Thanks to all the suggestions here on how to prepare falafels from dry mix. My visiting sis and I cooked up a falafel feast for my husband and his brother who was also visiting. Our cooking skills (okay, my cooking skills) were not up to par with the broiler, which resulted in a scene that couldve been straight out of I Love Lucy (more on that later), but the falafels came out great.
I used the suggested ratio of 1 2/3 cup mix to 1 1/4 cup water, and let sit for over 15 minutes and it formed patties beautifully.
We decided to fry some of them and broil some of them to compare results. For frying, we used only enough oil to come halfway up the patties. A surprise came when the patties fried in oil ballooned to twice their height. Since these would never fit in our wraps, after they were done we split them in half (like you would a baked biscuit), then re-fried the non-browned sides. They ended up a tad too crunchy but still yummy. So I learned that you should form pretty flat patties if you want discs instead of mounds.
So we decided to flatten the patties for the ones going in the broiler. This made them take forever to brown; and I already had them on the uppermost rack. So I boosted their height with a toaster oven pan under my baking sheet. Just as they started to turn color, I noticed my silpat under the patties was turning brown. Uh-oh!!! So out goes the falafels and into the frying pan they go to continue cooking. Silpat is scorched. Hmm, whats that smell? Melted silicone? Oh well.
With one batch of falafels done, I heated the lavash (I prefer lavash over pita) by putting it into the now-turned off oven. I plated the falafels and took the pictures you see below. Seeing it all come together so well, I feel happy and think about the great report Ill be posting on Chowhound. My reverie is interrupted when my sis makes a little gasp.
I turn to see her open the oven a crack, and flames are leaping out. Aaaaah! Lavash on fire! We slam the oven shut, hubby grabs the fire extinguisher, and I turn off the broiler (I swear I thought I had turned it off earlier, I swear!). I look in the oven window and the lavash is still on fire. Hubby wants to douse the lavash with a blast from the fire extinguisher since itd be so much fun (yeah, even more fun to clean oven afterwards). I put on my oven mitt, grab the flaming lavash and dash to the sliding door and fling it out onto the patio under the rain. Its still on fire! Bro-in-law comes to the rescue holding his hiking boots and stamps out the flames. We all die laughing our heads off.
So my lesson for the day? Dont ever bother with the EVIL broiler. Ever. Nothing good ever comes out of the broiler. But the fried falafels were great! We ate them with an array of condiments/sides, as shown below, clockwise from the top:
Falafel sauce (made by combining tips here and elsewhere)
Mirse Ghousemi (roasted eggplant & tomato dip, adapted from a post on this board)
Hummus (from TJs, doctored with roasted garlic)
Home-cured olives (from a jar from my MIL)
Chicken kebabs (an additional thing we made for the meat-loving men)
And I forgot to include the marinated cucumbers when I took the photo.