This is maybe the second time you have heard about falafel because the first time is what made you go here, isn’t it? Well, you have come to the right place as we will feed you a lot of information regarding this not-so-familiar food that you probably have overheard somewhere. For a few, questions like “what is falafel?”, “what does falafel taste like?”, and “is falafel a vegan?” might be bothering you all this time. So, sit back, relax, and continue reading on as we roll out the discussion all about falafel!
For a glimpse, falafel looks exactly like a meatball except that most do not contain any meat as it originally a Middle Eastern dish. However, it does not taste bland as you might think. You will be amazed at how tasty this could be once we take you to the part where we thoroughly explain its texture and taste!
What is Falafel?
Before describing what exactly a falafel is, let us take you to a short history of how falafel has started. According to a study, falafel was discovered in Egypt around a thousand years ago and had easily caught the attention of the neighboring countries around the Middle East. However, it is still controversial where it originated as some say that it came from Yemen. Nevertheless, one thing is for sure – it is Arab food!
Now, what is Falafel? Falafel looks exactly how should a meatball look like, except for a fact that it does not contain any meat at all! Instead, they are made out of chickpeas or fava beans, (a mix of both) with a lot of several herbs and spices. -typical Arab food, isn’t it? Among the spices, cumin and ground coriander are the most popular to be used or included in falafel; for herbs, cilantro and parsley are commonly present. Sometimes, they are also called savory bean fritters, which basically because of the main ingredient used on the dish.
What Does Falafel Taste Like?
You probably might think that falafel would probably have dominant chickpeas or fava beans taste, considering it is the major ingredient on falafel, but let us tell you what, it does not taste a lot like that! Although it is quite given that the beans do not have a really strong and intense flavor, it still contributes to the overall taste. So what does it make delicious? – the good combination of fresh herbs and spices! We know how these two can make a boring dish special and elevates the taste but with a poor combination, it makes your dish off instead. Hence, it is always important to combine only the right herbs and spices at once.
To sum it up, it is safe to say that falafel taste is depending on the used fresh herbs and spices in it, but focusing on the common ingredients used, the flavor you should expect from falafel is mildly strong and with distinctive notes of fresh sweet mints. If you are a fan of herbs and spices, you will most appreciate the taste!
Now that we have discussed the taste of falafel, let us now go deeper into the texture profile. Since it does look a lot like a common meatball, can we also say the same with its texture? Well, considering how it is being cooked – fried, you should at least expect to be crispy on your very bite but once you dig in it, you will find the supple texture and mouthfeel which would make you eat more than 2 or 3 of these deep-fried finger food!
Of course, proper cooking is another key to achieve the perfect texture. When cooking, make sure that the oil is hot enough. Otherwise, your falafel will end up soggy which is the last thing you want to happen and eat.
Is Falafel Good For You?
Now that we have already rolled out the taste and texture profile of falafel, the next question is, is it green enough to be good for you? Most served or prepared falafel are considered vegan so what exactly it gives to your health?
Considering that chickpeas and fava beans are the major constituents of the dish, falafel contains a good source of fiber and a high amount of protein. These micronutrients help you to slow food intake, regulate blood sugar, and helps to prevent chronic diseases in the future. However, please take note that since falafel is cooked by deep-frying, it still can cause adverse health effects especially when consumed beyond moderation.
A Good Falafel Recipe
If you have finally decided that you will try this dish for the first time, we have prepared a good falafel recipe just for you!
- chickpeas (boiled) (1 1/2 cup)
- onion (1 1/2)
- 1 avocado
- 5 tortillas
- 1 cup lettuce
- oil (2 tbsp.)
- garlic mayonnaise (2 tsp.)
- parsley and cumin powder (2 tbsp.)
- salt and pepper
In a blender, combine all of the stated ingredients except for oil, onion, lettuce, garlic mayo, avocado, and tortillas until they are all finely coarse grounded. Once set, mold it into balls then set it aside. On pan in medium heat, put the oil and wait until it’s hot enough then fry the raw falafel until golden brown. Prepare the wrap by putting the sliced avocado, onions, and lettuce on the tortillas and put the fried falafel. Top with garlic mayo then carefully roll it into a wrap and voila! Serve hot and enjoy!
Now that we have already thoroughly discussed the facts regarding falafel, would you already have the courage to try one out? “What does falafel taste like?” – if you are not a fan of beans or herbs and spices, worry not as they do not have the vegetal taste that you usually can get from other vegan recipes. The herbs and spices are dominant on this dish which brings out the intense and unique flavor of falafel.
So, whenever you want to try a different and healthy snack, we highly recommend you to try falafel and you will surely ask yourself why you have only discovered it just now! Trust us, you don’t want to miss this healthy snack!