Falafel is one of the most popular vegetarian dishes in Middle Eastern cuisine. Traditionally made from ground chickpeas and spices, falafel can be a bit tricky to make without falling apart! However, with the use of a falafel mold, the process is made much easier. Here in this article, we will delve into the benefits, history and origins, and of course, the step-by-step guide to making delicious falafel using a mold.
The benefits of using a falafel mold for cooking falafel
The main advantage of using a falafel mold is that it helps to shape the mixture into perfectly round balls. This ensures that the falafel is cooked evenly from all sides, resulting in a crispy outside and fluffy inside. Additionally, it helps to prevent the falafel from falling apart while cooking, which can be a common issue when making falafel by hand.
Another benefit of using a falafel mold is that it allows for consistent sizing of the falafel balls. This is especially useful if you are making a large batch of falafel, as it ensures that each ball is the same size and will cook at the same rate. This can be difficult to achieve when shaping the falafel by hand, as the size and shape can vary.
Using a falafel mold can also save time and effort in the kitchen. Rather than spending time shaping each falafel ball by hand, you can simply scoop the mixture into the mold and press down to create perfectly shaped balls. This can be especially helpful if you are making falafel for a large group or for a catering event.
Step-by-step guide to making falafel using a mold
Here is a simple guide to making homemade falafel using a falafel mold:
Soak 1 cup of dried chickpeas in cold water for at least 8 hours or overnight. Drain and rinse the chickpeas and transfer to a food processor.
Add 2 cloves of garlic, 1 teaspoon of ground cumin, 1 teaspoon of ground coriander, 1/2 teaspoon of salt, and 1/4 teaspoon of cayenne pepper to the food processor. Pulse until the mixture is coarsely ground but not pureed.
Add 1/4 cup of chopped fresh parsley and 1/4 cup of chopped fresh cilantro to the food processor and pulse until combined.
Transfer the mixture to a large bowl and add 2 tablespoons of all-purpose flour. Stir well to combine.
Scoop 2-3 tablespoons of the mixture into a falafel mold and press firmly to shape into a ball. Gently remove from the mold and repeat until all the mixture is used.
Heat 1 inch of vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Fry the falafel in batches until golden brown and crispy, about 4-5 minutes per side. Drain on paper towels.
Serve hot with tzatziki sauce, hummus, or your favorite dipping sauce.
Did you know that falafel is a popular Middle Eastern street food that has been around for centuries? It is made from ground chickpeas or fava beans, mixed with herbs and spices, and then deep-fried until crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. Falafel is not only delicious but also a great source of protein and fiber, making it a healthy and satisfying meal option. So why not try making your own falafel at home using a falafel mold and enjoy this tasty treat anytime you want?
Tips for choosing the best falafel mold for your kitchen
When choosing a falafel mold, there are a few things to consider. First, choose a mold that is made from a durable material like metal or plastic. Second, choose a mold that is the right size and shape for your desired Falafel. For example, if you want bite-sized falafel, choose a smaller mold. Finally, make sure the mold is easy to clean and dishwasher safe for convenience.
Another important factor to consider when choosing a falafel mold is the number of cavities it has. If you are making falafel for a large group of people, a mold with multiple cavities can save you time and effort. On the other hand, if you only need to make a few falafel at a time, a single cavity mold may be sufficient.
It’s also worth considering the design of the mold. Some molds have a flat bottom, while others have a rounded or curved bottom. A mold with a flat bottom can make it easier to shape the falafel, while a mold with a curved bottom can create a more uniform shape. Ultimately, the design you choose will depend on your personal preference and the type of falafel you want to make.
The history and origins of falafel and its place in Middle Eastern cuisine
Falafel is a dish that originated in Egypt and has been a staple of Middle Eastern cuisine for centuries. In modern times, falafel has become popular all over the world and is served in countless restaurants and street food stalls. It’s easy to see why; falafel is a nutritious and delicious vegetarian dish that is perfect for a quick and healthy meal.
Traditionally, falafel was made with fava beans, but in some regions, chickpeas are used instead. The mixture is typically seasoned with herbs and spices such as cumin, coriander, and parsley, and then formed into small balls or patties. These are then deep-fried until crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. Falafel is often served in a pita bread with salad, hummus, and tahini sauce, but it can also be enjoyed on its own or as part of a mezze platter.
How to season and spice your falafel mixture for maximum flavor
The spices used in falafel are what gives it its distinctive flavor. Cumin and coriander are the main spices traditionally used in falafel mix, but you can also add garlic, parsley, and cilantro to give it even more depth. Don’t be afraid to experiment with different variations until you find your perfect blend of spices and herbs.
Another important factor in seasoning your falafel mixture is the amount of salt you use. Too little salt can result in a bland falafel, while too much can make it overly salty. It’s best to start with a small amount of salt and adjust to taste as you go.
Additionally, the texture of your falafel mixture can also affect its flavor. Some people prefer a smoother texture, while others like it more coarse. Experiment with different methods of grinding or mashing your chickpeas to find the texture that you enjoy the most.
Vegan and gluten-free falafel recipe using a falafel mold
With more people adopting a vegan or gluten-free lifestyle, it’s important to have recipes that cater to dietary needs. This vegan and gluten-free falafel recipe is perfect for those with dietary restrictions:
1 cup dried chickpeas, soaked overnight and drained
2 garlic cloves
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
2 tablespoons chickpea flour
Follow the same steps outlined previously for shaping and frying the falafel.
For those who don’t have a falafel mold, you can easily shape the falafel mixture into small balls or patties using your hands. If you’re looking for a healthier alternative to frying, you can also bake the falafel in the oven at 375°F for 20-25 minutes, flipping halfway through. Serve with your favorite dipping sauce or in a pita with fresh veggies for a delicious and satisfying meal.
Creative ways to serve and enjoy your homemade falafel
While falafel is delicious on its own, there are many creative ways to serve and enjoy it. Here are a few ideas:
Stuff falafel balls into pita bread with chopped vegetables and drizzle with tahini sauce.
Crumble falafel on top of a Greek salad for added protein and crunch.
Serve falafel as an appetizer with a variety of dipping sauces, like hummus, tzatziki, or harissa.
Add falafel to a wrap with your favorite vegetables and hummus for a quick and healthy lunch.
Another great way to enjoy falafel is to use it as a protein source in a Buddha bowl. Simply add falafel to a bowl with your favorite grains, vegetables, and a dressing of your choice. You can also use falafel as a meat substitute in dishes like tacos or burritos. The possibilities are endless when it comes to this versatile and tasty dish!
Common mistakes to avoid when making falafel with a mold
While using a falafel mold makes the process easier, there are still a few common mistakes to avoid:
Don’t over-soak the chickpeas, or they may become too soft and be difficult to shape.
Don’t forget to use flour in the mixture to help bind the falafel together.
Don’t overcrowd the skillet when frying, or the falafel may not cook evenly.
Another common mistake to avoid when making falafel with a mold is not properly seasoning the mixture. Falafel should be flavorful and well-seasoned, so be sure to add enough salt, pepper, and any other desired spices to the mixture. Additionally, be sure to taste the mixture before shaping and adjust the seasoning as needed.
Frequently asked questions about cooking with a falafel mold
Here are some common questions about using a falafel mold:
How do I clean my falafel mold? Many molds are dishwasher safe, but you can also clean them by hand with warm soapy water.
Can I freeze my falafel mixture? Yes, you can freeze the mixture for up to 3 months. Just thaw before shaping and frying.
Do I need to use a specific kind of oil for frying? No, any neutral-flavored oil like vegetable or canola oil will work.
Now that you have all the information you need, it’s time to start making delicious falafel using your new falafel mold! Enjoy!
One additional tip for using a falafel mold is to lightly coat the inside of the mold with oil before adding the falafel mixture. This will help prevent the mixture from sticking to the mold and make it easier to remove the falafel once it’s shaped. Happy cooking!