by Amy

October 17, 2020

We all love street food, don’t we? Let’s find out what does Falafel taste like, shall we?

They are tasty, not the healthiest, but quick and affordable. Falafel is one such street food that has caught the attention of people recently. Given how versatile the dish is, it is often served in many high-end restaurants as a starter.

But, since this deep-fried goodness is still not the most popular option worldwide, some people have likely never tasted it or don’t know anything about the texture and the ingredients of the dish.

This article is for them and will likely help them better understand the taste, texture, and additional information that one needs to know about falafels.

What is Falafel?

Falafel is a popular Middle Eastern deep-fried finger food made with coarsely ground boiled chickpeas and a whole range of aromatics and spices.

The mixture is then shaped into round balls, which are then deep fried in vegetable oil and served with a side of fresh garden salad or a dip of choice.

Since the dish is so versatile, it is also stuffed into a flatbread and served as a “burrito” with a lot of filling.

What Does Falafel Taste Like?

If you have never tried a falafel in your life before, you are most definitely missing out. Even with the deep-fried coating outside, it is a very healthy and protein-rich snack that you can add to anything you like.

As for the taste, the falafel itself doesn’t have the strong flavor of chickpeas or fava beans, which constitute the majority of the filling. Since these beans don’t necessarily have a taste of their own, the primary taste you get when you bite into a falafel is the mixture of herbs and spices.

The correct ratio and proportion of the spice, herbs, and seasonings elevate the taste of the dish.

So, depending on what kind of aromatics you add more to the mixture, the taste will predominantly be of that. It has a mix of onions, garlic, and spices like cumin and black pepper that add a zing to the palate.

Many restaurants even like to add a few wedges of lemon on the side that you can squeeze onto the fried balls for that extra kick of citrusy goodness.

How is the Texture of a Falafel?

Now that you know how the falafel tastes like, the next thing we need to focus on is the texture. Falafels have a very crispy and crunchy texture on the outside because of being deep-fried.

But, the moment you break open one, it is incredibly light, airy, and fluffy, adding a depth of flavor to your taste buds.

Since the ingredients are very clean and organic, you will find yourself gobbling down quite a few of these deep-fried balls even when you intended to stick to one or two.

The falafel is often served with a side of a tangy sauce, sometimes made with roasted red peppers that further enhance the dish’s taste and texture.

If the oil that the falafel is fried in is not hot enough, it will soak up the oil readily, leaving the exterior soggy and oily, which is the last thing you want to eat.

Why are Some Falafels Green?

Falafels are extremely versatile. It means that there is no standard recipe for this dish. Everyone has their version, one that stands out and tastes pretty amazing. 

If you are eating falafel for the first time and you are served with green falafels, don’t panic. This likely means that the dish has a whole lot of herbs in it. Many restaurants even add natural food color to change the falafels’ appearance, making them green and sometimes even red on the inside.

Is It Okay to Eat Cold Falafel?

There are several recipes for falafels. Some prefer sticking to the original recipe, while some prefer switching things up a bit here and there.

If you batch make your falafels, I’d suggest you reheat them in an oven or microwave before eating them. It restores the crispiness on the outside and helps you enjoy the taste of a freshly made falafel.

In case you are enjoying a cold salad on a summer morning, topping the greens with some cold falafel can enhance the taste, texture, and nutrition balance with some extra protein.

How is Falafel Made?

There are several recipes for falafels. Some prefer sticking to the original recipe, while some prefer switching things up a bit here and there.

If you plan to make your batch at home, I will share a quick recipe that you can try out.

Ingredients

  • Boiled chickpeas – 1 cup
  • Onion – 1 (cut into small dices)
  • Fresh herbs (parsley, coriander, mint) – 1 cup (chopped)
  • Spices (cumin, coriander, cayenne pepper, paprika) – according to taste
  • Salt and pepper – according to taste
  • Binding agent (panko bread crumbs or flour) – if needed

Instructions

  • Start by soaking your raw chickpeas overnight till they have puffed up and are double in size. Boil them with a pinch of baking soda till they are easy to mash.
  • Once boiled, drain the excess water and spread them out on a plate to dry out the excess moisture in them.
  • After that, take a big mixing bowl and add the boiled chickpeas to it and break them using a fork. You can even grind them in a food processor if you have one.
  • Once it has a rough and chunky mashed consistency, you can add the mixed chopped herbs and the spices and seasoning to it.
  • Mix everything together till it forms a stiff dough-like consistency.
  • If the mixture is too wet, add some bread crumbs of flour to thicken it up a little.
  • Heat the oil in a deep vessel and drop spoonfuls of the chickpea mixture to the hot oil on medium-high heat.
  • Once the falafels look brown from the inside, take them out of the oil and transfer them on a tissue lined dish to soak up the excess oil.
  • Served with a freshly made red pepper sauce or even tahini and lemon dressing works fine.

What Do You Normally Eat with Falafel?

what does falafel taste like

As I’ve said before, falafel is a versatile dish. It can be eaten on its own with some sauce on the side, or you can even pair it differently.

A common way people enjoy falafels is in a wrap form with some lettuce, pickled onions, and cucumber in it. It makes for a healthy and filling lunch or brunch dish that you can enjoy during those misty autumn months.

Conclusion

Falafels are a healthy, vegan, and tasty snack option that you can enjoy now and then. If you haven’t tried one yet and don’t know any good restaurants that make them, I’d suggest you make some on your own and enjoy this protein-rich dish. 

If you are still in a dilemma whether or not to try out this dish, we’d suggest you give this a go. Try it, and if you like it, I bet you won’t be able to stop at just one.

About the author 

Amy

Hey! I'm Amy, the founder of FoodLve.com. Well, we all love food and I want to heighten your understanding of it! I started working about 8 years ago and realized that there is so so much to learn about food. Since then I haven't stopped. My motto is to "never stop learning."

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