I have a small addiction to falafel. Seriously. Wherever I go, I want to try falafel. It doesn’t matter how dodgy they look – as long as they are called falafel or tammeya, I’m going to try it. I’ve had some amazing falafel, and some terrible falafel. I’ve had falafel in Australia, Nepal, Egypt, Jordan, the UAE, Turkey, Canada, and numerous other countries – so many that I can’t think of them all. I’ve been so desperate that I’ve even attempted to make falafel – packet mixes, Lebanese style, Egyptian style, “Middle Eastern” style… You name it, I’ve tried it.
Then, one day, I was introduced to the “family recipe” by my Prince‘s mother. Oh, boy! How simply delightful they were! The recipe was basic enough for me to attempt and although we had a language barrier, I could smell the ingredients and spices so I knew what to use. It looked easy; it looked like something I could achieve at home. Ha! Little did I know…
I wrote down the recipe; I watched it being made; I made it, even. If my Prince’s father can make them, then surely I could, too. I was wrong. So very wrong. I tried and I tried and I tried. I called and asked for help; I got the ingredients “just right”; I even visited my Prince’s mother again to check that I was getting it right! (Note: She lives halfway around the world; of course, this was not the only reason I visited her, but it was high up there on my list!) No matter what I did, I couldn’t do it “right”. So, I put it down to just having different ingredients. Yep, it wasn’t me – it was the ingredients that were available to me. That sounded like just the right excuse.
Until. Until my Prince made them for me here. It’s taken three or four attempts, but tonight he perfected the Falafel: Egyptian Style. Oh my, they are so good~ My dinner was completely falafel – nothing more, nothing less. I could eat them endlessly! Yes, I burnt my mouth eating them too quickly! The taste was partly amazing because my Prince used herbs fresh from the garden, but it was just so amazing! The falafel tonight were honestly the best I’ve had so far – and I’ve eaten a lot of falafel!
So, the recipe – should you care to try it. It looks “simple” and “easy”, but it takes time, patience, and some more patience to get it “just right”. Here goes…
Falafel: Egyptian Style
- 1 kg crushed broad beans, soaked
- 1 bunch parsley
- 1 bunch each fresh mint, coriander, and leeks
- 1/2 head garlic
- 1 large onion
- 1 tablespoon cumin
- 2 tablespoons dried coriander
- 1 teaspoon red pepper (optional)
- 1 egg
- Pinch of bi-carb soda (optional: will make them rise more)
- Sesame seeds
- Oil for deep frying
- Soak crushed broad beans for 12 hours, then strain.
- Chop greens, garlic, and onion. Grind all ingredients well using an electric grinder.
- Season mix with salt, cumin, dried coriander, and red pepper. Refrigerate.
- Beat egg and add to mixture immediately before frying. Add bi-carb soda if using.
- Shape into patties and lightly dip each side in sesame seeds. Alternatively, add the sesame seeds to the mixture when you add the egg.
- Deep fry in hot oil (about 5 cm deep). You will need to turn them over halfway through frying.
Note: You can keep the mixture in several small bags in the freezer and use them as needed. Do not add the egg before freezing.