don’t knock the small fry: falafel plate

The luck I’ve been having in the kitchen lately, has not carried over into amazing photos, sadly. It’s difficult to take decent photos at 9:30pm (when we ate dinner the other night) with only low wattage bulbs for illumination. At least the food was amazing….Cornelius told me that we should eat this more often. I obliged since we had leftovers and we ate this meal twice in a row. I heard no complaints.

I love Mediterranean and Middle Eastern food. This city has a couple really great restaurants, but when I can make my favorite dish at home, it’s even better. Now, I would love to tell you how I made my own falafels from scratch…not so. But I’m okay with that because I’m pretty satisfied with the ones I get from a mix. I’m not going to mess with a good–and totally easy thing.

The instructions below are less of a recipe and more of a general how-to. It’s a falafel plate, not an opera cake. And yes, I tackle “deep frying” for the first time. Actually, this isn’t really a deep fry, per se, but more of a shallow frying method. The falafels aren’t submerged into the oil, nor do they even float about, but I used more oil cooking these babies than I’ve ever used to cook anything. And trust me, it’s a good thing. I’ve baked falafels and cooked them using only a spoonful of oil but have never been truly satisfied with the results. Frying in oil is really the only way to make them jaw-droppingly good. Crispy, crunchy and light in texture, they aren’t greasy either–just make sure your oil is hot and you won’t go wrong.

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17 comments to “don’t knock the small fry: falafel plate”

  1. 1
    Bijoux   June 5, 2008 at 2:05 pm

    How DO you get your pictures looking so great? My images are usually crappy and I end up taking around 5 or 6 photos before I find one that looks half decent. Any advice?
    I really like Middle Eastern food too. I have a couple of cook books with recipes from the Middle East and I enjoy drooling over the images. I love how Iranian food includes pistachios and dates in the rice and grain (bulgur) dishes…mmm. I have not had a good falafel in ages. I used to make them often from a mix when I was a student because it was inexpensive…just add water and fry in oil. I usually just dipped the falafel in ketchup…but the tahini-lemon-garlic sauce sounds much better and I bet that it tastes better too.

  2. 2
    megan   June 5, 2008 at 2:26 pm

    Middle Eastern food is my favorite by far! It’s so simple and fresh and delicious. I feel lucky to have a “grandmother-in-law” that’s Lebanese!

    Oh, and I’ve tried baking falafels and you are so right about it not being the same. Unfortunately, our entire apartment smells of fried for days if I try to fry anything–and I can never seem to get the temp right anyway. I’m sure yours were amazing!

  3. 3
    VeggieGirl   June 5, 2008 at 3:30 pm

    I too love Mediterranean and Middle Eastern food; and I ESPECIALLY love baked falafel :0) Love your plating idea!!

  4. 4
    Maven   June 5, 2008 at 3:45 pm

    This is one of our favorite meals too (and I also use the shallow-fry method, and the mix–why not?). The only reason I don’t make it more often is that frying smell–it takes forever to dissipate.

  5. 5
    Persian Tea   June 5, 2008 at 8:16 pm

    this looks great! i’m definitely going to give it a try.

    also, helpful advice for people who don’t want their homes to smell like fried food: if your bbq has an attached stove top, try frying outside in your backyard/patio. good luck!

  6. 6
    Sara   June 5, 2008 at 10:01 pm

    Yum! It’s been too long since I’ve had a falafel. Thanks for sharing, it looks great.

  7. 7
    Katerina   June 6, 2008 at 8:33 am

    Looks good! You should try making them from scratch next time. They are dead easy I just did it a few weeks ago.

  8. 8
    EB   June 6, 2008 at 9:49 am

    this is something I used to make all the time (although my lazy ass went for the bake method). I forgot how much I loved this. Thanks for reminding me of a pretty, perfect meal. And your photos are just peachy by the way!

  9. 9
    kickpleat   June 6, 2008 at 4:59 pm

    It’s just a lot of practice, bijoux! Plus good lighting helps…outside light is best!

    Megan, we had our windows open and the fan above the stove going so there really wasn’t a detectable fry odour. Thank goodness.

    I should have figured you’d like a baked falafel, veggiegirl ;)

    Absolutely, Maven, why not?

    Persian Tea, great tip!

    Sara, get yourself to a falafel plate, stat!

    I know, I know…one day, katerina!

    eb, it is a pretty perfect meal. And thanks for the good words about my photos :)

  10. 10
    Wheeler's Frozen Dessert   June 7, 2008 at 4:18 pm

    That looks awesome! Yum …

  11. 11
    kickpleat   June 9, 2008 at 3:39 pm

    thanks wheeler.

    bellcurves, i had no idea ;) falafel, i agree, is awesome.

  12. 12
    eatme_delicious   June 16, 2008 at 12:15 pm

    Ooo I love falafel!! This looks like the perfect meal. What are your favourite Mediterranean and Middle Eastern restaurants? I’ve yet to come across good falafel except at a Greek restaurant in Victoria.

  13. 13
    kickpleat   June 16, 2008 at 12:40 pm

    eatme, go to nuba! they have the BEST falafels in vancouver. there’s one on west hastings across from dressew and one on davie street too. yum!!

  14. 14
    eatme_delicious   June 16, 2008 at 12:50 pm

    You’re right I didn’t check back at your blog yet so thanks for leaving it on mine. :) I just checked out the nuba menu – yum!! There’s so much stuff that looks good. Definitely going to go there soon, thanks! I think I want to get the falafel plate but there are so many choices! And so many vegetarian choices too yaey.

  15. 15
    cinderelly   June 23, 2008 at 6:23 pm

    i love falafel, but i haven’t tried yet to make them at home. you make it sound so easy!

  16. 16
    kickpleat   June 24, 2008 at 5:14 pm

    eatme, yup, nuba is the bomb.

    cinderelly, this is so easy and tasty.

  17. 17
    Cindy   July 3, 2008 at 11:03 am

    Ok, it’s official. I love your site. I make falafels this way too. Sometimes we eat them on pitas with cucumber, red onion, lettuce, etc. The dressing we use is low-fat mayo with some adobo sauce mixed in (and maybe a chipotle chopped up – depending on how hot you like it). Next time I’m going to try your dressing.

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