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Jul 20, 2008 05:05 PM

Help me figure out falafel failure please!

Tonight I had my first attempt at making falafel. I used this recipe, which I think I found on CH.

1 c dried chickpeas
1 c chopped green onions
2 T minced garlic
1 T cumin
1 tsp Baking Powder
2 tsp salt
1 tsp Black pepper
1 tsp hot chili powder (or to taste)
1/2 c finely chopped parsley (cilantro can be added too)
Oil for frying

The only real difference I took from this recipe was that instead of just soaking the chickpeas overnight (as the recipe stated), mine were soaked and just slightly cooked. Even though I just recently bought the bag, I think they were old in the store because they were very hard after soaking at least 18 hours. But they were NOT fully cooked and soft. I didn't think the cooking was the issue, because I've seen falafel recipes made with canned chickpeas, and they are fully cooked and much softer than these were. After the ingredients were mixed in the food processor, I did have to add a tiny bit of water (as the recipe suggested)

The flavors were perfect. BUT, when I placed the patties into the oil, they bubbled then disolved. The oil was hot enough, it bubbled right away. But it was like I created a green oil soup -- they just fell apart into the oil.

I salvaged the rest by griddling them -- they were very crumbly, but at least they had some crisp on the outside and tasted good.

Can anyone suggest a better recipe or point any clues as to what went wrong? The rest of the meal (hummus, baba ganooj, and tabbouleh) all turned out really well. I'm glad it was just us and the kids tonight. but I'd like to make them again and have them turn out the way they are supposed to!

Thanks for any help you can offer!

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  1. The recipe linked below also uses an egg. The egg probably binds the mixture together while cooking.

    1. Thanks! I've looked at a bunch of recipes and hadn't seen eggs in any of the others I'd come across.

      I have seen a few with additional flour.

      Can anyone advise me from your own experience making it? Thanks for any help.

      1. I tried several recipes before I was happy with this one.

        1 pound dried chickpeas, soaked overnight, drained, rinsed
        4-6 cloves chopped garlic
        1 large onion, chopped
        1/3 cup chopped fresh parsley (cilantro too?)
        2 tsp ground coriander
        2 tsp ground cumin
        2 tsp salt
        dash hot pepper or sauce
        2 tsp baking powder, dissolved in 1/2 cup water
        4 tbs flour

        Grind the chickpeas, add garlic, onion, parsley, coriander, cumin, salt, hot sauce and blend. Add baking soda mixture and flour and process til smooth. Form falafel into balls and fry about 3 minutes til browned.

        1. I've had the exact same thing happen to me. After I added a couple tablespoons of flour, no more disintegration! And don't add the water next time. Add the egg as someone else suggested. The coagulated protein and the flour both help bind the mix.

          Good luck!

          1. Thank you! I'll be trying these suggestions soon! At least I'm glad to know that I'm not the only one it had happened to!