Thursday, April 5, 2012

Falafel update


The first time I made falafel, I stuck to the traditional fried version. It was delicious. But deep frying is messy, and it is an amazingly inefficient way to use oil. This time I baked them, and I also remembered to take pictures.

Baked Falafel

Use the ingredient list from the original falafel recipe. Assemble the  ingredients as per the original recipe too, up until the cooking part. Then,

1. pre-heat the oven to 450
2. add 1/3 cup oil to the falafel mix and combine well
3. drop 2" blobs of mix onto an oiled cookie sheet
4. bake for 30  minutes.

They taste remarkable similar to the fried ones, but there is a tendency for them to be a little dry. I have some ideas about how to fix that, to wit:

1. Soak the beans longer. I got impatient, so these were under water for only about 12 hours. 24 to 36 hours might be better.
2. Leave a little more water in the mix, duh. Bean starches need a deal of moisture to cook nicely.
3. Make sure the blobs are big enough. If they're too small, they'll dehydrate.
4. I might make these in a mini muffin pan next time. Less surface area exposed to air, for one thing, and for another, if I make a moister batter, the muffin tins would help the bits keep their shape.

Really, this is a very nice way to avoid having a bucket of semi-used oil and a slick of grease on everything in your house. Moreover, its far less work. No standing around hovering over your fritters, just plunk them in the oven and set a timer. I think with some tweaking, this recipe could be improved enough that it would be comparable to the original. If I make it again, I'll tell you how it goes.

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