Tag Archives: falafels

Reader Recipes: Falafels, Finally!

Regular readers will remember that I have struggled with falafels. Twice I tried them, and twice they were sucky-little-disaster-balls. They really made me mad! And depressed.

But if there’s one thing I’ll say about my personality, it’s that I’m determined. That can be both good and bad. This past Saturday, it was good. Very good.

Because look what I made!

Beautifully made falafels

Those little fried balls are BEAUTIFUL, if I do say so myself!

So, you’re saying to yourself, Wha??? Wha’ happened? How could she finally get it right? Well, I’ll tell you.

I believe the Great Failures were due to the following:

  • The original recipe needed some slight modification, in particular, the addition of a binder in the form of oil.
  • One must really grind the batter much more than one originally thought.

Here is the recipe, slightly modified. (Original recipe provided by very generous reader, Stefanie, who, I would like to point out, had nothing to do with my failed attempts).

Gluten-free Falafels (they should all be GF, but just to make it very clear)

1 c dried chickpeas, soaked overnight (**Very Important Step!)
2-3 T olive oil
2-3 t salt (to your taste)
1t ground coriander seed
1/2-1 t ground pepper (to your taste)
1/4 t cayenne
1 t whole cumin seed, toasted
1 t baking soda
1/2 c onion, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced (if garlic is poisonous to you, just omit)
2 T parsley, minced
1 T lemon juice
canola or other high heat oil for frying

Alrighty, then. Let’s get started.

  1. So first, you are going to actually use dried chick peas and let them soak overnight.
  2. The next day (because you didn’t cheat and try to use canned garbanzos, right? Because that road leads to ruin as I have already clearly demonstrated!), drain and rinse the chick peas.
  3. Grind the peas in your food processor. Stefanie used a spice grinder, and it was, alas, this very detail that made me think (finally), hey, a spice grinder would get the peas really fine. Therefore, I should probably grind this mixture up very fine, unlike the first two times I tried this recipe. After you have pulsed several times and you’re getting close to fine, add the 2-3 tbs of olive oil and pulse some more. You’ll note that the mixture is finally starting to hold together now instead of being all crumbly. I’ll include a photo here in an attempt to show fine.
    Falafel mix finely ground
  4. Transfer the ground peas to a mixing bowl and add in all the other ingredients.
  5. Get the oil in your skillet really hot. Use a 1/4 cup measure to pack it with pea mixture to create the little ball effect. Drop balls into the oil so that they have plenty of free range between them and fry til browned on each side.
    Falafels frying in a skillet
  6. Enjoy these little balls of goodness with your favorite yogurt sauce, tahini sauce, or, my favorite with all things fried, catsup.

So there you have it. Finally!


Filed under Cooking, food, Food allergies, Glorious Food, Gluten-free vegan, Recipes

Reader Recipes, Part One: Falafels

As regular readers will recall, I had some unfortunate encounters with falafels a couple of months ago. Thankfully, a reader was gracious enough to send a new falafel recipe to me to try (look at the Comments in that link). I had imagined this post would be my triumphant report of beautiful falafels. Alas, the cooking muse had other plans for me.

One thing I have learned: it’s not the recipe, it’s me. I am clearly doing something wrong, very wrong. I made two batches last night and both sets turned out the same: big fat oily soup messes.

Falafel Mess

Batch number 2

So I call on readers once again to help me out here! What the heck am I doing wrong?

Here’s what I did:

  1. I followed the recipe religiously.
  2. I gently stuffed the falafel mixture into a tablespoon and dropped the little nuggets into hot oil (the pan was on med-high heat). In this batch, I used a lot of oil…enough that it came up the side of the falafels but did not cover them.
  3. When that resulted in a disintegrated soupy bean mess, I got a new pan and started over. In this batch, I used about 1/3 of the amount of oil as in the first batch.
  4. Then I packed the falafel mixture tightly into the tablespoon, thinking it was my technique that was off. The results, however, were the same.

So, what is going on here? Would making them bigger help?

It’s one thing to fail miserably the first time, but the second time? Come on!


Filed under Cooking, Food allergies, Recipes