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Saturday, July 2, 2011


A while ago, I noticed How to Cook Everything has a falafel recipe. As I have dried chickpeas, and tahini, and love falafel, I decided to try it out! Here is how it went (I made half this recipe)

1.75 cups dried chickpeas
2 cloves garlic
1 small onion
1 tsp coriander
1 Tbsp cumin
~ 1 tsp cayenne
1 cup parsley or cilantro
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/4 baking soda
1 Tbsp lemon juice
Lots o' oil.

Blended chickpea mash.
Step 1. Soak the beans in a big bowl, covered by a few inches of water, for 24 hours.
At this point the instructions tell you to put everything (except the oil) into your food processor. I do not have such a thing, and they cost more than I have. I do, however, have an aging blender; so I tried that. Here is the problem: blenders have sort of conical bowls, which is great for liquids but for solids means only the bottom stuff really gets chopped and the top stays kind of whole. if I'd thought about it, I could have done it in batches, but I didn't think to. So I ended up with a bunch of semi-processed chickpea stuff, and had to add extra water to it to blend it up. The results of this step do not really look delicious.
Frying is exciting.
3. Fryin'. I have never really fried something before, so this was exciting. You are instructed to put 2 inches of oil into a saucepan. THIS IS SO MUCH OIL. I did one inch, and that was a lot. Then, you are supposed to make little spheres from your mash. This also did not work well; in the end, I mostly got fried chickpea-matter, occasionally in coagulated lumps. (You toss them in the hot oil, and remove when brown). Then, you eat!

My evaluation is that this is a pretty time-consuming process, especially with having to poke around the chickpeas in the blender and then having to fry the non-balls three by three. I would probably not do this again soon, or at least not without a food processor. That said, the results are delicious, even if they are not as pretty as at a restaurant; there is something about things you fried freshly yourself that is hard to achieve in any other way. They were crispy and flavourful (though I would probably doctor the spices a bit on second go-round) and really rather delicious.

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