Can You Airfry Falafel?

Falafel is a Middle Eastern classic, known for its crispy exterior and flavorful interior. Traditionally, falafel is deep-fried to achieve that perfect texture. However, if you’re looking for a healthier alternative, you can make falafel in an air fryer.

An air fryer uses hot air circulation to cook food, resulting in crispy dishes without the need for excessive oil. This method is gaining popularity among health-conscious individuals who want to enjoy their favorite fried foods guilt-free.

In this article, we will guide you through the process of making falafel in an air fryer. We’ll cover everything from shaping the falafel patties to the ingredients needed, cooking times, and serving suggestions. Get ready to enjoy a crispy and delicious Middle Eastern classic with a healthy twist.

Why Air Fryer Falafel Works

When it comes to cooking falafel, the air fryer is a game-changer. While it may not provide the exact same results as deep-frying, it offers a healthier alternative without compromising on flavor or texture. With the air fryer, you can still enjoy delicious and crispy falafel with all the authentic flavors you love.

The secret lies in using the same combination of ingredients as the traditional recipe. Start with dried chickpeas that have been soaked overnight. This step is crucial as it ensures the chickpeas are properly hydrated and provides the desired texture. By using dried chickpeas instead of canned ones, you can achieve a better consistency and prevent the falafel from becoming mushy.

But what about the flavor? Don’t worry, in an air fryer, you can still enjoy falafel that is bursting with fresh herbs and warm spices. From parsley and cilantro to cumin and coriander, the mixture is made from scratch, just like the traditional recipe. These ingredients give falafel its distinct Middle Eastern flavors that are loved by many.

So why choose the air fryer method? Besides the health benefits of avoiding deep-frying, the air fryer cooks falafel by circulating hot air around the food. This circulating air creates a crispy exterior while maintaining a moist and flavorful interior. You get the best of both worlds – the desired texture and the mouthwatering taste.

With an air fryer, you can enjoy air-fried falafel that is just as delicious as its deep-fried counterpart, but with a healthier twist. Savor the crispy exterior and the flavorful interior without any guilt. Experience the magic of air fryer falafel and elevate your Middle Eastern culinary adventures.

Shaping and Ingredients for Air Fryer Falafel

When making falafel in an air fryer, it’s important to shape the patties into slightly flatter disks or patties. This shape ensures that the falafel cooks more evenly and prevents them from rolling around in the air fryer basket.

As for the ingredients, using dried chickpeas that have been soaked overnight is crucial for the best results. It is recommended to avoid using canned chickpeas as they can make the falafel too soft and mushy. Soaked dry chickpeas provide a firmer texture and a more authentic taste.

In addition to chickpeas, the falafel mixture should include fresh herbs such as parsley, cilantro, and dill, which add a burst of flavor. Onions, garlic, cumin, coriander, and a touch of cayenne pepper are also key ingredients to enhance the overall taste and aroma of the falafel.

Ingredients for Air Fryer Falafel:

  • Dried chickpeas, soaked overnight
  • Parsley
  • Cilantro
  • Dill
  • Onions
  • Garlic
  • Cumin
  • Coriander
  • Cayenne pepper

How to Make Air Fryer Falafel

To make air fryer falafel, you’ll need to follow a few simple steps. Here’s a detailed guide to help you create crispy and flavorful falafel patties:

Step 1: Soaking the Chickpeas

Start by soaking the dried chickpeas in water for 24 hours to soften them. This step is crucial to ensure the chickpeas blend well and result in a smooth falafel mixture.

Step 2: Blending the Mixture

After soaking, drain the chickpeas and transfer them to a food processor. Add fresh herbs like parsley, onions, garlic, and spices such as cumin and coriander. Blend until you have a coarse mixture. The food processor will help achieve the right consistency for the falafel.

Step 3: Chilling the Mixture

Once blended, transfer the mixture to a bowl and refrigerate for at least 1 hour. Chilling allows the flavors to blend and helps the mixture firm up, making it easier to shape the falafel patties.

Step 4: Shaping the Patties

After chilling, stir in baking powder and toasted sesame seeds for added flavor and texture. Use your hands to form the mixture into small, flat patties. This shape ensures even cooking and a crispy exterior.

Step 5: Cooking in the Air Fryer

Preheat your air fryer according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Brush the falafel patties with olive oil to enhance the crispiness. Arrange the patties in a single layer in the air fryer basket. Cook them in batches if needed. Set the timer to 5-minute increments and flip the patties halfway through the cooking time. Continue cooking until the falafel is golden brown and crispy.

Baking Falafel in the Oven

While using an air fryer is a popular method for making falafel, you can also bake them in the oven as an alternative. Baking may not yield the same crispy results as deep-frying or air frying, but it can still produce delicious falafel with a slightly different texture.

To bake falafel, follow these steps:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Brush the falafel patties with olive oil.
  3. Place the patties on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or lightly greased.
  4. Bake the falafel for 15 to 20 minutes, flipping them halfway through to ensure even browning.
  5. The falafel should be golden brown on the outside and still moist on the inside.

While the texture may differ slightly from traditionally fried falafel, baking still results in a flavorful and satisfying dish. Serve your baked falafel with tahini sauce, pita bread, and fresh veggies for a tasty Middle Eastern meal.

Serving and Freezing Air Fryer Falafel

Now that you’ve made delicious falafel in your air fryer, it’s time to enjoy it in various ways. One popular option is to serve falafel in a pita pocket with a generous drizzle of tahini sauce and fresh veggies like cucumber, tomatoes, and lettuce. The combination of crispy falafel with the creamy tahini sauce and the crunch of the veggies creates a flavorful and satisfying meal.

Another way to savor your air fryer falafel is by including it in a Mediterranean mezze platter. Arrange your falafel alongside other Mediterranean favorites like creamy hummus, tangy olives, fresh tzatziki, and warm pita bread. This diverse spread allows you to sample different flavors and textures while creating your own combination of bites.

If you happen to have any leftover falafel, don’t worry, you can freeze them for later use. To freeze falafel, allow them to cool completely. Then, arrange them on a baking sheet and freeze until solid. Once frozen, transfer the falafel to a freezer-safe bag or container. They can be stored in the freezer for up to 3 months.

To reheat the frozen falafel, you have a couple of options. You can either place them in the oven at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for about 10-15 minutes or use your air fryer at 375 degrees Fahrenheit for 5-7 minutes. Make sure to heat them until they are heated through and crispy. If you have refrigerated leftovers, you can reheat them in a preheated oven or air fryer for a shorter time to bring back their deliciousness.

Can the Same Airfryer Method Be Used for Both Falafel and Empanadas?

Yes, the same airfrying empanadas technique can be used for both falafel and empanadas. The airfryer provides a crispy, golden exterior without the need for excessive oil. Simply follow the same cooking time and temperature for both dishes for delicious, healthier versions of these popular snacks.

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