I've been making falafels from scratch for a few times now and I've started to get the hang of it. I've got the texture of the falafels pretty great but the flavour of them isn't really... anything?

I've been following this recipe as a guide, so I've been putting in tons of garlic, onion, coriander and parsely but the final product doesn't really taste like much, compared to the falafels at local restaurants.

I'm wondering if I need to up my salt game or maybe if the quality of the dried chickpeas has a big impact? I'm scared of oversalting but I am pretty generous with my salt and cumin. What makes a falafel taste good?

  • 1
    Are you frying or baking them?
    – dbmag9
    Jul 25 at 9:45
  • 1
    Remember fat carries flavour. A restaurant will have everything needed to deep fry food safely (well safely for them: you take the responsibility for your arteries). Jul 25 at 19:14
  • You say "as a guide". What changes are you making exactly? Because I look at that recipe and it looks fine to me. For that matter, how much salt are you adding?
    – FuzzyChef
    Jul 26 at 5:37
  • I've been shallowing frying them in sesame oil. I haven't been deviating from the recipe at all really, but I just do a few cracks of the salt shaker. Jul 26 at 6:29
  • Sorry, we get the question of "X is too bland" every now and then, and it is not answerable from afar. People start throwing out random suggestions, until the sum of advice ends up saying to increase every spice, herb and seasoning you are already using.
    – rumtscho
    Jul 26 at 6:57

From a different answer:

When you're looking at a recipe and it's too bland, the first thing to ask yourself is "what more". What flavor isn't coming through that you'd like to come through? Is some ingredient overpowering everything else? Are the flavors too simple, or too subtle?

In the case of falafels, I would especially wonder whether you've used enough fresh herbs (note: dried parsley and dried cilantro leaf are useless non-entities), and whether your ground coriander and ground cumin have been sitting in the cupboard for a year and have lost their potency. Salt and garlic you can play with to taste. Keep in mind that nobody eats just a bowl of unadorned falafel. They need to have amped up flavors to serve the whole dish. It's okay if they're too strong when eaten by themselves.

  • cheers! I think I've been using good herbs but maybe the spices are lacking. Jul 27 at 1:15

Salt is always one of the key aspect to flavourful food.

Also, how fresh are your spices ?

Also, also, adding too much garlic and onion (tons!!) might completely make the recipe unbalanced.

  • Spices are super fresh, I might try upping salt and maybe less onions then haha Jul 27 at 1:14

Maybe the restaurant where you eat uses hulled fava beans(broad beans), like most Egyptians, and that is accounting for the flavor difference. Other than that I would say experiment with increasing the salt amount

  • Thanks, I might try fava beans one time :) Jul 27 at 1:14

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