Falafels sprinkled with sumac
As one side of my family is Egyptian, falafels are something I've seen frying many times in my kitchen. Held between two fingers and dipped in hummus or eaten wrapped in pita bread, falafels are probably one of the most popular Middle Eastern specialities. The origin of falafel however remains a big question mark for me- every country in the Middle East will claim that it is them who "invented" falafel. Today it seems most people associate falafels as Egyptian or Isreali dishes, and although both recipes are delicious (the ingredients vary slightly) the one I'll be posting below is a traditional Egyptian one.
Falafel tools, the gold coloured one below is really old but we'll never get rid of it. The one above is a more modern version. Both were brought over from Egypt.
Using the tool to shape the falafels as they fall into hot frying oil
So although it is easier to just buy some falafels from food shops or restaurants, and today there even exist ready-to-mix falafel boxes (which would be criminal to bring into our kitchen!) it is worth just once making falafels from scratch!
- 1/2kg of fava beans
- 2 big onions, peeled and chopped into chunky pieces
- 10 garlic cloves
- 1 tablespoon coriander
- 1 tablespoon cumin
- 1/2 tablespoon salt
- 1 bundle parsley, chopped
- 4 tablespoons flour + 20gr baking powder
- Sesame seeds (optional) + sumac (optional but highly recommended!)
Ready to start?
First, soak the fava beans in water for 48 hours. Then peel them and place in a bowl. Add to the bowl the onions, garlic heads, coriander, cumin, salt and parsley. Mash everything in a food processor by adding the ingredients bit by bit. Repeat this process twice to obtain a thick paste. Then, add the flour and baking powder for good consistency and so that the falafels keep a "ball" shape while they fry. If you don't have the falafel tool, use a tablespoon and keep a cup of warm water near you. Each time, dip the spoon in the water, fill the spoon with the falafel paste, sprinkle generously with sesame seeds, and place it above the frying oil and let the paste "slip off" the spoon. Fry for a few minutes until golden-darkish brown (make sure the insides aren't raw, so make sure you let them fry long enough!) Enjoy and eat them quickly before they get cold! If you have sumac, sprinkle some over the ready falafels- they really add a great "special something"!