Before today, I was kind of wondering if this Cookbook was too good to be true. The recipes I’ve tried so far have been easy, delicious and healthy, a trifecta so rare it’s basically a culinary unicorn.
Thus I went into the Millet “Falafel” recipe in high spirits. I shouldn’t have. The quotes should have been warning of what was to come.
Falafel is a traditional Middle Eastern food, whose main ingredient is either chickpeas or fava beans. It’s deep-fried, which I figure is the reason why Gwyneth and Julia wanted to healthy-fy it. Millet is another healthy seed (like quinoa) that had a myriad of health benefits.
I don’t know who told the authors the two belonged together, but alas, here we are. Making not falafel with bird seeds (that’s what millet is used for in my country, bird feed).
This recipe takes millet:
Herbs (parsley and chives, because we have no scallions in my country):
And mixes them with smashed chickpeas and lemon zest:
And smushes them into rough balls:
Which are then fried in olive oil:
While frying, the recipe says you should press the balls down, which is the real issue because it makes them break.
Herein lies the biggest issue of this recipe: it lacks binding ingredients and thus falls apart exceedingly easy. I checked out regular falafel recipes and it seems like a binding ingredient, like flour or egg, should have been used here because, without it, half of my pseudo falafel balls disintegrated in the pan.
I was not happy about this.
After they’re made, lemon juice is drizzled on top of them.
The side salad is the real hero of this recipe. Avocado, tomato, parsley, lemon juice, chives (subbing scallions, which are still not a thing that exists in my country), olive oil, sea salt. Done in 5 minutes, it’s a perfect flavorful salad.
How it’s meant to look:
How it does look:
The final result looks similar enough, in my opinion. Their “falafel” (I really hate these quotation mark) doesn’t look any more together than mine, which leads me to believe that this really is how the recipe goes.
The surviving “falafel” balls taste decent enough, more lemony than anything else, but the texture and the crumbliness of it annoy me too much to make it worth it. It’s a no for me. I don’t know why we bothered calling it “Falafel” because apart from the chickpea ball element, this tastes and looks nothing like real Falafel. Next time I’ll just make traditional falafel and try baking it if I’m feeling health conscious.
Sometimes, the healthy copycat recipe just can’t beat the real thing.
Sorry, It’s All Good! I still love you!
Next up, we check out what Gwyneth and Julia drink!