Friday, January 8, 2010

Egyptian Falafel

Egyptian Falafel - Egypt’s favourite street food is crisp outside, fluffy inside, and delicious throughout. Easy and tasty recipe for Egyptian falafel. Enjoy the Egyptian cuisine and cooking and learn how to make traditional falafel.

These little rissoles are a staple of Egyptian food, their provenance extending way back to the Egyptian Copts. They’ve since made their way through the Middle East in various guises, most popularly in Syria, Lebanon and Jordan. The Egyptian version uses dried white broad beans, while in other areas,some recipes call for half broad beans, half dried chickpeas or even all chickpeas. Of course, each group claims their own recipe to be the best and looks askance at the others.

Cooking Time Prep time 35 mins, cook 20 mins (plus chilling)

Ingredients serves 6
200 gm (2 cups) dried chickpeas, soaked overnight in cold water
200 gm podded broad beans (about 600gm unpodded)
1 Spanish onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 tsp each ground coriander, cumin and cayenne
1 cup each coarsely chopped flat-leaf parsley and coriander
1 lemon, finely grated rind only
3 tsp plain flour
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
For deep-frying: vegetable oil
To serve: pickled chillies, mixed herb leaf salad (see note) and warm flat-bread
Lemon, cumin and chilli salt
2 tsp cumin seeds
2 tbsp sea salt flakes
1 lemon, finely grated rind only
½ tsp dried chilli flakes
Yoghurt-tahini sauce
55 gm (2½ tbsp) tahini
2 tbsp lemon juice
150 gm Greek-style plain yoghurt
1 garlic clove, crushed

  1. Drain chickpeas (discard liquid) and process in a food processor with broad beans, onion, garlic, spices, herbs and rind until a fine paste forms. Stir through flour and bicarbonate of soda, season to taste and roll into walnut-sized oval balls. Place on a tray lined with baking paper and refrigerate until chilled (15 minutes).
  2. For lemon, cumin and chilli salt, dry-roast cumin seeds until fragrant (2-3 minutes). Pound with remaining ingredients in a mortar and pestle until coarsely ground, set aside.
  3. Meanwhile, for yoghurt-tahini sauce, whisk tahini and lemon juice in a bowl until smooth, add yoghurt and garlic, season to taste and set aside.
  4. Preheat oil in a deep-fryer or large deep-sided saucepan to 170C. Deep-fry falafel in batches, turning occasionally until golden and cooked through (3-5 minutes), remove with a slotted spoon, drain on absorbent paper and keep warm. Season to taste with lemon, cumin and chilli salt and serve with yoghurt-tahini sauce, pickled chillies, herb salad and flat-bread.
Note You’ll need to begin this recipe a day ahead. You could use any delicate herb for the salad; here we’ve used flat-leaf parsley, chives, mint and dill.

This recipe is from the September 2009 issue of Australian Gourmet Traveller.

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