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Felafel/Falafel--Cook-Off 30


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Is it important to peel the fava beans after you soak them? In the pictures above, the favas have been peeled, it seems.

It is important, but the favas can be bought peeled. That is what most people do. Look at your local middle eastern market and they should have them.

E. Nassar
Houston, TX

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

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Is it important to peel the fava beans after you soak them? In the pictures above, the favas have been peeled, it seems.

It is important, but the favas can be bought peeled. That is what most people do. Look at your local middle eastern market and they should have them.

This will probably win the prize for stupidest question of the year, but how do I know if the dried favas I bought have been peeled? Or, will it be evident after I've soaked them?

On another note, when I make falafel, do I have to fry all of them at once, or can I hold some of the mixture for frying for lunch the next day?

Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"
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This will probably win the prize for stupidest question of the year, but how do I know if the dried favas I bought have been peeled?  Or, will it be evident after I've soaked them?

At my Mid East store the bag says "peeled" and the do look different. The peeled ones are a light beige colour. I can also get split and peeled ones.

I don't know the answer to your second question, but I have reheated cooked leftovers in the oven with success.

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On another note, when I make falafel, do I have to fry all of them at once, or can I hold some of the mixture for frying for lunch the next day?

You can definitely keep them in the fridge--I think nduran (who seems to be the felafel expert) said s/he keeps the mixture in the fridge for up to a week. Someone else said they froze patties also.

I have another question: since we're heading into fava season and we're growing them this year, can I use fresh favas to make felafel? Or will the texture not be the same?

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Made falafel this weekend, using FoodMan's recipe from recipegullet. Excellent. This is the second time I've made falafel without using one of those dry mixes.

The first time, I used FoodMan's recipe, but tried to bake the falafel. I formed them into little balls, and put them into mini-muffin tins and sprayed with that awful oil-spray in a can (a trick I read about on egullet). They were disgusting -- raw in the middle and dry on the outside.

This time, it was a different story. I will never hesitate to fry falafel again.

Edited by Khadija (log)
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This will probably win the prize for stupidest question of the year, but how do I know if the dried favas I bought have been peeled?  Or, will it be evident after I've soaked them?

If they're not peeled they'll have sort of a purplish skin on them with a dark line along one end. If they are then they'll be mostly white.

I have another question: since we're heading into fava season and we're growing them this year, can I use fresh favas to make felafel? Or will the texture not be the same?

I've never tried fresh ones, but I'd be inclined to think there would be too much moisture in them. Worth a shot to try, just keep a screen over your pan in case they start popping.

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So I did the epicurious recipe posted earlier, made some tzatziki , and gave it a shot.

gallery_51056_4338_377180.jpg

Crunchy on the outside, though a bit soft on the inside. It tasted much better than the boxed stuff!

(the stick type things are fried potatoes)

Sean

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URGENT HELP NEEDED!

I have a going-away party for friends tonight, falafel is highly sought after so it looks like we're going ahead with it.

I'd like to use the RecipeGullet recipe but I don't have time to soak the dried beans. So can they be par boiled? Or am I better off using canned favas and canned chickpeas? Will either work provided the beans are quite dry?

Don't shoot me, I see that soaking dried beans is the thing but I'd like to have a go at this in the next best (i.e. from scratch) format even if it means changing this crucial dimension.

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URGENT HELP NEEDED!

I have a going-away party for friends tonight, falafel is highly sought after so it looks like we're going ahead with it.

I'd like to use the RecipeGullet recipe but I don't have time to soak the dried beans. So can they be par boiled? Or am I better off using canned favas and canned chickpeas? Will either work provided the beans are quite dry?

Don't shoot me, I see that soaking dried beans is the thing but I'd like to have a go at this in the next best (i.e. from scratch) format even if it means changing this crucial dimension.

Disclaimer: I've never tried this but if you must...

Parboil the two beans seperatly until they are soft enough to eat but still pretty crunchy, almost like the crunch of a carrot and certainly not as soft as a boiled potato. Proceed with the recipe as directed and good luck. Let us know how it turns out.

E. Nassar
Houston, TX

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

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URGENT HELP NEEDED!

I have a going-away party for friends tonight, falafel is highly sought after so it looks like we're going ahead with it.

I'd like to use the RecipeGullet recipe but I don't have time to soak the dried beans. So can they be par boiled? Or am I better off using canned favas and canned chickpeas? Will either work provided the beans are quite dry?

Don't shoot me, I see that soaking dried beans is the thing but I'd like to have a go at this in the next best (i.e. from scratch) format even if it means changing this crucial dimension.

Disclaimer: I've never tried this but if you must...

Parboil the two beans seperatly until they are soft enough to eat but still pretty crunchy, almost like the crunch of a carrot and certainly not as soft as a boiled potato. Proceed with the recipe as directed and good luck. Let us know how it turns out.

That's exactly what I did except I wasn't able to find dried favas.

So following this recipe (which is different from the simplified epicurious one but the exact same as that which Mizducky posted upthread) I boiled dried chickpeas for about 20 minutes until they were a bit soft on the outside but still crunchy on the inside. I rinsed and rubbed them to dislodge some of the skins, then dried them with a clean dishtowel. I was working with a fair amount of them so, in stages, I food processed them until they were a rough crumble then proceeded with the rest of the recipe.

This technique, born out of desperation, actually worked just fine except the mix was somewhat inconsistent in grain size...some big crunchy chunks..but they were rendered soft by the hot oil.

My only change to the recipe above would be to add more spice based on your preferences. Otherwise they turned out really well and though somewhat time consuming I have a batch of the mix in the freezer that I can make again sometime.

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I triangulated between FoodMan and ChefCrash to come up with these beauties:

gallery_52521_4309_75969.jpg

Here's the whole story of how I got here.

Four teaspoons of baking powder left the falafel tasting of it, in my opinion. FoodMan used one, and the falafel puffed a little. Perhaps next time I'll add a half tsp of baking soda as well.

I brought these to work, and served them with Frank's Hot Sauce (the classic cayenne sauce for Buffalo style chicken wings) tarator, chopped dill pickles and sprigs of cilantro. People went nuts.

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I've been using a lot of chick peas lately and picked up a couple of bags of dried beans that I hadn't gotten around to cooking. That and a bag of dried favas from the Asian market that had been in the cabinet for a couple of months set the stage for making falafel after reading this thread. I elaborated on FoodMans recipe and added some cilantro. I ended up with 5 cups of chick peas and 4 cups of favas with peel. My Italian parsley was the darkest green color I had ever seen and coupled with the cilantro my falafel were decked out for St. Patrick's' day.

after the grind

gallery_6878_3484_141672.jpg

frying them up

gallery_6878_3484_36313.jpg

beats green beer

gallery_6878_3484_134201.jpg

I got a great crunchy exterior and a soft warm center that had wonderful flavor. I had tried to make falafel years ago with canned beans and gave up. The hardest part was peeling the favas. Even after a long soak I had to pinch the beans from the shell which took a while to complete. The rest was a breeze.

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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)

Actually, you can have felafel on lafa bread in Israel, if the stand offers pita and lafa as an option, you just have to ask. Pickled turnips are not just a Lebanese addition. Iraqis also make pickled turnips and you find them at most felafel/shwarma stands here in Israel. Depending on where your family originates is what you are most likely to put on your felafel. However, since we are such a mix here, most of us like to mix it up. :smile:

Israel has citizens from most countries in the Middle East, even Jews that originated in Kuwait. And we have restaurants that cover most of those countries. Okay, we don't have any Gulfi restaurants yet :wink: .

Edited by Swisskaese (log)
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I used FoodMan's recipe to make my first ever falafel today and served it to Dayne's dad and uncle. I've actually only even had it twice before. This was very good and everyone loved it!

after the grind

432703320_bfbbbe9d66.jpg

I made quenelles using 2 spoons

432703352_68477a8914.jpg

served them warm with warm pita, israeli salad and tahini sauce

432703362_57277e2cd5.jpg

I assume serving them warm is the way to go but do people eat them room temp also??

thanks for coming up with such a good cook off! this is a keeper for sure!!

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Since the question has come up about how to tell peeled from unpeeled favas, and since I didn't even know what I myself had in my cupboard, here's a look.

gallery_16307_1993_72190.jpg

This is after 20 hours of soaking. The white beans are after I peeled them, all the others are the unpeeled version. It's not a big deal to peel them, maybe a 15 minute effort, but if I can find them peeled I'll do that next time.

I made FoodMan's recipes, including his pita and taratour sauce recipes. I did the pitas on a hot stone and they puffed into perfect balloons - the first time I've gotten pitas to make pockets reliably. However, the picture I took of them in the oven mostly shows how dirty the glass is, so I'll spare you that. Here's the finished felafel.

gallery_16307_1993_72833.jpg

I was a bit short on parsley, so mine aren't as green as other people's. The texture was fine and light, and they held together perfectly without the addition of any water. The added flavor from the favas is very interesting, sort of grassy, a bit reminiscent of cantaloupe. I really liked it a lot. I added quite a bit of Aleppo pepper to the sauce, which is why it's pinkish. Thanks for the lovely recipes, Elie!

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Very nice stuff Abra. Glad you enjoyed it and that the recipes worked. I admire your patience with using the unpeeled fava and peeling it yourself. It's not difficult, but a bit tedious. I always have the peeled ones on hand.

E. Nassar
Houston, TX

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

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

Thank you so much for that! I had the best falafel of my life at that place and thought that I would never be able to find it again since I didn't remember the name or exactly where it was. Here I was thinking that maybe it tasted so good just because I was in Paris but Lenny Kravitz agrees with me!

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  • 3 weeks later...

So I came across this thread this morning, and I sez to myself, I have fava beans, I have chickpeas, I have a lot of parsley and scallions I should use up, I have some homemade chubz (pita) in the freezer, I'll make falafel tonight! Obviously, I didn't have 14 hours to soak the beans; I boiled the beans (separately) for one minute and then left them to soak for the rest of the afternoon. I used foodman's recipe in recipe gullet. Absolutely delicious! Best ever! Thank you all.

What I didn't have in the house was lettuce or tahini. Inspired by Chefcrash's pickles, I made a much quicker wilted slaw out of salted-and-squeezed red cabbage, dressed with olive oil and lemon juice. And I made a sauce with just drained yogurt, garlic, and salt. We ate the falafel in the chubz with these two accompaniments, and it was excellent. I think I liked the combination as well as the lettuce and tahini sauce I usually use.

My favas were the big, brown-skinned ones they sell at my Italian grocery store. Popping them out of the skins was kind of amusing, but I will definitely look for skinless, split ones for the future.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Made Elie's recipe, more or less, above, and it turned out great. I left the dough out on the counter after grinding it up to allow it to dry out a bit, and that seemed a good idea. I also cooked the felafel too much and they were a bit too crisp (though, certainly, done -- my concern abated at the cost of tenderness).

Picked up some of those turnip pickles (at Sonia's on Park Ave in Cranston for the locals), and, boy, they were a great addition.

Chris Amirault

eG Ethics Signatory

Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

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  • 4 months later...

I made some last night using a modified version of the recipe in recipe gullet (added 1 t coriander, used 50/50 cilantro/parsley instead of parsley alone and 2 C chickpeas instad of a fava/chickpea mix.

They turned out extremely well and will be added to the regular rotation.

Jon

--formerly known as 6ppc--

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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!

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