Many thanks to Laura for this guest post.
“Everyday is like Sunday.” So sang Morrissey, and for many of us a fitting epitaph for lockdown. But what does that have to do with falafel I hear you cry? Well, it may feel like a year of Sundays but it isn’t healthy to eat Sunday Roast every day and with this in mind I began to re-examine the idea of homemade falafel. Previous attempts had been more meh than marvel. Coincidentally a new shop had opened in Bedminster, the Red Pear and with its spices, its herbs, pickles and pittas seemed to be encouraging my exploration of the food culture of the Levant.
With this in mind I strolled off mask and calico tote bag in hand to purchase ingredients for a Saturday night Middle Eastern extravaganza. I couldn’t believe my luck when I spotted a packet of dried falafel mix on the shelves with in bold type; ‘FREE Cutting Mould (To get Falafel authentic shape),Syrian recipe, made in Lebanon.’ I didn’t think twice and hurried home with my purchase.
The ingredients were 100% natural and in fact in total there were only 9 of them including spices. The aroma was unusual, I think from nutmeg and quite unlike the ones I’d had before from Sainsbury’s. The instructions were simple requiring only the addition of water and 30 minutes. Et voila, we have it, a pile of yellow matter and a cutting mould ready for deployment. It takes a bit of a knack to scoop up the mixture into the mould and deftly scrape it into the hot oil. The result however is a marvellous and classic flying saucer UFO shaped puck of falafel, allowing quick and even deep frying in a minimum of oil. With a little practice these little falafel Frisbees can be shaped and fried in moments.
The flavour is good, fresh and strong although not quite the falafel taste I am used to. Perhaps it’s the nutmeg!?! (editors note – I too have come across nutmeg-y falafel in my time, and it is, indeed, rather disconcerting). The outside is crunchy but the inside is still moist due to the short cooking time.
The chickpea has not been powdered to oblivion and retains a good bite and chew. We served ours with salad and spicy parsley sauce. The combination was excellent. I cannot recommend trying these delightfully fashioned Falafel enough. The cutting mould alone justifies the on packet price of £2.59 but the delicious doughnuts will be sure to please too. Hurrah, falafel pucks all round!
Intoxication – various