You know I didn’t even have my first falafel until a few years ago when I was in Amsterdam. There was a falafel store down the block from the hostel I was staying at with a few friends from summer school in England. We were only there for a few days but it was our first meal of the day for the whole weekend. Without it I would have perished! The best thing about it was the condiment/toppings bar. So many different types of salads and sauces. It was heaven for me. I am a total condiment girl.
Since then I’ve had very few falafels. The sandwich at Arax is good and the pita from Eat-a-Pita was ok. Pretty minimal though. But when I was in Paris in last winter and got to eat a delicious sandwich from L’as du Falafel memories of my first falafel came rushing back. The falafels were crunchy on the outside, soft and nutty inside. Oh man it so good.
I thought I would give homemade falafels a go for my friend Julie’s birthday. I fried and packed these suckers up for a work lunch congregated in her honor. I found a recipe on epicurious and the falafels turned out great. It’s deep-fried chickpea batter. That can’t be bad. I made quenelles of the ground chickpeas and fried them in canola oil. I also fried up some eggplant a la L’as du Falafel. First I sliced and salted the eggplant first to draw out some of the bitterness. Boy assisted by rinsing the slices and drying them to get them ready for the hot pan.
The toppings included tabouli, pickled red cabbage, pickled red turnip salad (bought), tahini sauce, cucumbers in yogurt, tomato mint salad, and the fried eggplant. Phew, I can finally cross falafels off my “to make” list! And it was a success. Double whammy. Now for the other million dishes…