Felafel – my fail, and some reviews

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Felafel is a vegan staple, for Melbournians at least, as its widely available and always vegan (so long as you remember to hold off on the yoghurt and garlic sauce).

We buy it when we can’t be bothered to cook, but we also make it at home sometimes, albeit from a packet mix.

I had intended to make it from scratch, but that really wasn’t going to help me with my new lack of kitchen time. So, this time, I bought the frozen ones from the Middle Eastern Bakery on Hope st.

I rushed out of the house the morning of intended felafel night, pulling them from the freezer for Mr, who had agreed to make the dinner that night. I briefly glimpsed a warning on the packet, “this product should be defrosted in…”. I assumed fridge, and put them in. I should have actually read the packet.

That night I got home, with bought hommus (SUPER slack week), to find Mr in the kitchen, none to happy.Turns out it does not say to defrost them in the freezer, it says to defrost them in a collander. Because they get soggy if you don’t, and then they don’t fry. In fact, it makes them fall to pieces and turn into felafel crumbs, like this:

Fall-apart Felafel

So, that’s how we managed to stuff up frozen felafel. They did turn out yummy nonetheless, though next time I’ll go back to using the Orgran mix, which is fail-proof.

The rest o it worked though. Yummy tomatoes, fresh bread, Aldi hommus (the King of bought hommus, IMHO), and greens from the garden.

A quick tip for newbies – When you lay the bread out, rip it gently along the edges so that you end up with two disks. Offset these a little, then add the filling and roll up. I often wondered why my felafel rolls dripped, and so I paid close attention to the people at the Middle East Restaurant. This is what they do, and it works 🙂

Bread in two pieces stops drips

I thought I had taken a photo of the finished felafel, but clearly i didn’t. Sorry 🙂

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If you’re feeling really slack, or want to pretend that felafel isn’t deepfried (you can’t deny the truth if you make them at home), you can always go out. Here are my top three picks for Brunswick/Coburg felafel.

Middle East Restaurant, Sydney Road. I can’t find the address for this at the moment, but its the sit-down restaurant above Moreland road, on the East side of the street, that claims to have the best vegetarian felafel. This shop is my pick if you love the trimmings – pickels, tabouli, tahini sauce, and lots of chilli, as well as Tamarind drink to wash it down with.

Pit Stop Kebab, cnr Moreland rd and Sydney rd. This place makes toasted felefel rolls, without pickels, but with the added benefit of having vegan hot chips and wonderful home made dolmades. Yum!

Aghadeer, Sydney road, west side, near Moreland road. Aghadeer does your basic felafel – tabouli, tomato and onion with hommus. Its open more often that Pit Stop though, and you get to listen/watch singing and dancing that is usually going on in the function room behind.

 

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4 Comments Add yours

  1. Cindy says:

    Yeah, I think we’ve had the home-fried falafel crumb meal a couple of times before. 🙂

    Actually, I sometimes oven bake them now; the shell isn’t quite as crisp but nor are they quite so oily. But the mixture needs to have a good ball-rolling texture for this to work.

    Thanks for the restaurant tips! We haven’t tried any of those places. Our favourites so far are Tiba’s and Half Moon Cafe.

    1. Keira says:

      No worries. We were pretty happy when we found vegan chips fried in oil only used for felafels and chips. They aren’t really vegan friendly people, they just do it because if they share the chip fryer with meat the chips get discoloured, but it suits me 🙂

      Thanks for the oven tip 🙂

  2. lisa says:

    Half Moon Cafe FTW! Though I do also like the ‘best vegetarian felafel’ place you mention. They used to be a tiny little shop and have expanded out in recent years, I’ve been eating there for 12 years now and it’s consistently good, esp the pickle.

  3. K says:

    We went to the middle eastern restaurant recently, it was pretty good. But diddo the half moon suggestion.

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