Sunday, July 13, 2014
How to Make the Best Falafel You Have Ever Tasted: Lebanese Secrets Revealed!
How to Make the Best Falafel You Have Ever Tasted: Lebanese Secrets Revealed! Falafel is an Acquired Taste Lex Loeb Contributor Network . I don't remember where I found it, probably at a middle eastern market. It happens to be an Israeli brand of falafel mix from a company named Osem. It was cheap. In side the plastic container is a gritting chickpea flour that the directions say to mix with water and let stand 7-8 minutes before deep frying. That is just one way to do it. Let the mix stand overnight in the refrigerator after adding water and add more than the directions say to add. This makes the chickpeas flour more soft and fully dissolved than the quick package directions. It is a vegetarian and maybe also vegan dish that is something like the middle eastern equivalent of grits. It is not a fancy food but it can become one. Sometimes it is used as a meat substitute. There is a producer of bratwurst in Portland who makes their vegetarian version of brats with the same brat spices using basic falafel mix. Here are some ingredients to add to improve it. Just mix these into the thick batter once it has absorbed the water added sufficiently. Add fresh hummus containing tahina. Tahina is sesame seeds pressed into a peanut butter like substance. You can also just add the tahina directly because the hummus also contains more of the same chickpeas. You can add an amount to taste. You can taste the raw batter or dough if you want it firm like it says to make it in the directions. Then add some vinegar or lemon juice. Not very much just a tea spoon or less for a small bowl full. Add fresh ground pepper and fresh chopped parsley and /or finely chopped onion. Fresh cracked sesame seeds can also be added. Even better to add is some fresh raw pine nuts. If you are a perfectionist you should pre brown the pine nuts before adding them to the batter Pine nuts added can be chopped or whole. The pine nuts can be added after half the batter is used to create a variety of different falafel to serve. Fresh garlic from a garlic press or from a jar is also good for taste. A tiny amount of dill weed can also help the flavor. A few dashes of Louisiana hot sauce can be added to taste and if you happen to have some middle eastern sumac it is a spice that can add a little more flavor. A teaspoon of extra virgin olive oil is also nice to get into the batter before the frying. Mix it all together and then either fry fat flat cakes of it in hot oil or deep fry it till golden brown on all sides. One of the best store bought hummuses to add is available at costco. It's brand name is "Garden Fresh". It comes with additives including hot pepper, garlic, pine nuts and sweet red pepper. This is a high percentage tahina brand hummus which is good not only to add to the falafel batter but also to spread on top of the finished ready to serve hot falafel. One program to use is to start with the falafel mix and first make some of it according to the directions on the package and then add the various spices and some vinegar or lemon juice and maybe the onions and extra garlic and make some more falafel than add the pine nuts for the final batch. Serve three or maybe more types of falafel for variety. Falafel is usually eaten in peta bread sandwiches with added lettuce tomato and tahina sauce and sometimes with hot peppers. Sliced onion mixed with sumac is added, Some extra virgin olive oil is also standard except to remember not to use much because the falafel is already fried or deep fried. Add more water and make falafel pancakes just check to see how big they can be made without breaking when turning. Smaller may be better. There are other falafel secrets to be discovered. Chances are you won't find a falafel restaurant or Lebanese restaurant that will make falafel as good as you can do it at home. I have never found it with pine nuts nor nearly as tasty with the added spices anywhere I have found it. .