Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Adventures in Falafel: Part 1

So, I decided to tackle homemade falafel last night.
We've been using a perfectly acceptable (and fast) boxed mix for as long as I can remember. But, it occurred to me recently that I really ought to try my hand at making it from scratch. Peef was busily scratching out his accounting homework last night, so I had some time on my hands. And I figured it would be ... fun.

Now, falafel is NOT rocket science. I know that much.
However, having said that, I have to admit that my overconfidence on this front led me to some initial failure on the homemade falafel front. Yes, it's true.

I didn't really start with a recipe. But, I figured that wouldn't be a big deal. After all, I knew the flavors involved and the basic consistency I was after. Right? Well...

I started with canned chickpeas, which I whirled around in the food processor with an onion, some garlic, a dash of cumin, and some coriander. I added flour to the mix. And a bit of baking powder. And I proceeded to fry up the lovely little balls of delight.

Strike one: Not enough flour in the batter. Or something.
My first batch of falafel patties disintigrated as the oil bubbled gaily around them. Oops.

Strike two: Tasty, but not quite right.
So, I added more flour. And got the balls to hold their shape. The final product was edible. Definitely. And quite tasty. And we made what I'd consider "decent" falafel sandwiches. But, the texture was definitely off. I believe I whirred things a bit too violently in the food processor, for one. And I need to find a way to add LESS flour (or, quite possibly, no flour at all). I think it absorbed too much of the cooking oil, and the little suckers were a bit too greasy for my taste.

So, it's back to the drawing board on this one. *Sigh*
BTW, if you have a recipe to share, please send it on!!


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4 comments:

  1. Ah, yes, Falafel! I think instead of adding more flour to the batter, you should dredge them in flour before frying...that may help them from falling apart!

    Welcome to The Foodie Blogroll!

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  2. I've never tried making falafel before. I do know what it's like to try an experiment with a new food and have it not be what you had hoped. *hug*

    Maybe Bill O'Reilly can find a use for your experiment?

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  3. 2 things to try: chilling them before frying, and making sure the frying oil is super, super hot when you drop them in.

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  4. The trick to not having your falafel fall apart is to cook it at the right temperature. I have seen all kinds of recommended temperatures, but they all fall between 325 and 375 F.

    For a recipe, try this link: http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9401E7D81F30F937A35757C0A9619C8B63

    It explains the temperature and the hazard of using too much water. Also, it is made with soaked, but not cooked, beans. Using canned beans will result in a texture unlike anything a Middle Eastern native would recognize. Also, there would be too much water.

    Hope this helps.

    ReplyDelete

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