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Off topic: S.O.S. Falafel
Thread poster: Elisa Comito

Elisa Comito  Identity Verified
Local time: 20:45
English to Italian
+ ...
Dec 12, 2008

Hello to everybody,

I write this post in two languages in the hope that more people may read it! You can answer me in English, French, Italian or Romanian, in the forum or in private.

I am fond of falafel and would like to have a recipe from any of you who know how to make them from first-hand experience. In Internet (and also in cooking books) I find many recipes but often they are inconsistent one with another and since this plate is not traditional here I am in no position to judge which is more valid.
What especially puzzles me is the fact that in some receipts I find that chick-peas and broad beans must be grounded and fried raw (after having been left in water) while others tell to cook them before frying.
It seems to me that this plate can be made with chick-peas, broad beans or the two together, right?
Is it possible to cook falafel also in the oven or is it necessary to fry it?

Thank you in advance.



J'écris en deux langues dans l’espérance que plus personnes puissent lire! Vous pouvez me répondre en Anglais, Français, Italien ou Roumain, dans le forum ou en privé.

J’aime beaucoup les felafels et j’aimerais avoir des recettes par quelq’un qui les sait préparer lui/elle-même. Sur Internet (et dans les livres de cuisine) je trouve beaucoup de recettes mais avec des divergences entre elles-mêmes. Comme le plat n’est pas traditionnel ici je ne suis pas en condition de juger lesquelles sont les meilleures.
Par exemple une chose qui me dérange c'est que certaines recettes disent d'utiliser les pois-chiches et les fèves crus (après les avoir faites tremper dans l’eau) alors que d’autres disent de le cuire avant de les mélanger avec les autres ingrédients et de les frire.
Je pense que les felafel peuvent être préparés soit avec les pois-chiches , soit avec les fèves, soit avec les deux légumineuses ensemble, c’est correct ?
Est-ce qu'est possible les cuire aussi au four où il faut obligatoirement les frire ?

Merci en avance,


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Nesrin  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 19:45
English to Arabic
+ ...
You've come to the right place! Dec 12, 2008

Hi Elisa,

We often make falafel at home so I hope I can help you. Obviously there are different recipes so I have to start with a disclaimer that this is OUR recipe.
Falafel are indeed made with chickpeas in some parts of the Arab world (Palestine, Syria etc) as well as Turkey.
But every Egyptian will tell you that Falafel is an original Egyptian dish and that it has to be made with CRUSHED SKINNED broad beans (can be bought from oriental food shops) and that anything else is BLASHPEMY. (So they say )
So being Egyptian, we make it with broad beans ("ful"). We soak them in plenty of water overnight, then drain and place in a food processor.
The proper recipe then says you should add leek and onions, but we've replaced both ingredients with spring onions, and they do the job. We put 4 bunches of spring onions with the beans and process them together until they form a smooth but a bit grainy paste.
You can then add all or most of the following: cumin, coriander (whole or ground), mint, garlic and parsley (we omit that last one).
Just before frying, you add salt and baking soda (about a pinch per cup-ful of falafel). You form them into little balls, roll them in sesame and deep fry.

Bon apetit!

[Edited at 2008-12-12 16:25 GMT]

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Elisa Comito  Identity Verified
Local time: 20:45
English to Italian
+ ...
I look forward to preparing them... Dec 12, 2008

Thank you very much, Nesrin!

I understand that falafel, like any popular dish, has many variants (every family has its own I guess) and that you are giving me your recipe. This is exactly what I want, real recipes that people use!

So the origin of falafel is Egyptian (for how many things we must be grateful to Egypt!). Very well, so I will start with the original version.
In any case I will be happy if other people give me other variants, like the "blasphemous" one with cickpeas.

Personally, I like both broad beans and chikpeas, therefore it will be a pleasure for me to taste all types, whether "original" or adapted to another country's tastes and ingredients.

I won't have problems in finding crushed and skinned broad beans (here we call them "fave", sing. "fava") since they are very common here too; we use them fresh (in spring) and dried. What will be more difficult for me is to experiment with the quantities of the different spices, as I am not used to dosing cumin and coriander (they are not common here) and I must find the more harmonious combination.
Well, I have found a new hobby when I want to relax from work

Thanks again for your help!

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