Usually, when I go to an Egyptian or Middle-Eastern inspired restaurant, I make sure to order a plate or two of falafels. That is how excellent and flavorsome these deep-fried goodness are. Every time I buy falafels, I go overboard with the order, and, as a result, I am always left with a lot of leftovers.
While I don’t mind having some more falafels to eat the next day, I always struggled with the reheating process until I finally mastered it. Nobody likes soggy falafels, so when you are reheating them, the one thing you want to do is do it right.
Here, I will share a few tips on how to reheat falafels that leave them crispy and flavorful.
What are Falafels?
Before I discuss the reheating process, it is better to know what falafels are. Falafels are deep-fried balls made with ground chickpeas, fresh herbs, and a whole range of spices.
It is a popular Middle-eastern food that often uses fava beans instead of chickpeas.
They are often eaten by itself as a snack or added to salads and wraps to add a delicious and protein-rich element to the dish.
How to Reheat Falafels?
Whenever you reheat food, especially something deep-fried like falafels, you want them to retain the texture and the flavor, even after reheating.
It can be reheated in a skillet, toaster, or an oven, depending on what you have handy with you.
Here’s a list of ways that you can use to reheat your falafels. You can pick one that suits the availability of the kitchen appliances.
Falafels usually are deep-fried in the first place. If you want to reheat them and maintain the same texture and flavor, you must try deep frying it again. Even if this is the most convenient process, I wouldn’t personally suggest doing this. If not done the right way, these tend to leave the falafels soggy because of the incorrect temperature of the oil.
Steps to follow:
- Start by heating some oil in a deep-vesseled pan and wait till it’s hot. You don’t want to drop the already fried falafels into a pan of cold oil.
- Once the oil is hot enough, drop the falafel balls and move them around till the exterior becomes crispy and brown.
- If the falafel balls start becoming too brown, take them out or reduce the flame a little.
This method tends to leave the center of the falafel cold. So, if you are deep-frying the falafels to reheat them, you need to be aware of this.
Using an Oven
The easiest and likely the fastest method to reheat falafels is by using an oven. It ensures even cooking of the balls and leaves the exterior crispy and crunchy, just like how they would have tasted, if freshly made.
Steps to follow:
- Start by preheating the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit and you need to reheat them at the same temperature.
- You can take a baking sheet, line the tray with the leftover falafels, or use an oven-safe container to reheat the falafels.
- Set the timer to 5 minutes, depending on the size of the falafel balls.
- If the center isn’t heated enough, you can throw them in again for 2-3 minutes more.
- Once done, you can take the falafels out of the oven and enjoy them piping hot and fresh.
If you plan on substituting the oven with a microwave for heating the falafels, I’d suggest you adjust the temperature accordingly. Ovens and microwaves don’t require similar temperature settings, so you need to be careful with that.
Using a Skillet
Using a skillet follows the same process as deep-frying, but the process is very fast. So, if you don’t have a lot of time on your hands, you can try this process out. Make sure that you are using a heavy skillet made with cast iron.
Steps to follow:
- Start by heating the skillet and adding enough oil to deep fry every one of the falafels.
- Having sufficient oil in the skillet is necessary if you want them to be crispy from the outside and fluffy on the inside with soaking up the excess amount of oil.
- Before adding the falafel balls, heat the oil for 5 minutes till the oil is pretty hot.
- Once the oil is hot, drop in the falafel balls and let them fry in the hot oil for a few minutes till they turn golden brown and crispy.
If you are using this method, you must keep an eye out on the frying and take it out of the skillet before it becomes too brown on the outside.
Using a Toaster Oven
If you don’t have a conventional oven in your kitchen, a toaster oven works just fine. Make sure that you avoid stuffing a lot of the falafel balls at once inside a toaster oven. Instead, you need to go easy, so there’s enough space for the air to circulate for faster reheating.
Steps to follow:
- Start by preheating the toaster oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- You can then place the falafels in an oven-safe container and cover the top with an aluminum foil.
- Heat the falafels for 5-10 minutes, depending on the size of them.
- Once done, take it out of the oven and enjoy them piping hot.
How to Make Homemade Falafels?
It is not a surprise that falafels in the restaurant cost a lot of money. Since they are an exotic dish, they are naturally quite expensive. That said, making homemade falafels are incredibly delectable and as fresh as they come.
Here’s how you can make your batch at home.
- Chickpeas – 1 cup (boiled and ground)
- Fresh herbs (coriander, mint) – 1 cup
- Flour – if needed
- Spices (cumin, paprika, five-spice) – as per taste
- Salt and Pepper – as per taste
- Onions – 1 (chopped)
How to Make?
- Start by taking all the ingredients in a bowl.
- Using a spatula, mix everything to form a stiff dough. If the dough feels watery, add some flour to it.
- Heat some oil in a pan and wait for 2-3 minutes.
- Take some of the falafel mixture on your palm and shape it into a ball.
- Once the oil is hot, drop the falafel balls and deep fry them till it’s golden brown and crispy on the outside and perfectly cooked on the inside.
- Wait for 2-3 minutes, depending on the size of the falafel balls and the batter’s thickness.
- Once it’s fried well from the inside and outside, take it out of the hot oil and transfer it to a plate lined with tissue paper to soak the excess oil.
So, that’s all you need to know about reheating falafels. If you were confused about how to do it like I was initially, I hope this guide comes in handy. It doesn’t matter whether you have some leftover falafels from the restaurant or some frozen homemade falafels in the freezer; these reheating methods work fine for both of them.