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Chris Amirault

Felafel/Falafel--Cook-Off 30

92 posts in this topic

Only downside - serious garlic breath right now.

..and the problem is? :laugh:

I'm glad to see this topic being taken on. I love falafel - the Egyptian variety, anyway - but have never tried to make it myself. I'm glad for the comments upthread about fava vs. chickpeas. The chickpeas threw me for a loop, since I was expecting fava recipes.


Nancy Smith, aka "Smithy"
HosteG Forumsnsmith@egstaff.org

"Every day should be filled with something delicious, because life is too short not to spoil yourself. " -- Ling (with permission)

"There comes a time in every project when you have to shoot the engineer and start production." -- author unknown

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So, my question. If you use a combo of soaked favas and chickpeas and then grind them up, how are the soaked favas different than the soaked chickpeas (before cooking or mixing with anything else)? What do the favas lend?


Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"

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I was happy with this method, but they certainly don't beat the best restaurant felafel I've had.  Still, it's an improvement on what I had been doing.  These'll do nicely when I get the craving again.

What did you serve them with? A good falafel ball should stand on it's own - but the condiments are part of the fun.

I was fortunate to have been given a falafel former a few years back by a student of mine, we got talking food while I was driving her home from the clinic and she figured out it was about the only toy I didn't already have in my kitchen.  Haven't used it until now.  If someone knows the proper technique I'd love to hear it.  The first couple I made like little discs, but then I started kind of mounding the falafel mixture, those looked more like what I'm accustomed to seeing.

I had a falafel former years ago - I never used it. I prefer using two spoons and forming little footballs (quenelles). :laugh:

The Joan Nathan article linked to by Chris Amirault in the initial post gives some background on the fava bean vs. garbanzo bean preferences in felafel, including one bit of data I didn't know about before:
But favism, an inherited enzymatic deficiency occurring among some Jews--mainly those of Kurdish and Iraqi ancestry, many of whom came to Israel during the mid 1900s--proved potentially lethal, so all felafel makers in Israel ultimately stopped using fava beans, and chickpea felafel became an Israeli dish.

Repeating the link to that article (which also includes a recipe): clickie

Interesting. I've never used fava beans and always think of falafel as chickpea based (yes, I know there are other ways to make them, but I'm familiar with the chickpea ones).

Don't everybody attack me - but I sell a couple of varieties of frozen falafel balls - I'll look at the ingredients list at work tomorrow. They're both from Israel, so I wonder if they'll list any beans other than chickpeas.

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So, my question.  If you use a combo of soaked favas and chickpeas and then grind them up, how are the soaked favas different than the soaked chickpeas (before cooking or mixing with anything else)?  What do the favas lend?

Well they're two different legumes with two different tastes and textures. I don't know what else to tell you other than to give them a try and decide which you like best.

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So - one brand of frozen falafel has broad beans listed in the ingredients (same as fava, no?). The other just lists 'humus', which is strange, but I assume it's just garbanzos - it's the one I prefer.

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To us, this is known as work food. That is, we only have it at work. I have never seen it being made. My wife, or one of the sisters in law or all of them would make Falafel, and would deliver them in a deconstructed state to where, we the brothers, work.

When I saw this Cook Off, I knew we had something to contribute, our Falafel are as good as any served on the streets of Beirut.

2 C Hummus

1 C Split or cracked Fava beans

6 cloves garlic

1/2 C parsley

1 1/2 tsp cumin

1 1/2 tsp coriander seed ground

1 T salt

1/2 tsp cayenne

4 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

water to correct consistency while mixing.

Served with Tarator

gallery_39290_4300_3527.jpggallery_39290_4300_10888.jpg

gallery_39290_4300_4750.jpggallery_39290_4300_18041.jpg

gallery_39290_4300_8300.jpggallery_39290_4300_14271.jpg

gallery_39290_4300_38779.jpg


Edited by ChefCrash (log)

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That last post looked just fantastic! Thanks for posting.

Memo to self: newly found 2007 resolution; perfect homemade

felafel....

Milagai

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Thanks Milagai

agalarneau, yes they're Turnips and get their color from beets.

Start with 12% solution (120g salt per 1 liter of water). To that, add 1/3 liter white vinegar and bring to a boil just to sterilize.

Pack Turnips in jars, along with 2 slices of raw beets and 1 or 2 serrano peppers.

Fill with hot brine and wait a few days.

gallery_39290_4300_6868.jpggallery_39290_4300_2941.jpg

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2 C Hummus

1 C Split or cracked Fava beans

6 cloves garlic

1/2 C parsley

1 1/2 tsp cumin

1 1/2 tsp coriander seed ground

1 T salt

1/2 tsp cayenne

4 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

water to correct consistency while mixing.

Served with Tarator

/quote]

So, what's your recipe for hummous? Is it hummous or hummous bi tahini?

And what is Tarator?

doc

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What did you serve them with?  A good falafel ball should stand on it's own - but the condiments are part of the fun.

I had picked up some pita from my favorite middle eastern restaurant and I also made a sauce from yoghurt, cucumber, mint, garlic and lemon juice. No dill b/c I couldn't find any at the store. Also some lettuce leaves and extra cucumber slices. Oh, and feta, too, which is probably a no-no but we like it. :biggrin:

So what is the traditional way to serve them? I mean, with what condiments? I don't think yoghurt sauce is, but I've never made anything else for them.

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I like them with yogurt sauce as well. I can only speak for the Israeli falafel I've had (and Canadian :rolleyes: ) - but there are all sorts of things you can eat with them. Tehini, hummus, harissa, schug, Israeli salad (finely chopped cucumber, tomato, onion, pepper dressed with oil and lemon juice/vinegar), deep fried vegetable (my favorite is cauliflower), pickled vegetables and the local Israeli falafel place here has one that comes with fries in it and one with sweet potato fries. :wub:

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2 C Hummus

Served with Tarator

So, what's your recipe for hummous? Is it hummous or hummous bi tahini?

And what is Tarator? doc

I don't roast lamb heads, but I think I might be able to answer this correctly:

1) Look at photographs. ChefCrash was most likely referring to chickpeas since the larger amount of round, dried peas are mixed in with the dried fava beans.

2) Use google and you're bound to find recipes. It's a thinned tahini sauce, delicious, made by vigorously beating a combination of cold water and lemon juice with the tahini paste and adding salt and garlic to taste.


Edited by Pontormo (log)

"Viciousness in the kitchen.

The potatoes hiss." --Sylvia Plath

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Good recipe for Tarator Sauce aka garlic sauce aka tahina sauce here. I used a small food processor rather than a blender and got excellent results.


Edited by Kerry Beal (log)

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2 C Hummus

Served with Tarator

So, what's your recipe for hummous? Is it hummous or hummous bi tahini?

And what is Tarator? doc

I don't roast lamb heads, but I think I might be able to answer this correctly:

1) Look at photographs. ChefCrash was most likely referring to chickpeas since the larger amount of round, dried peas are mixed in with the dried fava beans.

2) Use google and you're bound to find recipes. It's a thinned tahini sauce, delicious, made by vigorously beating a combination of cold water and lemon juice with the tahini paste and adding salt and garlic to taste.

I just love it when someone other than the person to whom I was addressing the question answers (or rather speculates) for the original poster what the original poster meant.

If indeed the orignal poster was referring to garbanzo beans as hummous, that would be the first time I'd ever heard that reference made. But it was a legitimate question what ChefCrash meant by hummous, because it is an endless argument whether "hummous" and "hummous bi tahini", which are erroneously used interchangeably, consisted of.

As far as "googling" hummous recipes, they're as assorted as almost any recipe you'd care to google. I learned how to make hummous bi tahini from a Palestinian master chef 20 years ago. But would that hummous bi tahini be as ideal for ChefCrash's falafel recipe? Don't know, so that is why I questioned ChefCrash.

I was interested in ChefCrash's recipe, since the hummous he uses results in the falafel in the pictures. His pictorial and written descriptions of the falafel made me want to try "his" process.

But thanks to the other poster who told us what Tarator sauce is. That is the first time I'd heard that name, and also, it is the first time I've heard that "garlic sauce" is synonymous with Tahini sauce.

doc

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But thanks to the other poster who told us what Tarator sauce is.  That is the first time I'd heard that name, and also, it is the first time I've heard that "garlic sauce" is synonymous with Tahini sauce. 

doc

Don't know if garlic sauce = tahini sauce world wide, but that's what they call it where I buy my falafel sandwiches.

I was back to the store where I bought my falafel ingedients yesterday, the owner is persian I think. He was horrified to learn that I'd added 4 cloves of garlic to my tahini sauce. He felt it didn't need garlic at all.

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Oh blessed falafel. This subject is near and dear to me.

ChefCrash's posted pic is a good point at which to discuss another difference between the lebanese and israeli styles of falafel sandwiches - the pita. I see the dinner plate pita you were eating is much larger than the "sandwich pocket' sizes I have seen in israel. I think the pickled turnip is also a lebanese addition whereas israelis add the tomato and cucumber mix, hummus and tahini as primary ingredients.

In unrelated news, you can have an excellent falafel in Paris at L'as du Fallafel (VirtualTourist)


Edited by CharityCase (log)

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But thanks to the other poster who told us what Tarator sauce is.  That is the first time I'd heard that name, and also, it is the first time I've heard that "garlic sauce" is synonymous with Tahini sauce. 

doc

Don't know if garlic sauce = tahini sauce world wide, but that's what they call it where I buy my falafel sandwiches.

I was back to the store where I bought my falafel ingedients yesterday, the owner is persian I think. He was horrified to learn that I'd added 4 cloves of garlic to my tahini sauce. He felt it didn't need garlic at all.

They're not synonymous as tahini is thinned sesame paste and the garlic sauce I am familiar with is some sort of crazy congealed glob made with evaporated milk, garlic powder and who knows what else. I am not a fan of it at all though I know plenty who are.

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They're not synonymous as tahini is thinned sesame paste and the garlic sauce I am familiar with is some sort of crazy congealed glob made with evaporated milk, garlic powder and who knows what else. I am not a fan of it at all though I know plenty who are.

Actually the garlic sauce that they make at the restaurant I frequent is simply the tahini sauce made with lots of garlic. Not a drop of evaporated milk or garlic powder.

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Don't know if garlic sauce = tahini sauce world wide, but that's what they call it where I buy my falafel sandwiches. 

I was back to the store where I bought my falafel ingedients yesterday, the owner is persian I think.  He was horrified to learn that I'd added 4 cloves of garlic to my tahini sauce.  He felt it didn't need garlic at all.

Yes Kerry, four cloves of garlic as well as a T of salt is excessive.

Tarator is the equivalent of Tartar sauce in the U.S., in that it is served with most fried fish dishes in Lebanon, as well as Falafel and Shawerma sandwiches.

In a small bowl add 1 clove of garlic, a dash of salt and mash with a wooden pestle.

Add ~ 1/2 C Tahini, juice of 1/2 a lemon and stir. You will feel the mixture start to seize and acquire a granular texture, that is normal but do not add more lemon juice. Add water a little at a time until the mixture is smooth and you reach the desired consistency. Dash salt to taste.

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Is tome (sp?) ever used as a sauce for falafel? The sauce/dip made with garlic, lemon juice, and olive oil. I can't remember its proper name, but I'm sure there was a topic on it in the ME forum once. I imagine it would be good with falafel--I'm not a big tahini fan.

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So, my question.  If you use a combo of soaked favas and chickpeas and then grind them up, how are the soaked favas different than the soaked chickpeas (before cooking or mixing with anything else)?  What do the favas lend?

Well they're two different legumes with two different tastes and textures. I don't know what else to tell you other than to give them a try and decide which you like best.

Exactly! If your taste fava beans after being soaked you'll notice their distinctive taste. For me it is indispensible. Chickpeas alone make an ok falafel, but the taste is just not right.

I know this does not exaclty answer Pontormo's question earlier, but In Lebanon the two legumes are always BOTH used to make the Falafel so that's what I'm used to and that's what I like. Once again, do give both versions a try and see which you like best.

As for Ceci (chickpea) flour, I would never use it. It will give the falafel a homogenous, smooth and doughy texture. They'll more or less be Sicilian Panelle by that point. Falafel needs to have a nice slightly corse texture to it. See Chef Crash's post for a great looking recipe and amazing pictures. I really must make soe soon...right after I replenish my supply of homemade pickled turnips (I ran out last week after using the last bit in shish tawook sandwiches...but that's another topic)


E. Nassar
Houston, TX

My Blog
contact: enassar(AT)gmail(DOT)com

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Doc-

I am not ChefCrash, but Pontormo is correct. By hummus, he meant chickpeas. The word Hummus in Arabic is Chickpeas (aka Garbanzo beans).

As for Hummus bi Tahini which is sometimes refered to as hummus especially in the US, well that's another topic and I think we have a whole thread for it in the Middle East Forum. We can discuss it there.

If interested here is the taratoor sauce recipe I use for Falafel.

Hope this helps.


E. Nassar
Houston, TX

My Blog
contact: enassar(AT)gmail(DOT)com

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I need to go pick the brain of the owner of the Falafel Place down the street from me . . . his falafel are amazing.  :rolleyes:

Are you talking about Falafel Place on Corydon? If so, I think we're neighbours, I'm on the same block as it.

Sean

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