Falafel with Tahini Yogurt Sauce

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Dinner, Main Course, Lunch Middle Eastern
By America's Test Kitchen Serves: 4-6
Prep Time: 1 Hour + Overnight Soak Cooking Time: 15 Minutes Total Time: ~1 Hour, 15 Minutes

Gorgeous, colorful, fresh and flavorful! These falafel are crunchy and light, with fluffy interiors. Restaurant-worthy falafel right in your own kitchen!


  • Falafel
  • 8 oz. Dried Chickpeas, picked over and rinsed
  • ¾ cup Fresh Cilantro Leaves and Stems
  • ¾ cup Fresh Parsley Leaves
  • ½ Onion, chopped fine
  • 2 Garlic cloves, minced
  • 1½ tsp. Ground Coriander
  • 1 tsp. Ground Cumin
  • 2 tsp. Kosher Salt
  • ¼ tsp. Cayenne Pepper
  • ¼ cup All-Purpose Flour
  • 2 tsp. Baking Powder
  • 2 quarts Vegetable oil, for frying
  • Tahini Sauce
  • ⅓ cup Tahini
  • ⅓ cup Plain Greek Yogurt
  • ¼ cup Lemon Juice (2 lemons)
  • ¼ cup Water
  • Kosher Salt, to taste
  • Flat Bread, Shredded Iceberg, Sliced Cucumbers, Sliced Tomato, Chopped Fresh Herbs, Hot Sauce, for serving


Chickpea Prep


Place chickpeas in large container and cover with water by 2 to 3 inches. Soak at room temperature for at least 8 hours or up to 24 hours. Drain well.

Tahini Sauce


Whisk tahini, yogurt, and lemon juice in medium bowl until smooth. Whisk in water to thin sauce as desired. Season with salt to taste; set aside. (Sauce can be refrigerated for up to 4 days. Let come to room temperature and stir to combine before serving.)



Process cilantro, parsley, onion, garlic, coriander, cumin, salt, and cayenne in food processor for 5 seconds. Scrape down sides of bowl. Continue to process until mixture resembles pesto, about 5 seconds longer.


Add chickpeas and pulse 6 times. Scrape down sides of bowl. Continue to pulse until chickpeas are coarsely chopped and resemble sesame seeds, about 6 more pulses. Transfer mixture to large bowl and set aside.


Whisk flour and ⅓ cup water in bowl until no lumps remain. Microwave, whisking every 5 seconds, until mixture thickens to stiff, smooth, pudding-like consistency that forms mound when dropped from end of whisk into bowl, 15-60 seconds.


Stir baking powder into flour paste.


Add flour paste to chickpea mixture and, using rubber spatula, mix until fully incorporated.


Use a heaping 2 tablespoons to measure 18-20 falafel balls. Gently roll into golf ball–size spheres, transferring spheres to parchment paper–lined rimmed baking sheet once formed. (Formed falafel can be refrigerated for up to 2 hours.)


Heat oil in large Dutch oven over medium-high heat to 325 degrees.


Add 5-8 falafel and fry, stirring occasionally, until deep brown, about 5 minutes.


Adjust burner, if necessary, to maintain oil temperature of 325 degrees.


Using slotted spoon or wire skimmer, transfer falafel to a wire rack in a sheet tray and sprinkle with Kosher salt.


Return oil to 325 degrees and repeat with remaining falafel. Serve immediately with tahini sauce.