National Dish of Egypt – Falafel
|dried fava beans||250 g|
|cloves garlic (crushed)||3|
|spring onions (finely diced)||5|
|gram flour||1 tsp.|
|leek (finely chopped)||½|
|bicarbonate soda||½ tsp.|
|coriander leaves (chopped)||1 tbsp.|
|parsley (chopped)||1 tbsp.|
|cumin powder||1 tsp.|
|cayenne pepper||1 dash|
|Sunflower / rapeseed oil for frying|
Egyptian falafel refers to fried croquettes made mainly of fava beans. This traditional Egyptian dish is prepared in homes and sold as street food. It is a vegetarian dish that is versatile enough to be eaten alone or in pita bread sandwiches, usually accompanied by yogurt and tahini-based sauces. Its true origin is unknown but it is widely speculated that falafel was first prepared in the times of the Pharaohs.
Directions for Preparing Falafel
- Soak the fava beans overnight in water.
- Drain using a sieve or colander.
- Put the beans into a food processor and add the garlic, onions, salt, flour, leek, bicarbonate soda, cumin, black pepper, cayenne pepper, coriander, and parsley leaves.
- Mince into a rough paste and set it out onto a flat surface.
- Separate the thick paste into 12 – 16 lumps.
- For each lump into small croquettes or balls.
- Sprinkle sesame seeds over each falafel, and refrigerate for ten (0:10) minutes.
- Fill a pan with the sunflower or rapeseed oil to a depth of about 3 cm.
- Heat the oil.
- Fry in batches.
- Cook for about three (0:03) minutes on one side.
- Flip the falafel with a slotted spoon or spatula and ensure all sides are evenly cooked.
- Remove the falafel from the oil and place it on paper towels.
- Serve them with a minty yogurt sauce or wrap them in a pita pocket.
Although Ramadan is a month of fasting for Muslims in Egypt, it is usually a time when Egyptians pay a lot of attention to food variety and richness, since breaking the fast is a family affair, often with entire extended families meeting at the table just after sunset. There are several special desserts served almost exclusively during Ramadan, such as kunafa and atayef.