The ultimate falafel experience! ;) - VeggieBoards
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#1 Old 06-09-2003, 08:16 PM
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Well, today I had my first taste of falafel! It was totally unplanned, but I'm sure glad it happened!

Our air conditioner hasn't been working and it was hot in this house! So, my mother and I went for a ride, and I suggested getting a smoothie. I haven't been to this smoothie place since going veg, and I knew there was a Mediterranean restaurant right next to it, so I looked through the window to see what they had, and low and behold... I saw the word falafel! I said, Oh man, that place has falafel! My mother asks, 'what's that?' I told her it was something everyone on the veggie boards always talked about, lol. I kept debating whether to go in there or not, but I hadn't had dinner so I figured, what the hay?!

I ordered two falafel sandwiches, for my mother and myself, and I only should have ordered one! Those things were HUGE! We had left overs... So, dad will be tasting it for the first time too! When my mother first looked at it she said, "It looks like meat!" I was like, what? Did they give me the wrong order? I looked at it, and it did look like meat... So, I asked my mother to taste it, and she did, then she said, "It's not meat!" So, I tasted it, and WOW! I've never had anything like it! It was so tastey, and a very distinctive taste at that. My mother raved about how delicious it was! She kept asking what they were made of, and I told her chickpeas, but she kept saying they didn't taste like chickpeas. So, I asked the lady and she said it was a mixture of different herbs and spices and of course, chickpeas. I asked her if they were vegetarian, and she said, 'oh, yes'. I probably would have ran out of there screaming if she said no, hehe.

Anyway, that's the story. Probably more than you cared to hear, but I can't help it. I'm excited! I look forward to having them again, but it will be a while. Deep fried food is not an everyday thing, lol.

Thanks for listening to me ramble!
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#2 Old 06-09-2003, 08:43 PM
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All Right Grain_Girl. I love falafel and I've made them and served them to all kinds of people and everyone just loves them. I think I'll make falafel this week.

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#3 Old 06-09-2003, 08:49 PM
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Enjoyed your story. Glad you liked it. My first falafel experience was in London. It tasted unbelieveable!
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#4 Old 06-09-2003, 10:25 PM
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awesome story! welcome to the dark side
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#5 Old 06-10-2003, 02:20 AM
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Yay, your first falafel.

This is an important occassion.
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#6 Old 06-10-2003, 10:35 AM
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Welcome to the Falafel Club!
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#7 Old 06-10-2003, 10:45 AM
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i am kind of a felafel virgin. i had once once when pregnant with my daughter (she's 12 so....) and do not remember what it tasted like. unfortunately i live in a very redneck/hillbilly part of florida and their idea of "exotic" is pineapple on pizza so no felafels here....does someone have a VERY easy recipe i can have so I can be initiated too
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#8 Old 06-10-2003, 11:49 AM
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I now have two felafel option right here in ass-backwards Newark, DE! One is a generic pita-shack. Good hummus and veggie pita, but the falafel isn't very good, though. The other place, a feaux-Arabian restaurant has a very respectable falafel for $3.50.

First falafel story was rather fun, I must say. It's also my "first time in New York" story. After a housewarming/happy hour party at a co-worker/friend's place, I somehow got to thinking about driving to New York City. So a buddy of mine and I trucked up to New York and landed in the Village 'round 4am and finally caught up with his cousin at 5am and headed out to an after hours. We drank and played pool 'til 8am, had a bagel (my first New York bagel, too. An everything, toasted, with butter.) and took a nap. Then we played some whiffleball, watched some soccer and had a couple of Boddingtons (my first Boddingtons, even!) and then after shopping SoHo, finally, it came time... The falafel hut. The place wasn't even big enough for the five of us to stand in at once. I didn't even know what a falafel was! After being assured it was vegetarian, I ordered one with hot sauce.


Needless to say, I've been hooked ever since. I don't remember where that shack was, though, and I continue to search the world over for another falafel as good as the first. Strangely, the best falafel since then, perhaps as good as the first, is a little Mediteranean house in Rockville, MD. The make the bread there, and the veggies and sauce are always very fresh.

Anywho, I also learned that driving out of the city at 4pm on a Sunday ain't nearly as easy as driving in at 4am on a saturday. Oh well. Good times.
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#9 Old 06-10-2003, 05:03 PM
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Got a good recipe for them? I've never tried one. BUT it SOUNDS do TASTY!!!
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#10 Old 06-10-2003, 06:09 PM
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Here's my recipe

1 large can chickpeas

1 small onion

5 cloves garlic

a handfull of fresh parsley

1 stalk celery (optional I just got this idea and have only tried it a few times)

1/2 T cumin

1/2 tsp coriander

1/2 tsp cayenne pepper

1/2 tsp sea salt

1 tsp nutritional yeast

1/3 cup whole wheat flour

blend all these in a food processor.

put some olive oil in a pan and use a spoon to shape the falafel patties on. Fry them until they are brown and crispy on both sides
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#11 Old 06-10-2003, 06:51 PM
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just use a prepared mix. So far, I have only tried Casbah brand but Fantastic Food has one too. Whole Foods also have their own generic mix from the bulk bins.
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#12 Old 06-10-2003, 07:15 PM
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Keegan, do you remember mrfalafel from vegweb?

This is his falafel recipe:

1 cup dried chickpeas, soaked in 5 cups of water for 25 hours

1 teaspoons baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup very finely minced onion

2 tablespoons very finely minced parsley

1-teaspoon ground roasted cumin seeds

1 teaspoon ground coriander

2 cloves garlic, peeled and mashed to a pulp

Freshly ground pepper

1 tablespoon lemon juice

a pinch (or more) of cayenne pepper

Oil for frying

Drain the chickpeas and put them into the container of a good processor or blender. Add the baking soda and salt. Turn the machine on and blend until you have the texture of coarse bread crumbs or fine bulgar wheat. You should NOT have a paste.

Empty the chickpeas into a bowl. Add the onion, parsley, cumin, coriander, garlic, black pepper, lemon juice, and cayenne. Mix gently with a fork. Do not pat down. This mixture should be loose and crumbly.

Put 2 inches of oil in a wok or other utensil for deep frying and set to a heat on a medium-low flame. You need a temperature of 350 to 375 degreesF. While the oil heats, form the first batch of patties. Using a very light touch, form patties that are about 2 1/4 inches in diameter, about 3/4 inch thick in the center and less so at the edges. Do not pat down or try to be too neat. The patties should just about hold together. Put as many patties into the hot oil as the utensil will hold in a single layer. Fry about 4 minutes or until the patties a reddish brown on both sides. Turn at least once during the frying process. When the patties are done, remove them with a slotted spoon and drain on a paper towel. do all of the patties this way.

And for all of you in the UK, I recommend the Marks & Sparks falafel. 12 in the pack, and you just put them in the oven for a few minutes, and they're tasty. Not quite authentic, since you don't deep fry them, and the recipe isn't all the same, but they taste awesome. And i mean awesome.
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#13 Old 06-10-2003, 10:32 PM
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I always make the first recipe and tahini sauce, good stuff

I had one today for lunch. My very omni friend always says it smells so good. This is a good and easy recipe. Shannon
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