National Dish of Egypt – Falafel

National Dish of Egypt – Falafel

Servings

6

Ingredients

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
Salt
Black pepper
Sesame seeds
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 also 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

  1. Soak the fava beans overnight in water.
  2. Drain using a sieve or colander.
  3. 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.
  4. Mince into a rough paste and set it out onto a flat surface.
  5. Separate the thick paste into 12 – 16 lumps.
  6. Form each lump into small croquettes or balls.
  7. Sprinkle sesame seeds over each falafel,and refrigerate for ten (0:10) minutes.
  8. Fill a pan with the sunflower or rapeseed oil to a depth of about 3 cm.
  9. Heat the oil.
  10. Fry in batches.
  11. Cook for about three (0:03) minutes on one side.
  12. Flip the falafel with a slotted spoon or spatula and ensure all sides are evenly cooked.
  13. Remove the falafel from the oil and place on paper towels.
  14. Serve the with a minty yogurt sauce or wrap it 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 exclusive during Ramadan, such as kunafa and atayef.

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