A Vegetarian’s Heaven

I used to walk between the street vendors selling Falafel back home, and I remember the exact sound the patties would make when thrown in the oil.  It was a loud crackling sound that was followed by delicious silence. I still remember the smell quite well too.  I would buy a dozen for less than a dollar, dip them in sesame sauce and eat them like chips. 

I once asked my grandmother where Falafel came from; and according to her, who happens to be a very reliable source in my books when it comes to anything related to food, Falafel came from Egypt.  She said that fava beans were always used before it was introduced to the East Mediterranean where they used chickpeas instead.  I have never tried the all fava beans Falafel, but I have tried a mix with chickpeas.  I preferred it over the Falafel just made from chickpeas.  In texture it had a fluffier inside with a perfect golden and crispy outside.  Fluffy; maybe that’s where the word Falafel came from!

When my aunt visited us in the U.S around two years ago, we made 3 pounds of Falafel mix and saved them in the freezer.  Since Falafel is a lot of work, at least I think so, making one big batch like that and saving it for later is always a great idea.  We did that a lot back home, even with vegetables like zucchini and eggplant.  We would curve out the insides so they can later be stuffed, boil them in hot water for about a minute with some salt and then stick them in the freezer. 

Here is my Falafel recipe,

-     2 cups of dried and hard chickpeas
-     2 cups of dried and peeled fava beans
-     1 bunch parsley
-     1 bunch cilantro
-     1 tsp Black pepper
-     2 tsp Salt
-     1 tsp Cinnamon
-     1 tsp Cayenne Pepper
-     1 tsp Cumin
-     1 tsp Dried Coriander
-     0.5 cup Sesame seeds
-     1 tsp carbons

You have to soak the chickpeas and fava beans overnight.  After you chop the parsley and the cilantro, put everything in the food processor and make it as fine as possible.  When you are done the texture should be a flaky paste.  The hard part is making them into little patties or balls before frying them.  There is a special utensil for Falafel to make those patties but it is OK if you do not have it.  If you decide to make the patties by hand, they have to go into the oil as you make them. You cannot sit them anywhere because they will fall apart within seconds. The hot oil is what keeps them intact.  This brings me to another point; make sure your oil is very hot and only fry them for 2 minutes or until golden brown. 

Just make sure you have the Tahini sauce on the side for dipping when the heavenly patties are hot and crispy and ready to be devoured.  You can always make a sandwich as well.  For the sandwich you would use pita bread.  Crumble the Falafel on the pita, put a sprinkle of freshly chopped parsley and tomatoes, add some cucumber or beat pickles, add the tahini sauce and eat away! If you have Sumac, which is that purple sour spice, add some too, it makes it more delicious.  I put chili sauce with my sandwich as well, but that’s only because I like everything spicy! 


  1. How about you make me 5 pounds to freeze, when you come to visit (soon?!), like Amto Salwa did for you!? por favor? And as you work, I will serve you hot Matte and keep you entertained!

  2. Well that just sounds amazing! I will do that :)


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