Our Arjuna review of the Cambridge falafel options, from shop bought essentials to homemade Cambridge falafels…
Ah, falafels. Everyone’s favourite. Claimed to be the invention of most Middle Eastern countries, these chickpea, garlic and spice balls are worthy of their historical tug of war between nations.
Like the world of hummus, the falafel market is complex and hard for a newcomer to navigate. Venture into a supermarket and you can find ones with paprika, coriander, hummus in the middle, ones that are baked, fried and even with slightly weird ingredients like cinnamon and apricots.
In this post we’ll try and match you with your perfect Cambridge falafels, there’s something for every taste…
Falafels with Dried Fruit:
You can get these from supermarkets and there are times when we’re in the mood. They tend to come with lots of herbs too. However, if you’re someone who likes options, for instance putting them with pasta sauce for an easy alternative to vegan meatballs (yum) or putting them in wraps with vegan cheese, the flavour combinations can be a little too much. But lovely from time to time!
Ones with ‘Morrocan’ in the title:
These usually come with chilli and onion in, great if you’re into heat. Nothing wrong with these except sometimes supermarkets can pad them out with wheat flour which is less nutritious/has less protein than using 100% chickpeas. If you can find ones without wheat flour they tend to be amazing. The spices are usually things like paprika, onion, cinnamon, coriander and of course, chilli.
There are some lovely supermarket falafels and we’re not knocking them. We’re grateful such a good vegan food option is widely available. But as we’ve mentioned before, have a look for those brands which don’t use wheat flour. Not only are wheat containing falafels not so good for those wanting to limit gluten intake, they also tend to fall apart in a big puff, sort of like a meringue. Not good in an avocado, hummus and falafel pita, and you know how depressing it is to be eating a homemade vegan lunch and lose your balls! But these are good in a pinch. (Try and find ones in recyclable packaging).
Florentin Brand Falafels:
We sell these in Arjuna along with the Florentin pita breads – a lovely combo. They have fresh onions and parsley. Very moreish, very authentic. They freeze well.
We also stock these, they’re special because they have mint and sesame seeds in as well as onions. They’re delicious and fragrant, they’re sort of edging towards being a vegetable snack as well as being falafels, great for a different dinner!
The Winner – Arjuna Falafels:
These are the ultimate homemade Cambridge falafels. We source our falafels from the Iranian ‘Dr Falafel’ (real name unknown, he won’t tell us). He used to be a Maths teacher before he came to the UK and sometimes sets us problems at the till to keep us learning.
We buy these in fresh twice a week and they’re 100% chickpea, with a little garlic and coriander.
They’re beautiful just as they are, a delicious spiced bite. The texture is chunky and stands up to being a vegan meatball, in a wrap, in a pita, on top of salad….even a good option to bring to a BBQ as they’ll survive a griddle!
These are our favourites hands down, we put them in many of our vegan meals (my favourite is carrot salad with hummus and falafel). High in protein and insanely delicious.
Bonus: We sell these in our pots in the chiller at the back – it might look like they’re in plastic but they’re actually 100% biodegradable cellulose packaging!
P.S. Right now (Sat 11th Aug 2018) we have actually sold out of homemade Cambridge Falafels! But there’ll be more next week. You can always ring ahead to check we have them and it’s pretty rare we totally run out!