Authentic Egyptian Falafels

Prep time: 20 minutes + 8 hours soaking
Cook time: 10 minutes
Total time: 8 hours 30 minutes
Servings: 10-20 depending on size
Cuisine: Egyptian
Recipe Info

2 cup dried, split fava beans
1 small onion, diced
1 small green onion
½ cup fresh parsley
½ cup fresh cilantro
3 garlic cloves
¾ t ground cumin
¾ t fine salt
½ t freshly ground black pepper
½ t ground coriander
½ t baking soda
1 T water (only if necessary)
sesame seeds, optional
Vegetable or canola oil, for frying

Prepare the beans:
First, rinse the fava beans under running water. Cover the beans with cold water and allow them to soak at room temperature for 8 hours or overnight. Once soaked, you can drain the beans and set them aside.

Make the falafel mixture:
Place the soaked and softened fava beans into a food processor. Then, give it a few pulses to get a uniform coarse mixture. There shouldn’t be any large chunks, but the mixture shouldn’t be a smooth paste. It should have some texture to it.
Add the remaining ingredients and pulse the mixture some more. Finally, adjust the consistency of the falafel mixture until it comes together. Add a little bit of water as you pulse the ingredients together.

Shape and cook the falafel balls:
Next, divide the mixture into 10-20 portions depending on the size that you want. Then, roll each into a perfect ball and set it aside. Heat some vegetable oil in a frying pan or pot. You can shallow fry or deep-fry falafel balls. Once the oil is heated, fry your Egyptian falafels over medium-high heat for about 3-5 minutes or until they are golden brown in color. Drain the balls on a piece of kitchen towel. Repeat the process until all your falafel balls have been fried. Serve them immediately with your favorite accompaniments.

How To Make Egyptian Falafel: Now, the process of making these Egyptian falafels, is also almost exactly the same as making the better-known chickpea version. The biggest difference in the recipes, is that these falafels use fava beans. These beans need to be prepared in a slightly different way. To start, you will need to prepare your fava beans. It is always better to soak dried fava beans (and chickpeas for that matter). Canned fava beans are too soft and won’t add much texture. And they are often flavored, which doesn’t make them work well for this recipe. When using dried fava beans, you will need to soak them. It is a lengthy process, but effortless, and worth the time. After the beans have been soaked, they are drained, and worked in the food processor. Finally, the remaining ingredients are added, and pulsed into a rough coarse dough. What I especially love about this recipe, is that it is simple, easy, and very adjustable. Naturally, you can alter the flavors of the spices added. Authentic Egyptian falafel balls have some texture. So, you don’t pulse the fava beans until they form a lump-free paste. Instead, you just work them into a coarse paste-like mixture. But, if you aren’t a fan of this consistency, you can always work it into a finer, and smoother paste, if you’d like.

Tips And Tricks for making this delicious Egyptian Falafel recipe:
You can substitute half of the fava beans (½ cup) with chickpeas. The chickpeas will also need to be soaked to soften.
Authentic Egyptian falafels are extremely fluffy. Many locals claim that the way you get this texture is by whipping the pulverized mixture in a stand mixer for 4-5 minutes. I haven’t personally tried it, but other falafel makers swear by it.
You can dip the cooked falafel balls into white sesame seeds if you’d like. They will provide more flavor and texture.
Always test the temperature of the oil before frying the falafels. If the oil is too cold, it will make your falafel balls soggy and won’t crisp them up. Test one falafel ball initially to see how it fries. It will give you a good indication of whether you need to increase or decrease the temperature of the oil.
You can bake these falafels in the oven or fry them in an air-fryer. The cooking times will vary slightly for each of these methods. Baked falafels will take 10 minutes at 360ºF (180ºC). Air-fried falafels will take 5 minutes.

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