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Old 02-07-2007, 06:52 PM   #11
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Yakuta and Clive is certainly right to make ideal falafels. However, I also tried a short cut, "cheater version" of mock falafel a few times when I suddenly decided I wanted them for dinner in the late afternoon, they came out with a decent result.
I add an egg for a binder, and breadcrumbs to soak up the moisture, adding it gradually by testing the consistency. (Soft but it should hold its shape.) Put them in the fridge for a couple of hours and let them chill until when the oil is hot and you are ready to cook them.

But save this method for emergencies, nothing beats real falafel made correctly
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Old 02-07-2007, 06:57 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by urmaniac13
Yakuta and Clive is certainly right to make ideal falafels. However, I also tried a short cut, "cheater version" of mock falafel a few times when I suddenly decided I wanted them for dinner in the late afternoon, they came out with a decent result.
I add an egg for a binder, and breadcrumbs to soak up the moisture, adding it gradually by testing the consistency. (Soft but it should hold its shape.) Put them in the fridge for a couple of hours and let them chill until when the oil is hot and you are ready to cook them.

But save this method for emergencies, nothing beats real falafel made correctly
I'll be near my favorite mediterannean restaurant this weekend, so I'll be satisfied for a bit afterwards!!
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Old 02-09-2007, 12:04 AM   #13
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The reason your falafel didn't have the same taste and texture as your favorite digs is because you didn't use/follow their recipe ... and that includes what they put into it, how they mixed it, and how they fried it (including the type of oil they used).

Here is a recipe worth looking at ... including using the food processor for mixing the ingredients. You can use canned chickpeas/barbanzo beans ... but there is a subtle difference in flavor and texture.

Assuming you had your ingredients mixed properly, and the oil temp was correct before you started ... your falafel probably fell apart from technique. In deep frying, if you add too many to the pot at one time the oil temp will drop and instead of cooking the falafel they will begin to absorb the oil, and fall apart ... if you start poking at them and turning too soon the same thing can happen. Same goes with "pan frying" them ... you have to leave them alone for 3-4 minutes after you put them into the pan before you even think about turning them - they should only be turned once, like a delicate piece of fish.
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Old 02-09-2007, 10:22 AM   #14
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I don't agree with the chickpea thing, as I've been making falafel & chickpea burgers for years & always use the canned drained ones with absolutely no problem.

If they're falling apart when you cook them, I'd suspect the complete lack of a binding agent in your recipe is at fault more than whether the peas were canned ones or soaked dried ones. All the "from scratch" recipes I've ever used call for an egg to bind everything together. And when I "cheat" once in awhile & use a commercial falafel mix, that too calls for an egg (in addition to canned chickpeas). The recipe you're using has absolutely nothing in it to even remotely bind the mixture together. I'm not at all surprised they're falling apart, & don't think switching to soaked dried chickpeas or even fresh chickpeas is going to help that situation.

If I were you, I'd add one lightly beaten egg to your recipe & try it again to see if that helps. It should, as the rest of your recipe looks fine to me.
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Old 02-09-2007, 10:25 AM   #15
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I've never made falafel but I always assumed you used cooked beans.

If you grind soaked but not cooked chickpeas and then fry for the short amount of time to cook the falafel ball, do the ground chickpeas cook fully?

All I can imagine are very crunchy falafel balls ....

Now this may be my weekend project!
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Old 02-09-2007, 11:24 AM   #16
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Hi Jennyema yes the raw beans cook just fine. You fry them on medium heat. As indicated this is a method used widely in Indian cooking as well.

Breezy, falafel is a vegetarian dish, if you use an egg as a binder it would not classify as vegetarian in the true sense of the word.

The binder that makes more sense would be some type of flour to dry out the water if you like to use canned chickpeas. We normally add a few tbsp of chickpea flour to preserve the authentic taste and dry the batter enough so you can fry it without it falling apart. I still however think that raw is the route to go if you want an authentic result. Try it and see the difference.
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Old 02-09-2007, 11:27 AM   #17
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Yakuta

Tnx! I am now very intrigued .....
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Old 02-09-2007, 11:34 AM   #18
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Yakuta - the original poster didn't say she was a "vegetarian". I'm not a vegetarian either & yet I make falafel frequently.

And unless she were "vegan", eggs should be okay.

If she wanted specific instructions based on dietary restrictions & didn't say so - that ain't my fault - lol!!!!

However, if she's NOT a vegan/vegetarian, adding an egg will solve a lot of problems.
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Old 02-09-2007, 11:56 AM   #19
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Hi Jenny, yes the beans get tender from soaking and when you grind them the granuals are pretty fine so it cooks quickly in hot oil.

Breezy you are right that they did not specify they were vegetarian and in that case egg would be O.K. as a binder, I still did not think it was authentic so I was listing some other options. I still recommend trying the raw method. Try and see what you think - , it's some work but I think you would like the results.
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Old 02-09-2007, 05:35 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BreezyCooking
I don't agree with the chickpea thing, as I've been making falafel & chickpea burgers for years & always use the canned drained ones with absolutely no problem.

If they're falling apart when you cook them, I'd suspect the complete lack of a binding agent in your recipe is at fault more than whether the peas were canned ones or soaked dried ones. All the "from scratch" recipes I've ever used call for an egg to bind everything together. And when I "cheat" once in awhile & use a commercial falafel mix, that too calls for an egg (in addition to canned chickpeas). The recipe you're using has absolutely nothing in it to even remotely bind the mixture together. .
Sorry, Breezycooking - I have to disagree here.
First of all, you do not need eggs to "bind" the falafel. It's a perfect Vegan dish - no eggs, no animal fat, and yes, yes, it does work with raw, soaked chickpeas because I've done it loads of times.
I believe its the starch in the chickpeas that binds the falafel together. In Indian cooking, for example, you'll find hundreds and thousands of recipes for "fritters" or "Kebabs" or "Veggie Rissoles" - without eggs. There's a delicious appetizer I make called "Vada" - it's basically soaked split green peas with spices and herbs (JUST like the falafel), deep fried and served with a fresh chutney (falafel is often served with tomatoes and tahini here). No eggs in sight. Then there are Pakoras - bound together with a chickpea-flour paste.
There's another made with ground sweetcorn. Again, no eggs. Perfect fritter if your oil is hot enough and you don't poke the food about!
A popular snack in England is an Onion Bhaji - again, onions, and chickpea flour.
Give them a try sometime and you'll see that eggs are not always necessary!
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