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Apr 18, 2011 05:07 AM

Falafel: canned chickpeas, or soaked, dried chickpeas?

I've decided I'd like to try and make my own falafel - but am not sure which way to go.

I can find recipes which call for canned chickpeas, and recipes which call for soaked, dried chickpeas (but not cooked). I even found a recipe that called for chickpea flour. I imagine that the end result between all 3 recipes would be quite different.

Does anybody with prior falafelling experience have any comparisons to note? I'd greatly appreciate your opinions.

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  1. Felafel I always use dried, the one time I used canned they fell apart. Hummus I always use canned though, it's not so critical there.

    1 Reply
    1. re: coll

      Thank you coll - I was a bit unsure because the dried soaked chickpeas were not cooked (in the recipes I round), but I just tried a couple (soaked about 10 hours) and they were yum!

      I'm a bit loath to eat too many (before cooking) though, I wonder if I'd end up with a bad case of gas!

    2. Didn't know you could start with raw ones. If your recipe works out, could you post it?

      4 Replies
      1. re: jvanderh

        Dried, soaked 24 hours. NEVER canned.
        Scroll down to second recipe. These are great!!

        1. re: shaebones

          Yeah - I did read in a comment somewhere that the canned ones end up too wet and can fall apart - but strangely most of the recipes I've come across so far are for the canned type!

          Thanks for the link - I will investigate :)

          1. re: shaebones

            Cool, thanks! This post is timely-- I've got some dried chickpeas that I wanted to make into falafel this weekend, but it all seemed too time-intensive.

          2. add me to the dried and soaked never canned group.

            3 Replies
            1. re: rasputina

              Methinks the canned group is going to be rather small, judging by early replies. Thanks for your input!

              1. re: ursy_ten

                Well, in the interest of devil's advocacy, canned is a heck of a lot faster, and I think that metallic taste may be undetectable by the time you season and cook them. But, if you've got the time and inclination, dried is cheaper and may taste better.

                1. re: jvanderh

                  Sure! One of these days, I think I'll try a side by side comparison.

            2. There are Many previous topics on falafel and hopefully the search engine will let us find them.

              I've had good results with both canned and soaked/cooked dried chickpeas. Many people will advise you to rinse and rub the chickpeas together in order to remove the skins. The above MadRiverKitchen recipe is intriguing but non-traditional (baked).

              My important success factor was to avoid blandness by adding enough fresh, minced herbs like parsley and scallion. While mashing the ingredients together I might add a little chickpea flour just to help bind things together. I prefer to shape them into 'hockey pucks', let them set 'for a while' and then pan fry them in ~1/4 inch of olive oil (easier for me than deep frying).

              EDIT - found Chow recipe:

              2 Replies
              1. re: DiveFan

                During a brief stint as a raw foodist, I made falafel using chickpeas that I'd soaked and sprouted from dried organic chickpeas. I then ground them in my food processor with the appropriate herbs, spices and seasonings, formed balls and dehydrated them at a low temperature for days. They were delicious! I'd do it again, but I'd use a higher temperature in my dehydrator, as I'm not married to the laws of raw. It was an interesting and healthy alternative to the deep fried method. Sprouting the chickpeas was an interesting and worthwhile, though time consuming project.

                To make the more traditional version, I'd suggest a mix of chickpeas and fava beans. The fava beans are tasty and add an interesting green hue. Israeli recipes tend to be chickpea-oriented, while Lebanese recipes lean toward fava beans. I think a mix is best, for flavour and texture. You be the judge. Favas need to be peeled of their tough skins, though, so they add a bit of work. Whatever you do, avoid the boxed mixes. They produce a radically inferior product.

                1. re: 1sweetpea

                  Interesting! If I have some leftover falafels. I'll put them in a slow oven overnight and see what transpires.

              2. Gonna try this recipe soon. Just made hummus today using dried, soaked, pressure cooked chickpeas. Delicious. Now have to go buy some more dried chickpeas.