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Falafel help!

I used the following recipe for a "baked" falafel. The flavor was great, but my falafel didn't hold together into flattened balls. Help! How can I adapt this recipe? Or do you have a great recipe for falafel that is not fried? Thanks!

Baked Falafel

(recipe Chow Vegan)

Makes about 10 balls

1 15 ounce can garbanzo beans
1 small onion, finely chopped
2-3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
3 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
1 tablespoon fresh cilantro, chopped
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 teaspoon coriander
1 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon dried red pepper flakes
2 tablespoons flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Drain and rinse the garbanzo beans. Put in a medium sized bowl and smash with a fork. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix well. Form into small balls, about 1 1/2 in diameter and slightly flatten. Place onto an oiled baking pan.

Bake for 15 minutes on each side, until nicely browned.

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  1. assuming you don't need it to be vegan, add 1-2 lightly beaten egg whites (depending on size) to help bind them.

    1. How abou adding a little soy flour to bind the mixture together, if you want to keep it vegan? I've personally never had much luck with falafel unless I add eggs.

      1. I also made this recipe (saw it recommended in an earlier chow posting for non-fried falafel.) I used a scoop to collect the garbanzo mixture (helps with consistency, but might also help pack the ingredients to help them stick together), put it on the tray and flattened gently with my hand. There were times the mixture would separate slightly after flattening, so I reformed the ball and flattened again (pressing to fill in any cracks). Also, you could use a potato masher rather than a fork to make sure that you have enough smooth garbanzos to ensure that the ingredients stick together. Nice flavors and quick to put together. I had some green onions and added them to the recipe. Hope it works for you next time.

        1. Here's my recipe for Falafel

          I fried them. This recipe doesn't seem like it will stay together, but when fried it does. In order to bake these I would make the filling a little wetter to help bind.

          1. I never tried baking falafel, and frankly it seems a bit lame. I assume baking is supposed to reduce the amount of oil you eat, but falafel are so dense the oil does not penetrate more than a milimeter or two into the ball, so it's not like fried vs baked chicken. But if you insist, here are my suggestions based on a lot of trial and error.

            Most important, don't use canned beans. They are too soft. The added flour and other posters' suggestion to add eggs are attempts to compensate for this. The best fried falafel recipies call for soaked, uncooked beans. For baking, who knows, but I would try soaking dried beans overnight, then rinse, cover with water again, bring to a boil for about 10 minutes, turn off the heat, cover, and let it sit for 20 minutes or soto get al dente beans. That's a guess, so don't get mad at me if the first try doesn't work, but getting the beans cooked just right is the key.

            A fork might work for mushy canned beans, but for par-cooked beans you'll need to use a food processor or blender, unless you have an old school metate or grinding stone. The garlic and onion and spices should go in at the same time. "Finely chopped" is not good enough.

            Do not put olive oil into the dough. What's the point? Brush or spray some on the outside of the balls where it will do some good crisping them up.

            Lose the baking powder. In my experience it does not make a difference frying at 425 F, so I doubt it will make a difference baking at 375 F.

            Lose the lemon. Put it in whatever dipping sauce you use so you can taste it.

            And just a personal preference -- more parsley, no cilantro.

            1 Reply
            1. re: Zeldog

              Definitely use soaked uncooked chickpeas, not canned. I used the recipe in the gourmet cookbook, it worked perfectly.

            2. Thanks for all the suggestions. I don't need the recipe to be vegan, so I can try anything! Also, I know it's not a real falafel (being that it's not fried and has different texture), but I loved the flavor of this recipe and thought it would work better if it held together.

              2 Replies
              1. re: superkatie

                I'm curious. How did the baked falafel turn out? I'm skeptical, but the idea of not having to get out the frying equipment is very attractive.

                1. re: superkatie

                  you might try adding some vital wheat gluten (maybe 1/2 cup like for these chickpea cutlets) http://www.chow.com/recipes/11364. That might help :)

                2. You could also add some breadcrumbs.

                  Sounds like these would also make delicious pan-fried patties to serve on burger buns. Bet they would be delicious with tzatziki. May just have to make some!