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Chris Amirault

Felafel/Falafel--Cook-Off 30

92 posts in this topic

Hi,i am new to this forum, and am really into midddle eastern dishes.

I really want to try Felafel,

Can i use the combination of canned chickpeas/garbanzo beans and (dry)soaked Fava beans, will it affect the texture?

Would appreciate any inputs

Thanks!

Welcome to eG luvfood.

I think you'll find the texture will be negatively affected by canned garbanzos, which are cooked. You just soak the dried garbanzos and favas. They don't cook until they are fried.

If you look through this topic from the beginning you'll find this has been raised before.

Is it a problem of not being able to find the dried version?

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Welcome to eG luvfood. 

I think you'll find the texture will be negatively affected by canned garbanzos, which are cooked.  You just soak the dried garbanzos and favas.  They don't cook until they are fried. 

If you look through this topic from the beginning you'll find this has been raised before. 

Is it a problem of not being able to find the dried version?

Hi, thanks for your reply,

i just had the two and thought i would try it this way,

yes, finding dry garbanzo beans is'nt, but i will just look for them harder.

Thanks, i 'll try this and post how it came out.

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Dried chickpeas are in just about every major grocery store. Dried favas are harder to find. I find the dried chickpeas are usually next to the other dried beans or in the ethnic section with the Latin food products. Usually in both sections with the brand like Goya in the Latin section and the store brands in the bean section.

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ok guys I really need to get some facts clear here.

I am an Israeli and nobody in the whole world knows how to make better Falafel except for some friends of ours in New York *Falafel King :)

1: DO NOT COOK THE CHICKPEAS!!!

2: who is in a hurry can use canned beans but that is just baaaHH: !

3: it is ok to mix Fava Beans if u really can get the REAL HUGE so called FOOL instead of those little reddish beans I have seen on some people using--only the real fool can give the Falafel balls an extra BITE but I personally like pure chickpea Falafel because I like rather the taste of the whole Pita sandwich, salads pickles and Tahini mixed as 1 taste instead of having a strong Falafel herby taste--for those using any supermarket fava beans could might as well use yellow split peas, lentils or any similar Beans as cheap Volume. The first one who ever did it was just saving money but the Idea sounded interesting because Fava Beans are anyway famous in our Kitchen for the Hummus similar Paste called just like the bean=fool (with loads of Cumin) :laugh:

ORIGINAL LEBANESE FALAFEL IS MADE LIKE THIS:

and don't copy Israeli Falafelias because most of them are cheaters and to save money and time, many of the little ones use only Chicken stock instead of all the other Herbs and spices. Chicken Stock also has a bit green parsley in it--perfecto for the pocket-thats a Falafel that looks yellow inside instead of shiny glowing green!

You need 1 KG dried Chickpeas

small hand full fresh coriander *about 5-6 stems depending on u

HUGE AMOUNT OF PARSLEY (ABOUT 3 LARGE BUNCHES)

4 LARGE ONIONS

SALT, CUMIN, NUTMEG

OPTIONAL: GARLIC

cornflour

1. You soak chickpeas with a tiny little bicarb (soda) powder for 2- max 5 hours in a cool shady place--AND DO NOT USE HOT WATER--ONLY COLD

2. drain the chickpeas and (hand) Grind them TOGETHER WITH THE Onions AND FRESH HERBS--That colors the chickpeas really greeeen!! :cool:

This is the most important step--the mixed grinding of chickpeas parsley and coriander make the mix very green! please leave it chunky and DO NOT MAKE A FINE PUREE

3. You add on every KG Chickpeas 2-3 Cups of Cornflour *Gluten free

4. spices and then you mix it all together.

5. you heat up the oil to 160-170 Degrees *not max!! use 1 level before the max on your stove or hot plate or deep fryer.

6. Get yourself a REAL FALAFEL SCOOP on my website Madbuy

7. have a cup of water on the side to always wash out the scoop every 5-10th time to let next balls slip off better in the hot oil--but be careful with water close to the oil :o

8. well.... i guess thats where i need to show you how to bake a Pita and prepare fresh Tahini so get in touch :)

Regards,

Ron


Edited by madbuy (log)

Ronald Sayegh - www.Madbuy.com.au - Online Source for Authentic

Lebanese and Israeli Food and Kitchen Products

M a db u y™ @ Home wherever we decide!

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I'm amazed that some people would consider using cooked chickpeas! To me, that is insane!

Also, for me, broad bean falafals and chickpea falafals are two separate things, and I have never made a combination falafal. It sure sounds good though, I may have to try it!

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I used agalarneau's recipe, and it worked perfectly. At least I think it did. I've only ever had falafel made by others from those dried mixes you can buy, and needless to say these far exceeded that. I forgot to take a picture until they were almost all gone. This photo shows the great colour and crust they got, but since it had been sitting, broken in half on the plate for a while it doesn't capture how perfectly moist they were in side. Great recipe, agalarneau!

gallery_38684_2093_31034.jpg


Dr. Zoidberg: Goose liver? Fish eggs? Where's the goose? Where's the fish?

Elzar: Hey, that's what rich people eat. The garbage parts of the food.

My blog: The second pancake

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I made falafel from dried broad beans a couple of weeks ago. I used the recipe from Claudia Roden's Book of Jewish Food. The flavor was absolutely fantastic, but I was disappointed with the texture. The exterior was a lot smoother than most pics I've seen on this thread, and it wasn't very crunchy, it was a bit hard and chewy.

Any idea what could have caused that? maybe I processed the paste for too long? or overhandled it when making the patties?

gallery_21505_358_27147.jpg

gallery_21505_358_27624.jpg

gallery_21505_358_3030.jpg


Edited by Chufi (log)

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I made falafel from dried broad beans a couple of weeks ago. I used the recipe from Claudia Roden's Book of Jewish Food. The flavor was absolutely fantastic, but I was disappointed with the texture. The exterior was a lot smoother than most pics I've seen on this thread, and it wasn't very crunchy, it was a bit hard and chewy.

Any idea what could have caused that? maybe I processed the paste for too long? or overhandled it when making the patties?

Your mix appears to have the right texture. Did you perhaps boil the beans? They should only soak overnight.

I'm surprised a Jewish food cookbook would have an all Fava bean recipe.

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Someone asked above about why there are variations in falafel recipes, those made with broadbeans (fool) and/or chickpeas/garbanzo (humus). For one, chickpeas come from south east turkey/syria and broadbeans are more mediterranean, associated mostly with Egypt. Perhaps that has something to do with it. Second, which was mentioned above, many Jews have favism (G6PD), a condition where eating broadbeans can lead to serious anemia. Indeed most falafel stands in Israel use only chickpeas. The egyptian falafel (taamiya) recipe that I have uses only broadbeans. ...and there is everything in between.

chuff, I am not sure why it came out hard on the outside, perhaps that has to do with oil temp?


Cheers, Sarah

http://sarahmelamed.com/

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I love the Joan Nathan version. Had it last night with homemade pitas (thanks to Artisan Bread in Five Minutes - my new obsession) and again for breakfast today! I've only had restaurant felafel once, as L'As du Felafel in Paris, but it seems to me these compare pretty favorably.

I've seen a couple of references to freezing uncooked felafel. Can anyone tell me how the quality is after, say, a month of freezing? And do you form the balls/patties first or just freeze a batch of the mix, then form them after defrosting?

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I love the Joan Nathan version.  Had it last night with  homemade pitas (thanks to Artisan Bread in Five Minutes - my new obsession) and again for breakfast today!  I've only had restaurant felafel once, as L'As du Felafel in Paris, but it seems to me these compare pretty favorably.

I've seen a couple of references to freezing uncooked felafel.  Can anyone tell me how the quality is after, say, a month of freezing?  And do you form the balls/patties first or just freeze a batch of the mix, then form them after defrosting?

Usually when I make falafel I make a large batch and store the unused portion in an airtight box in the freezer. I don't store them as falafel balls but this may be a good idea if you have room in your freezer. I usually finish the frozen mixture within 1 or 2 months and have not noticed any big difference in texture. Of course, if I were to taste a fresh batch and one which was defrosted I might notice a difference. In some falafel chains in Israel that's the way they do it.


Cheers, Sarah

http://sarahmelamed.com/

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Do they leach moisture when you defrost them?

Good question, if I recall correctly there is some excess moisture but not enough

to be a problem, Next time I defrost uncooked falafel I will take a note of it.


Cheers, Sarah

http://sarahmelamed.com/

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Today seems like a good day for falafel. But I didn't plan ahead, and didn't soak any beans so they won't be from scratch tonight. But, I would like to take another stab at making them from scratch again soon.

Anybody make any lately? And tricks to pass on? Going traditional or trying anything new?

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So I made my first ever batch of (Lebanese style of course!) Falafel, following a Youtube recipe from Chef Rafi of the famous Arax falafel chain in Lebanon(note, video is in Arabic without subs). Incidentally, Chef Crash wrote an appropriately disparaging comment on that video to Chef Chadi Zeitouni, the host of the show (who was really hamming it up and getting in the way).  Regardless, the recipe was more or less in line with Foodman's ratio for foul to hummus, except that there are no fresh herbs added - powdered garlic, powdered onion, no parsley, and the baking soda is added not at soaking, but to the ground up beans. Overall it was a bit underseasoned. Next time I think I'll try the fresh herbs and spice ratios of Elie and Crash.

 

Arax is widely held to be one of, if not THE best falafel places in Lebanon, and I was really hoping that by closely following their recipe I'd have a dead ringer. Well, for a first attempt they came out fine, but if the Lebanese experts could provide some input, that would be great:

 

-The baking soda appeared to do nothing - the falafel struck me as denser than the typical Arax/Sahyoun/Barbar stuff, I presume the bicarb is to fluff it up a little? What difference does adding it during the soak make? Rafi specifically says Arax doesn't add it during the soak.

 

-The exteriors were very crunchy - I don't know that I've had falafel outside a sandwich in Lebanon, but they were rather hard, even after a short frying time. Admittedly, they were not too crunchy to enjoy, but the best stuff from the Lebanese street might be one degree softer.  I was aiming for the golden color, as is typically seen in Leb and is so well represented here:

gallery_39290_4300_18041.jpg
 

I'm wondering if my oil was too hot - in the Arax video, Rafi says that the oil is the right temperature when a small ball of falafel rises immediately to the top of the oil after being dropped, but then they go on to fry for quite a while, whereas mine reached gold pretty fast (and seemed fully cooked)

 

-On the subject of oil, Rafi notes that old oil is better, and the first several falafels fried won't be as good as the later ones. I rarely deep fry, but I think this is typical of all deep frying, right?

 

-I don't have a serious food processor, just a Cuisinart mini prep, or whatever it's called - using 600g of beans (400 foul, 200 hummus) yield a huge batch, and I had to do several small grinding sessions in my tiny Cuisinart. I noticed the grind was not even - some of each batch was a bit coarse, some finer. In the video, Rafi says they use essentially a meat grinder, which I imagine is more consistent, and to grind it once on a fine setting. 

 

-Related to that, the texture of the final mix was basically the same as that in the image above. In the video, Rafi says to mix the paste until "it's like gum" (mitl 3alkeh for Arabic speakers). I mixed and mixed and didn't really get that - I presume that means it's supposed to be very sticky? I wouldn't say it was particularly moist or particularly dry, and it would hold together when pressed, but it was a bit crumbly just picking up a piece and gently shaping it. Would a more even, finer grind take care of that?

 

PS: All this talk of tarator and none of the "7arr" (hot sauce) that the Falafel joints use - it appears to be pureed red chiles and salt and little else. I discovered that Cortas makes a pretty good jarred version. Also speaking of Cortas, every falafel joint I've been to in Lebanon has a huge bowl of pickled chiles out to snack on - Cortas has a jarred version that is spot-on, great stuff!

 

I wish I had pictures, but my setup and final product looked fairly close to Crash's.


Edited by Hassouni (log)

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Thanks for bringing this topic back up, Hassouni. I'd forgotten about it entirely! I made my first attempt at falafel earlier this fall, but it was from a mix. It came out pretty well and was a good way for this first-timer to get into it. We liked the results well enough to pursue it further, although the cleanup was a nightmare. (I really hate deep-frying in the kitchen.)

As to your question about oil: I can think of a couple of ways it might change, not all for the better. If bits of coating and spices are staying with the oil (as with my last attempt at fried fish), they'll eventually start to brown and lend more seasoning to the oil. Taken far enough and hot enough, they'll turn to bits of carbon, and not be so tasty. A skilled fry-cook, which I am not, can presumably control the oil temperature to keep that from happening, and that may be the source of the idea that the old oil is better.

It's also possible with certain foods that they'll release fats and flavors of their own into the cooking oil, thereby flavoring the oil for later rounds of frying. I'm not sure I believe that falafel mix would do that, though.

Cooking oil can go rancid if used long enough, of course, and I draw the line at saying that's better. One of my most miserable food experiences ever was fried okra (bamya) in very old oil, in Aswan. My companions loved it; I was off my food for days.


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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