Fluffiest Falafel Recipe

By adding beer to this falafel recipe, you will find that you get the fluffiest version of falafel you have ever tried.

From Hardie Grant Books
October 2018

  • falafel
    You can freeze the cooked falafel for up to 3 months, reheat them for 15–20 minutes in a preheated oven at 175°C (350°F/Gas 4).
    Photo by Patricia Niven
  • beer-kitchen
    “The Beer Kitchen” is filled with a variety of recipes that can be cooked with or pair nicely with beer.
    Photo by Patricia Niven
  • falafel
  • beer-kitchen

Yield: 4 servings

The Beer Kitchen (Hardie Grant Books, 2018) by Patricia Niven, is a great option for all beer connoisseurs alike. If you are new to beer, this is a great resource for you to use. Find an abundance of recipes that can be flavored with beer, as well as finding what type of beer to pair with many different foods. This recipe can be found in the chapter, “So Simple.”


  • Avery White Rascal – USA
  • Brasserie Lefebrve Blanche de Bruxelles – Belgium
  • Du Bocq Blanche de Namur – Belgium
  • Jeju Wit Ale – Korea
  • White Rabbit White Ale – Australia


  • Baladin Isaac – Italy
  • Rivière d’Ain Thou – France
  • Camden Gentleman’s Wit – UK
  • Wäls Witte – Brazil
  • Feral White – Australia


There’s no doubt that falafel has a bad name. Poorly done, it has a roof-of-the-mouth stickability that is second only to peanut butter but, done well, it’s a crispy, fluffy ball of joy. I experimented with five types of beer versus water and the Belgian came out on top with everyone, offering bright citrus notes from its coriander seed and orange peel.

This recipe is a combination of J. Kenji López-Alt’s recipe and that of a chef from my local Lebanese restaurant, plus my own beer twist. You can put these in a Flexible Flatbread with some salad and any of the dips or just add a blob of natural yoghurt, a squeeze of lemon juice, a sprinkle of toasted sesame seeds and a drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil, as part of a

meze or just as a starter. You can even pop them into a tagine right at the end if you like. If you check that your beer is vegan-friendly, then so is this recipe.



  • 300 g (10-1/2 oz/1-1/3 cups) dried chickpeas (garbanzos), rinsed
  • 330 ml (11-1/4 fl oz/1-1/3 cups) Belgian wheat beer
  • 30 g (1 oz) each of fresh mint, parsley and coriander (cilantro) leaves, roughly chopped
  • 5 good-sized spring onions (scallions), white and pale green parts only, roughly chopped (reserve the dark green parts to garnish)
  • 4 large garlic cloves, pounded to a paste with a bit of salt
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt, plus extra for seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon harissa enough groundnut, grapeseed or other neutral oil to cover 2 cm (3/4 in) of the base of a large frying pan (skillet)

    To serve:

  • lemon wedges (optional)
  • good-quality extra-virgin olive oil (optional)
  • toasted sesame seeds


  1. At least 12 hours before you want to cook your falafel, put the rinsed chickpeas in a bowl big enough to allow them to swell to three times their original size.
  2. Pour over the wheat beer and top up with enough cold water to cover by at least 5 cm (2 in).
  3. Refrigerate.
  4. Drain the chickpeas and shake off as much liquid as possible, blot with paper towels and leave to air dry, spread on a baking tray (sheet) for around 10 minutes.
  5. Put the dried chickpeas in a food processor and add all the other ingredients apart from the oil.
  6. Pulse until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs, and the mix just about holds together with a gentle squeeze.
  7. Refrigerate for 20 minutes.
  8. Form the falafel mixture into golf ball sized balls, and place on a lightly oiled plate.
  9. Warm the oil in a large, deep frying pan (skillet) over medium-high heat.
  10. When ready to cook, gently lower the first falafel into the hot oil with a fork.
  11. Check it’s lightly fizzing, not spattering, and that the oil reaches about a third of the way up (this should rise to halfway when more falafel are added to the pan).
  12. Continue to add as many falafel as will fit in pan a few centimetres (inches) apart, turn the heat to high for 15 seconds and lower back to medium-high again.
  13. Cook for about. 4 minutes on each side, until golden brown.
  14. Repeat, if necessary, keeping the first batch covered in a warm oven.
  15. When cooked, drain the falafels on paper towel, sprinkle with some lemon juice, if you like, a splash of good-quality olive oil, if using, and some salt.
  16. Garnish with green spring onion tops and sesame seeds and enjoy warm (not hot).

More from The Beer Kitchen:

Reprinted with Permission from
The Beer Kitchen and Published by Hardie Grant Books.

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