Sunday, March 3, 2013

Food Adventure #3: Falafel

This suggestion came from my roommate who personally loves falafel.  All I knew about this food was that it came in a package, my roommate makes balls out of it, and eats it in pita bread.  Not much.

So...  Back to google!

"Falafel is a deep-fried ball or patty made from ground chickpeas, fava beans, or both.  Falafel is a tranditional Arab Food; usually served in a pita, which acts as a pocket, or wrapped in a flabread known as lafa.  The falafel balls are topped with salads, pickled vegetables, hot sauce, and drizzled with tahini-based sauces.  Falafal balls may also be eating alone as a snack or served as part of a meze."

Thanks Wiki!  So I've gone from Indonesian soy beans to Arab chickpeas/fava beans.  Cool.

It took a trip through the "healthy food" area in the grocery store to find falafel.  I'll admit I was actually looking for something else and happen to see it.  Either way, it made it home. 

As I said before with Tempeh, I'm not a fan of fried foods.  I'm also not a fan of deep frying foods because it wastes a lot of oil.  So I opted for the above-mentioned patty option and decided to go with baking.  I made balls, compressed them to patties, and drizzled oil on them.

It was a messy experiment!

 I put them in the oven for about 10 minutes on each side.  I'm sorry, I don't recall the oven temp I used; most likely 375.  I flipped them after 10 minutes and they were already falling apart.  When they were done, I pulled them out and had them with some baked mushrooms; a favorite food of mine.

Wow!!  Talk about processed foods!  The spices added into the boxed mix were extremely overpowering.  I had to pull out the Honey Mustard just to cover up some of the flavor of the falafel.

Immediately I knew that this boxed falafel was not going to work in any way I cook it; baked, deep-fried ball, or pan-fried patty.  But I still had mix and my roommate strongly suggested frying it, so I did.

With the same size patties shown above, I heated up a pan of oil and attempted frying falafel.  That was just as messy!

At first, I tried flipping them too early.  They had not been stuck together enough.  And even after waiting awhile longer, they still crumbled a bit.  Oh-well.  I scooped them out of the oil the best I could and gave them a try.

This batch was better than the baked falafel patties, but that was only because frying seemed to cover up some of the flavor that the mix packed.  So while I call this a success in the attempt of falafel, it was a fail in finding a staple non-animal based protein food to add to my diet.

I will have to find a recipe to make my own falafel next time.  


1.  Have you tried Falafel?  If so, do you have any alternative ideas for cooking methods?

2.  What new foods have you tried recently?

Dream.  Believe.  Achieve. 

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