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I see in this video how the falafel balls are fully submerged in oil. Are there other ways (e.g. baking) to prepare the falafel balls after the balls are formed? Note: I do not ask for recipes.

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They are so good deep fried, why would you want to take that away? –  dpollitt Mar 7 '12 at 21:09
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If your concern is about oil content in the food, if the oil temperature is kept high (over 350F) and you pull the falafel before the bubbling stops, the actual oil retention in the food is VERY low, which is surprising to many. Pan frying will actually absorb more oil because of the low-temp oil sitting on the exposed portion of the food can absorb better than high temp oil which is being driven out by steam. That said, if your need is simply because a large quantity of oil can be impractical to cook with, then read on. –  Sam Ley Mar 7 '12 at 23:08
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Even at optimum temperature for the oil used, you will get around a 10%+ increase in oil calories because of surface absorbed oil in items like falafel. The uptake of oil happens after you remove them from the oil, the holes where water has been driven out, cool and suck in the surface oil. With potatoes you bang the basket to remove excess oil, but doing this with falafel 's will break them. One technique to stop this absorption is to glaze the falafel's before deep frying with a gelatinous substance like methyl cellulose, experimentation is required on this :-) –  TFD Mar 9 '12 at 12:00

5 Answers 5

up vote 7 down vote accepted

Growing up, my mother always used to bake them. They do turn out a bit drier than if you deep-fried them, but not overmuch. They cook for about 15-20 minutes at 400°F (~200 °C), or until golden and crispy on the outside.

Alternately, you can pan-fry them, as other answers have suggested.

Or you can split the difference and oven fry them. If you're unfamiliar, Google can acquaint you with the process. Here's a good NPR article to get you started: http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=130673515

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I could imagine this would turn out pretty well. Particularly with the oven frying method -- brushing some oil on the outside of the falafel would do well to prevent evaporation. And I'd consider kicking the temp up to as high as 450f. –  Sean Hart Mar 7 '12 at 22:19

We don't fry, pan-fry, or bake our falafels. Instead, we put them on a non-stick grill (same grill we use to make pancakes, etc.). I imagine that a non-stick frying pan would do the same.

We don't use any oil at all. Depending on your non-stick surface, you may need to spray it with PAM or something similar.

We get a fairly nice browning, but we end up with a shape of a round patty instead of a ball. We've found that refrigerating the dough for an hour prior to cooking helps a lot in making sure that the batter stays together. I haven't found them to be any dryer than when I am frying them. The recipe I used was by the Looneyspoons girls, in their new recipe book. It worked very well.

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Falafel can be baked in the oven for about 20 minutes using few tablespoons of oil around 200°C (392°F). You should be careful when forming the balls not to make them too large. It is better to make them a little bit thin to make sure they are well cooked, and help prevent stomach aches. After baking or frying, you can use a paper towel to soak up the excess oil.

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Just fry them in a pan with a few tablespoons of oil like you would meatballs, you won't get the same all round browning but it'll do.

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You can pan fry them if you're careful (6-12mm oil). It helps to coat the balls with rye flour or similar before frying. Leave them alone to fry until the bottoms are nicely brown, then turn carefully w a metal spoon. If you have trouble with them breaking during the turning, you can flatten them from perfect ball shape a bit. However, that's best done as soon as you put them in the oil.

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