The CookingBites Cookalong: Falafel

morning glory

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Have you ever made Falafel? If not, then now is your chance to try! If you have cooked it before, you can share your wisdom and cook along too. The idea of the Cookalong is that members cook a classic or traditional recipe within a certain timescale and share their experience. Its a bit of fun and a chance to learn. Please join in!

In case you are not familiar with Falafel, it is a very popular vegetarian dish in Egypt and Israel. Falafel are traditionally made by soaking dried chick peas and/or dried broad beans overnight, then blitzing or grinding them to a grainy pulp with the addition of herbs and/or spices. The mixture is then formed into balls and deep fried. They are often served with a yoghurt sauce and pitta bread. I lived in Egypt for a year, many moons ago and can remember eating them freshly cooked from street vendors.

I'll add a basic recipe below. If you google ‘falafel recipe’ you will find no shortage of variations and ideas - but beware, some of them use tinned chick peas. This is not the authentic way to make them and you will end up with quite a different result if you do. In fact, (in my view) it is more difficult to make them from canned chick peas because the mix becomes far too wet and you then need to add flour to bind it.

Please add your comments, photos, experiences to this thread. Closing date midnight Monday 17th July (12am) BST (UCT/GMT+1) Please do say if you are intending to join in!
 

morning glory

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Here is a 'starter' recipe. You can add spices and herbs of your choice in place of those suggested. And I'm thinking that it would be possible to use other pulses or beans besides the traditional chickpeas and/or broad beans.

This recipe makes about 30 falafels. Adapted from a recipe by Tamsin Day-Lewis

Ingredients

340g chickpeas, soaked overnight
2 medium onions, finely chopped
4 cloves garlic, chopped
2 green chillies, seeded and finely chopped
1 handful flat leaf parsley
1 handful fresh coriander
2 tsp cumin seeds
2 tsp coriander seeds, ground with the cumin in a mortar
Salt, pepper
Oil for frying

Method
  • Soak the chickpeas for 24 hours. Drain and dry them and place in the mixer with the onions, garlic, chillies, chopped herbs, ground spices and seasoning.
  • Blitz to a pulp, but don't expect it to be smooth; the chickpeas will give it a grainy texture.
  • Take walnut-sized quantities of the mixture and form it into little patties. (You can use them immediately or keep them in the fridge until you want them. They are fine the next day.)
  • Deep fry or shallow fry the falafel until deep golden brown. If you are not immersing them totally, about two minutes a side should be enough.
  • Serve with good yogurt thinned with a spoon of milk, and with a teaspoon or so of tempered and ground cumin stirred in with a clove of crushed garlic, or with some tahini sauce.
 

Cinisajoy

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Looking at the spices, I have an idea. I wonder if it would work with pinto beans.
 

Frizz1974

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I experimented tonight with a baked felafel recipe. I was distracted & had to sub some ingredients but they were tasty if a bit odd looking.

Will get the right stuff & do it again.
 
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I'm surprised I didn't post this one already, but here it is now. My recipe for falafel patties is similar to yours, but (of course) there are more ingredients (notably mint, Brussels sprouts, lemon juice, and baking powder):

1/2 lb chickpeas, soaked overnight in water
3 garlic cloves, grated
1 cup parsley, freshly chopped
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons ground coriander
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 green onions, finely chopped
3 tablespoons mint leaves, freshly chopped
4 large Brussels sprouts, shredded
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1⁄2 teaspoon pepper, freshly ground
4 tablespoons canola oil
1⁄4 cup flour, for coating the falafel patties

To be honest, I don't know how much the baking powder does. It's not like cupcakes, where it doubles in size. But, I'd like to think the result is a puffier patty. The directions are basically the same, except that I flatten mine. And, I'm serving it with tzatziki sauce (since everything is better with tzatziki sauce).

As for tips, here's the best one: DON'T USE CANNED CHICKPEAS! You'll make falafel with them and tell yourself they're good, but you really don't know how good falafel can be until you use uncooked chickpeas. Then, it'll dawn on you that your canned chickpea falafels taste gummy.

What you get in the can has been cooked already. This is good for salads or hummus (which you don't subsequently cook), but not good for falafel (which you put on heat to form).
 

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@morning glory

Absolutely an amazingly gorgeous Falafel Recipe ..

Flanl, in Arabic denotes " pepper" .. It has been stated that The Coptic Egyptians prepared Falafel during Lent ..

My récipe list is:

2 Cups of soaked overnight Chick Peas
3 Cups of wáter
1 Small minced onion
2 mashed cloves of garlic
2 tablps. of fresh minced parsley
2 teasp. cumin
1 / 2 tsp of Yeast ( so that the falafel are light and rise )
An extremely light Greek Evoo
Unbleached flour to drege the falafel balls

I serve Falafel in a Greek Bread similar to a Pita
and I place:

2 small tomatoes minced & peeled and deseeded
a tiny cucumber diced
1 very small red bell or green bell or " Italian horn shaped Peppers, de seeded and minced
2 Esplette Chili Peppers ( tiny ) dried
salt and black pepper freshly ground
a bit of lemon zest


I am going to note down your récipe and give it a try !!!

Thank you for posting.
 

Francesca

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I'm surprised I didn't post this one already, but here it is now. My recipe for falafel patties is similar to yours, but (of course) there are more ingredients (notably mint, Brussels sprouts, lemon juice, and baking powder):

1/2 lb chickpeas, soaked overnight in water
3 garlic cloves, grated
1 cup parsley, freshly chopped
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons ground coriander
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 green onions, finely chopped
3 tablespoons mint leaves, freshly chopped
4 large Brussels sprouts, shredded
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1⁄2 teaspoon pepper, freshly ground
4 tablespoons canola oil
1⁄4 cup flour, for coating the falafel patties

To be honest, I don't know how much the baking powder does. It's not like cupcakes, where it doubles in size. But, I'd like to think the result is a puffier patty. The directions are basically the same, except that I flatten mine. And, I'm serving it with tzatziki sauce (since everything is better with tzatziki sauce).

As for tips, here's the best one: DON'T USE CANNED CHICKPEAS! You'll make falafel with them and tell yourself they're good, but you really don't know how good falafel can be until you use uncooked chickpeas. Then, it'll dawn on you that your canned chickpea falafels taste gummy.

What you get in the can has been cooked already. This is good for salads or hummus (which you don't subsequently cook), but not good for falafel (which you put on heat to form).

@The Late Night Gourmet

Exemplary .. Note, all our récipes are very similar ..

An extraordinary job !!

Have a lovely evening ..
 
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@The Late Night Gourmet

Exemplary .. Note, all our récipes are very similar ..

An extraordinary job !!

Have a lovely evening ..
I think it's clear that I will have to make mine with fresh peppers next time. It looks like you serve your falafel similarly to how a gyro is served, which I think is an excellent idea! :cook:
 

morning glory

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I am going to note down your récipe and give it a try !!!
Which recipe are you referring to? The recipe posted in the thread starter is not my recipe. It is simply an example recipe for the thread. I haven't ever used this recipe - I just chose it as an example. :) Perhaps you mean @The Late Night Gourmet's recipe?
 
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morning glory

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As for tips, here's the best one: DON'T USE CANNED CHICKPEAS! You'll make falafel with them and tell yourself they're good, but you really don't know how good falafel can be until you use uncooked chickpeas
That is very true. It is actually more difficult to make them from canned chick peas due to the texture.
 

Francesca

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Which recipe are you referring to? The recipe posted in the thread starter is not my recipe. It is simply an example recipe for the thread. I haven't ever used this recipe - I just chose it as an example. :) Perhaps you mean @The Late Night Gourmet's recipe?
@morning glory

I thought it was your Falafel Recipe.

I jotted down my ingredients and shall take a look at The Late Night Gourmet´s Too. I like to see the Nuances and Similarities.

I have a Chef Client and friend of our´s who is Israeli and I am going to call him & see how he prepares his Falafel ..

Thanks.
Have a nice evening ..
I must be up at 6am ..
 

Francesca

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I think it's clear that I will have to make mine with fresh peppers next time. It looks like you serve your falafel similarly to how a gyro is served, which I think is an excellent idea! :cook:

@The Late Night Gourmet

We really enjoy it in a Pita type Bread .. and there is a tiny Greek restaurant that we go to, and their bread is simply amazing and baked on premises and this is how they serve it .. So, I had been inspired to serve it this way.

Goodnight .. I must get up at 6am tomorrow.

Thanks and have a lovely evening.
 

morning glory

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@morning glory
I thought it was your Falafel Recipe.
Sorry if it was not clear. The recipe is adapted from a recipe by Tamsin Day-Lewis. The reason I said 'adapted' is because I removed some of the detail from her recipe - just to make it simpler for the purposes of this thread. I've only cooked Falafel once. It wasn't a success! I am going to try again...
 
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