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Authentic Falafels
July 19, 2015

This was my first time ever making falafel (or anything like it), it was easy and turned out great. Doubled the recipe, still didn't make enough because there was such demand. Got rave reviews from a die-hard falafel fan who had repeatedly tried and failed to make it herself. I did once make falafel-flavored oil by using canned garbanzos and now know that because those are cooked, not just soaked, the starches could no longer (re)bind to each other causing it to fall instantly apart when cooked. The ground and spiced mixture actually sat in the refrigerator 3 days (one more than the recommended max) but that was fine. I did use the soda to help the chickpeas soak efficiently (if you skip it, increase the time), and I used the baking powder but not sure how much that really helped the final fluffiness. I may have over-rolled the balls - they can be pretty large and loose (which means air pockets of fluffy goodness) so long as you're slow and careful getting them into the oil, which if hot and deep enough will instantly sear the outside to prevent disintegration. Use no more than medium heat so the skillet isn't much hotter than the oil and if possible use infrared thermometer to ensure that the oil is at least 375 before dropping in the balls (which I made slightly larger than ping pong size). Cooler oil will mess up the texture (as well as risk disintegration) and a hotter pan will burn part of the 'shell'. I'm now headed to the market for more chickpeas...

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