The pros: Trader Joe's Falafel Mix is a new mix that is vegan and gluten free and very easy to prepare.
The cons: You won't be able to make this instantly as the box requires you to wait 30-60 minutes before cooking. You can't skip this step.
The verdict: Trader Joe's needs to work on their timing. Last year Trader Joe's released their Jalapeno Limeade right after Cinco de Mayo. This vegan item would have been much appreciated by this blogger prior to the end of Lent. Minor complaints about timing aside, this product is very well done.
This is as easy as it gets. All you need to do is add water. What you get is this soupy concoction that you hope will turn into a far more solid state. And so you wait. The waiting part is never so easy. Especially when you are going from hungry to hangry. Thirty to sixty minutes is the estimated wait time to get this mix rehydrated.
I opted to fry these, so that took my mind off of my hunger pains. Heating enough oil to the right temperature did take a bit of time. I got my candy thermometer out to make sure everything was the right temperature.
At 300F I got my scoop out. And yes, you'll get about 9 balls out of one batch of these. After being fried briefly, I removed them on to a paper towel. They seemed to have been crisped, but were not at all greasy. Best of all, they actually look like the picture on the box.
What you get are smooth, brown vegan balls that are speckled with green parsley. The flavor of both the beans, the cumin and other spices that were mixed in. The result was delicious out of the fryer and reheated the next day.
In terms of authenticity, I won't get into that as there are a number of variations of falafel. This article does help to clarify why some some falafel is green or brown and gives some insight on why falafel tastes different in various regions. Regardless, this is a solid option that is brand new to shelves.
For $2.99 this is inexpensive and well done even if you do have to wait.
Here is the visual run down of what you get if you buy this product:
The box of Trader Joe's Falafel Mix:
The nutritional information and ingredients:
How to prepare:
After being cooked you get something that looks pretty darn close to what is pictured on the box. I put mine on a Garlic Naan with some Tzatziki and butter lettuce:
Would I buy this again? Yes, I would buy Trader Joe's Falafel Mix again. It was tasty, well seasoned, and well done.
Want to see more items I've reviewed from Trader Joe's? Click on Thoughts & Reviews of Trader Joe’s for a searchable list.
Did you try it? Let me know what you think in the comments section!
I'm about to give this a try for dinner tonight for my family. Glad I read your review, because it made me realize that 3/4 cup of water is for ONE SERVING, rather than the whole package that I am making. So I just added another cup and a half, and avoided ruin. I'm going to try baking them since deep-frying is a pain in the ass (though I read elsewhere they come out drier and more crumbly this way.
I've got some homemade Tzadziki and excellent pita bread from a nearby Middle Eastern grocery here in Chicago. I'll report back later.
Hey Tom! Can't wait to hear. I used a small sauce pan to "deep fry" mine. I hate going through that much oil. I haven't tried them baked, so I'm really interested to hear what you have to say.
We all thought they were pretty good! Not dry like I was expecting, well-spiced though not spicy. Better than I've had from some restaurants even. We've got some excellent Middle Eastern restaurants here in Chicago, but for some reason I find the quality of their falafel to be hit or miss. Our pita and tzadziki were really excellent though, which makes a huge difference.
I will definitely buy this again. They taste great even when baked and this is also a very good value.
Hey Tom! Thanks so much for checking back in with me! Glad to hear baking worked out well too.
Hate to say it, but I'm having some major intestinal issues after eating these. I had them for dinner Sat. night and again for lunch the next day. I think perhaps I'm used to Falafel made from chickpeas, and these are more Fava beans than chickpeas. I wonder if anyone else has experienced this.
Ttrockwood Ttrockwood says
From the way i read the box there should be 3 falafel balls per serving, x9 servings per box. So a total of 27 falafel from one box of mix.... i think you balls must have been rather large.
I made these a while back with the baked method and i did make rather small size balls. They were certainly tasty enough but not really what i crave when i want falafel- the spices were somehow off and the texture wasn’t quite right.
There are a lot of options for fresh falafel here- everything from the truck on the corner a few blocks away to proper israeli falafel shops so I probably won’t repurchase. But in a suburban location without nearby options i would certainly buy again.
Hey Ttrockwood! I did actually get 27 out of this box. It all came down to using a scoop but also the soaking of the mix and really letting it absorb the liquid. I live in the suburbs just north of NYC, so while I can get great falafel in the city, in the burbs it takes just a bit more planning. Thanks so much for taking the time to stop by and share your thoughts.
I bought this product and am going to try the baked method as i am on Weight Watchers and well fried is a not good for me...anyhow i am hoping i have good luck as tom did and thanks for this review!
Hey Lisa! Would you mind checking in to let me know how they turned out? It is a good product, but I've only fried it. I am thinking about air frying these in the near future. Thanks so much for stopping by!
Tommy Baker says
Was hoping it would be close to what I had in Turkey; instead it was better than I remember! I make it and eat it like hushpuppies . . . Wonderful stuff!
Hey Tommy! Thanks so much for sharing your worldly experience. I've never been to Turkey, so I'm glad to hear from someone who has and can compare it. Thanks for taking the time to stop by!