From the land of pyramids, pharaohs, and papyrus, we bring you a look at Egyptian culture past and present. Grab a cup of mint tea, fire up the hookah, crack open a novel by Naguib Mahfouz, play some songs by Abdel Halim Hafez, or put on a movie starring Omar Sharif and join us while we share recipes, music, jokes, videos, and current events from Egypt.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Blog Hop: Favorite Recipe, Egyptian Falafel

So much of Egypt's culture of hospitality involves food that it was hard to choose a single recipe for this week's Blog Hop! Add to the fact that when we cook a recipe is seldom involved, and the challenge becomes even more difficult to meet.

Egyptians eat falafel for breakfast, as do the people in other Middle Eastern countries. I'm not sure how it became a lunch or dinner food in the U.S., unless it has something to do with its sandwich shape.

While it is possible to find a powdered mix to make falafel, nothing beats the real, fresh, deal. So, here's a great recipe to make fresh falafel!

Alfa hana wa shifa (God bless your hands / Bon apetit)

Egyptian Falafel


2-1/4 cups dried chickpeas or 1 24-ounce (750g) can chickpeas, drained
1/2 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 teaspoons ground coriander
1 heaping tablespoon cornstarch mixed with 1/4 cup water
4 green onions, chopped
1/4 cup chopped fresh mint
2 teaspoons ground fenugreek seeds
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon salt
vegetable oil, for deep-frying


1. If using dried chickpeas, cover with plenty of cold water and leave overnight. Drain well. If using canned beans, drain and rinse with cold water before use.

2. Combine the chickpeas, green onions, garlic, parsley, mint, cilantro, cayenne pepper, fenugreek, cumin, coriander, baking powder, salt, and the cornstarch mixture. Process in a food processor in batches for 30 to 40 seconds, or until finely chopped and the mixture is sticky and holds together. Refrigerate, uncovered, for at least 2 hours.

3. Moisten your hands and press 2 tablespoons of the mixture together in your palm to form into a patty. Fill a deep pan one-third full of vegetable oil, and heat until a cube of bread dropped into the oil browns in 15 seconds.

4. Test fry one patty to make sure it holds together. It should be firm, but not too hard. If it is too solid and hard, soften the mixture by stirring in small amounts of water, a tablespoon at a time. Form the patties and, in batches, fry for 3 to 4 minutes, or until well browned. Drain on paper towels. Keep the cooked batches in a warm oven until all are cooked and ready to serve.

Serving Suggestions:

Egyptians eat falafel in a pita bread sandwich. There are two ways to do this:
  • Lay the pita bread flat like a tortilla, place the falafel and condiments in the center, then roll the ends like a burrito.
  • Cut the pita bread in half to find the pocket. Fill the pocket with the falafel and condiments.
Suggested Condiments:
  • Tahini (ground sesame seed sauce)
  • Yogurt and cucumber sauce
  • Diced tomatoes
  • Diced cucumbers
  • Chopped or sliced olives
  • Fresh parsley
  • Thinly sliced onion
  • Pickled turnips

MckLinky Blog Hop


  1. Yummy - falafel is one of my favorite things to eat!

  2. Yummy - falafel is one of my favorite things to eat!

  3. Nice recipe i love Falafel :)

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