Anyone out there who doesn’t love falafel?
Falafel is very common across all Arab and Middle East countries, it is even found in the Turkish cuisine. People disagree about the origins of falafel, some say it dates back to the Pharos, others insist it is an Arabic dish, and some say it is a Hebrew one. Each of these cuisines add their touch to the popular falafel dish and call it their own. While they have their differences in preparing it, in all versions legumes is the main ingredient!
In Egypt they use dried broad beans (fave beans) to prepare falafel. Falafel burgers are then shaped manually. In Egypt, the common falafel burgers are large and stuffed with dried coriander.
In the Levant region, dried chickpeas alone or mixed with broad beans are used as a base, and a mixture of vegetables and spices are added to it. Falafel burgers are usually small and are shaped using a brass hand machine.
Falafel is served with hummus, foul mudamas, pickles, sliced tomatoes and tahini (sesame paste) sauce. A falafel meal has high nutritional value. Studies conducted by the National Nutritional Institute in Cairo, show that falafel has a high iron content.
When I prepare falafel and its smell fills the house, my mind overfills with sweet childhood memories of Friday morning breakfasts when the whole family gathers around the dining table filled with falafel, hummus,foul mudamas, pickles, sliced tomatoes. I can still hear the clattering and laughter. As a child, I remember waking up very early on Friday so that we can go to one Amman’s famous hummus and falafel restaurants and avoid standing in long queues!
You can easily prepare a falafel sandwiches by adding pickles and tahini salad to the falafel, some also add hummus and hot sauce. If you want to learn how to prepare yummy falafel Levantine style, follow these easy steps to prepare the tastiest homemade falafel!
Guest post prepared and submitted by Sawsan Al-Kayed.
Preparation time: 15 min Cook time: 40 min
Ingredients: (amounts of salt/spices are outlined under method)
½ kilo dried chickpeas, soaked in water a day ahead
1 large onion
½ head of garlic
10 fresh coriander stems with leaves
10 fresh parsley stems with leaves
Vegetable oil (corn or canola or sunflower) for frying
To make your own falafel spices: mix equal portions of cumin, dried coriander, ground black pepper and paprika.
How to make falafel:
- Soak the dried chickpeas in water for 12-15 hours.
- Wash the parsley and coriander. Remove the leaves. Discard stems.
- Drain the chickpeas from the water and wash them. Add the fresh coriander and parsley leaves, onions, and garlic to the chickpeas. Mix.
- Put the chickpeas mixture in the food processor and pulse until you have a smooth paste. Since the portion is large, you may have to do this in portions. When I finish pulsing all the chickpeas, I repeat the process and pulse them again to ensure I get the smoothest paste possible. Note: At this step divide the quantity in zip-lock bags, put 700 grams in each bag. Freeze the excess bags for later use.
- To the 700 grams of ground chickpeas, add one tablespoon Falafel spices, ½ teaspoon cumin, and ½ teaspoon dry coriander. Add salt to taste (I add about one teaspoon salt).
- Heat oil for frying. There must be enough oil in the pan for deep frying.
- Before frying the falafel (while the oil is heating) add one teaspoon of sodium carbonate to the chickpea paste. Form falafel mini burgers.
- Fry falafel in hot oil on medium heat.
Hope you enjoyed today’s easy recipe: Falafel; an authentic Middle Eastern dish. Bon appetite.
Note: you can prepare falafel using 250 grams of chickpeas and 250 grams broad beans, but I find the falafel prepared with chickpeas alone lighter.
What is your favorite way of eating falafel?
اضغط الرابط لقراءة وصفة الفلافل باللغة العربية
Sawsan Al-Kayed: I am a cook addict who loves to prepare Arabic and Middle Eastern dishes especially the old traditional dishes. My love of cooking started at an early age; I always helped my mother in the kitchen and learned a lot from her. The first dish I cooked was for my dad when I was 10 years old. Even when I was a full-time bank employee, I found refuge in my kitchen and always read the latest cookbooks and watched the cooking channels. I believe that if you love cooking, you’ll find it easy and fun.