“ Brand: Orgran / Type: Mix „
Falafel are a mildly spicy, dried broad-bean based food from the Middle East. They're basically fried patties with a faintly herby / cumin taste that are usually served in pitta bread or a bread wrap, with a salad and chilli sauce. Sometimes they're made from dried chick-peas instead. They're a tasty - and, if made from the proper ingredients, moderately nutritious snack food.
Making falafel from first principles at home is possible, but quite a tedious process as it involves pulverizing rock-hard dried pulses into little bits / powder. And as there are a number of 'instant' falafel packet mixes available on the market, most of which give good to reasonably good results, I have never made them from scratch myself.
Orgran falafel in terms of quality supply a middle of the road product. Though their company's emphasis seems to be all about being 'free from' and the potential health benefits of their products, rather than the production of a food the primary purpose of which is to tase good, with falafel there is very little difference between a 'wheat / gluten / dairy / egg / yeast / GMO / cholesterol / animal product free' version, and regular, bog standard falafel, as falafel contains none of the above 'forbidden' ingredients in the first place.
The falafel mix is supplied as powder in a sachet to which you add water. After standing the disturbingly greenish-hued mix for 15 minutes, it should be formed into flattened patties and fried in at least a cm or two of hot vegetable oil till it goes brown and crispy. Organ falafel mix is not the easiest material to work with: unlike other brands I've tried the pre-cooking texture of the falafel is impossible to handle or shape properly, so I find it's better to drop spoonfuls of the thickened 'batter' straight into very hot oil where they'll shape themselves into flattened, squat little cylinders quite adequately. (If you use less water to make a handlable dough, with this particular brand the falafel won't cook properly in the centre, and end up being too dry throughout). Because the mix made up as I've described is so liquid, the centres aren't always as cooked and light as they might be: Orgran falafel wouldn't stand up in comparison with ready-to-eat falafel you bought from a middle-eastern delicatessan, for example, but for cooking your own at home they're - although the flavour isn't amazing - all right.
£1.99 buys you 200g of falafel mix; 40g dry stuff is estimated by the manufacturer to be about equivalent to one serving (c.a. 3 cooked falafel), which again is all right, but isn't a wonderfully generous amount. It's on sale in health food shops nationwide, and increasingly you can find it in the 'whole foods' or 'free from' sections of regular supermarkets. There are much better packet falafel mixes available on the market, but sadly this seems to be the easiest one to generally get hold of.