• Email
  • Pin It



Contributed by:



9 comments | Leave Comment

1 Star2 Star3 Star4 Star5 Star (0 Rating)
Loading ... Loading ...



This is the recipe that has led the media to proclaim me the queen of New York falafel. I know this sounds arrogant, but I never much liked falafel until I opened Taïm and developed this recipe. My version does without the baking powder, baking soda, flour, and bread typically used in other falafel balls. It’s a somewhat complicated recipe; though I make it without a meat grinder, I suggest you use one if you can. It makes for a better texture. If you don’t like black olives, skip them and grind parsley and cilantro as an alternative.


  • Prep Time : 20 min
  • Cook Time : 20 min
  • Ready Time : 40 min


15 balls


  • 2 cups dried chickpeas, soaked in cold water overnight
  • Canola oil for deep frying
  • 1 medium yellow onion, coarsely chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon coriander seeds
  • 1 cup pitted Kalamata olives
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


1. Drain the chickpeas into a colander. Heat a medium pot filled with enough oil for deep frying.

2.  Combine the onion and garlic in a food processor. Pulse until the mixture is finely ground. Crush the coriander seeds with the back of a metal spoon. Add them and the chickpeas to the food processor and pulse just until the chickpeas are broken into smaller chunks.

3.  Add the olives, salt, cumin, and pepper. Process until the mixture is finely chopped but not pureed, scraping down the sides of the container as needed. You’re looking for the mixture to resemble coarse meal and not hummus! If the mixture is a little too wet, simply drain off any excess liquid after you pulse it in the food processor. Shape the mixture into 11/2-inch balls and set aside.

4.  When the oil in the pot reaches 375°F, cook 3 to 4 falafel balls at a time until golden brown, about 3 minutes. Make sure to work in small batches to keep your oil nice and hot, which keeps your falafel tender and crispy.

Editor’s note: Einat told me that you can also substitute Harissa for the olives for a spicy version.  Try your own variations too.

balaboosta book interviewCREDIT: “Excerpted from Balaboosta by Einat Admony (Artisan Books).Copyright © 2013. Photographs by Quentin Bacon.”



About Einat Admony


Einat is married to Stefan Nafziger. Together they own and operate Balaboosta and Taïm. They live in Brooklyn with their two young children, Liam and Mika. When Einat is not at the restaurant she can be found at home, cooking for the crowd of family and friends continually gathered around her dining table.




9 Responses to Falafel

  1. I don’t make my own falafel but will try this. Not too complicated.

  2. what is the name of the sauce that goes on falafel in pita ?

  3. Thank you for this recipe, I have tried dozens of Falafel recipes that are Gluten Free (no flour) and they never held together properly. These were great and the whole family enjoyed. One note I had to add much more flavor and spices to make it tasty. I added more Garlic, Cumin and Salt next time I would add some hot pepper for a kick. Thanks again.

  4. avatar says: Joanne

    Love this recipe :)

    Can I ask, if you’re time-poor, are you able to use tinned chick peas? Obviously not as good as dried ones but would they work – washed and dried? Thanks

  5. avatar says: sf11

    How much parsley or cilantro can be substituted for the olives? Should I use both parsley and cilantro or only one?

Leave a Reply

Log in or Join For Free or leave a reply as a guest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

  Notify me of follow-up comments by email

Posted in