender leaves of parsley, dill, and cilantro bring fresh, herbal flavor and color.

What if I forgot to soak my chickpeas overnight for falafel? ›

Alternatively, if you're short on time, you can use the quick-soak method: place the beans in a pot and cover with water by about three inches; bring to a rolling boil and boil for five minutes, then remove the pan from the heat and let stand for one hour. Drain the chickpeas.

Why do you soak chickpeas before cooking? ›

Soaking the chickpeas will help soften them and also make them more digestible. There are two ways to soak dried chickpeas, and either method you use, the chickpeas should soften and increase in volume.

What is the best oil for deep frying? ›

The refined oils that are most often used for deep frying include safflower and soybean oil, the latter of which is often labeled as vegetable oil. Decker says the most stable picks are high in a fat called oleic acid, and recommends using peanut or canola oil.

What oil do Arabs use for cooking? ›

Olive oil is an essential ingredient in Middle Eastern cooking. Not only does it enhance the flavor of traditional Middle Eastern dishes, but it also adds a tremendous amount of nutritional values to these dishes.

What is the best oil for frying batter? ›

Best Oil for Frying (Ranked by Types of Oils)
  1. Corn Oil. Pros: Most affordable and accessible oil on the market, high smoke point. ...
  2. Blended Oil (aka Vegetable Oil) ...
  3. Plant Oils (Canola, Sunflower, Cottonseed, Safflower) ...
  4. Peanut Oil. ...
  5. Avocado Oil. ...
  6. Coconut Oil.
Jun 30, 2022

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