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Old 01-18-2005, 02:34 PM   #1
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Falafel

Hi, I'm making falafel for the first time this weekend. My recipe says that you can either use a meat grinder or a food processor to chop up the chick peas.

Do you have recommendations on which works better? Thanks!

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Old 01-18-2005, 07:36 PM   #2
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:) Tyler Florrence just did a show on falafel on Food 911 on The Food Network he says to process till coarse but not smooth but also no whole chickpeas.The recipe is online at food network if you want to check it out the show called Falafal Fanatic.
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Old 01-18-2005, 07:56 PM   #3
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Here's Tyler's recipe, which I've made and can confirm as being very tasty!

FalafelRecipe courtesy Tyler Florence and JoAnn Cianciulli/ makes 24

2 cups dried chickpeas, picked through and rinsed
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 small onion, coarsely chopped
6 garlic cloves, smashed
1 tablespoon cumin seeds, toasted and ground
1 tablespoon coriander seeds, toasted and ground
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
2 handfuls fresh flat-leaf parsley, leaves coarsely chopped
1 handful fresh cilantro, leaves coarsely chopped
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Vegetable oil, for frying
8 warm pita bread, store bought or homemade recipe follows
Tahini Sauce, recipe follows
Shredded lettuce, sliced tomatoes, chopped cucumbers

Put the dried chickpeas in a large bowl and add cool water to cover by 2 inches. Soak the beans in the refrigerator for at least 18 hours or up to 24; the chickpeas will swell to triple their original size. Drain and rinse thoroughly.
Put the soaked chickpeas in a food processor and pulse to coarsely grind, not until smooth but with no whole chickpeas remaining either. Add the baking powder, onion, garlic, spices, and herbs; process until the mixture is pureed; scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Taste and season with salt and pepper. Transfer to a bowl and refrigerate while heating the oil, this should take about 15 minutes.
Pour 3-inches of the oil in a deep fryer or deep heavy pot and heat to 375 degrees F.
Roll the falafel mixture into ping-pong size balls. (Alternatively, use an ice cream scoop.) Carefully slip a few at a time into the hot oil, making sure they don't stick to the bottom. Fry until the chickpea fritters are a crusty dark brown on all sides, turning as needed, about 5 minutes per batch. Remove the falafels with a slotted spoon and drain on a platter lined with paper towels.

Open the pita bread halves to make pockets (don't split all the way) and put 4 fried falafels into each. Drizzle with the tahini sauce and layer with lettuce, tomatoes, and cucumbers. Serve immediately.

Tahini Sauce:
1/2 cup tahini (sesame seed paste)
1/2 cup plain yogurt or water
1 lemon, juiced
2 garlic cloves, chopped
Pinch salt
Pinch paprika
Combine all the ingredients in a blender, process on high speed to make a smooth and creamy sauce. Adjust seasoning, to taste, and serve with falafels or as a salad dressing.
Yield: about 1 cup

My note - canned chickpeas work just fine here!
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Old 01-18-2005, 08:12 PM   #4
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In my experience with making felafel go real easy on the salt you add. Cumin can taste quite salty sometimes and you can always sprinkle salt on them after they are cooked.
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Old 01-18-2005, 08:21 PM   #5
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I tried to make falafel once. I was using a blender to grind the chick peas. They were not moving so I decided to add a little olive oil to get things moving along. Big mistake. The mixture came out soupy and did not hold up when fried. I had a big batch of much on my hands that burned very quickly with a TON of smoke. Here is a link to a picture of my apt after an hour of airing out. Falafal disaster
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Old 01-18-2005, 08:53 PM   #6
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I hate when that happens GB!
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Old 01-18-2005, 08:59 PM   #7
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Thankfully I found a dried falafel mix at Whole Foods. It is very good. Just mix with water and then fry. Hmmm I haven't made those in a while. I think I will need to do that real soon.
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Old 01-18-2005, 09:38 PM   #8
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That's a very cool picture, GB, altho I wouldn't have wanted to have been in the room when you took it--burning chick peas sure smoke!
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Old 01-18-2005, 09:41 PM   #9
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Thanks PA. Yeah it was not pleasant in there at all. Well I learned a very valuable cooking lesson that day
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Old 01-19-2005, 05:47 AM   #10
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GB, this is a case where the processor definitely does a better job than the blender!
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