The Middle Eastern dish 'falafel' hardly needs any introduction. The well-known and acclaimed fried ball, usually made from ground chickpeas, is very popular. Did you know that there is no single type of falafel? Every country in the Middle East has its own variant of the falafel sandwich. The spices, toppings and sauce vary and the type of bread in which the falafel is eaten is also different in every country.
We got the recipe for an Iraqi, Palestinian, Egyptian and Syrian version. Each recipe is completely unique in its taste. For example, the Iraqi falafel is the only one eaten without fresh herbs and in Egypt they do not use chickpeas but broad beans. What do the other chickpea varieties have in common? Canned chickpeas are never used, but always the dried version of the pea. Once you let these soak overnight, they will form the perfect basis for a delicious authentic falafel sandwich.
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The Iraqi falafel is unique in that it is served on a special almond-shaped Iraqi flat bread 'Samoon'. Also, unlike the other falafel varieties, only dried herbs are used. This ensures a spicy and deep taste in your falafel ball.
Curious about falafel varieties from other countries? Then click on the links below:
Preparation: Soak the chickpeas in water for at least one night
Step 1: Prepare the chickpea mixture
Drain the chickpeas.
Finely chop the onion and garlic.
Grind all ingredients except the herbs in a meat grinder until smooth. The falafel gets the best structure with a meat grinder, but if you don't have this at home, you can also use a food processor.
In a bowl, mix the spices into the ground mixture with your hands until it forms a firm ball of dough.
Finally, mix the baking soda into the mixture, cover the bowl and refrigerate for at least an hour.
Step 2: Roll the falafel balls
Shape the cooled mixture into small balls and flatten them slightly.
Step 3: Fry the falafel and serve
Heat the sunflower oil in a pan and fry the falafel until it turns golden brown.
Serve the falafel on its own or in an Iraqi flatbread with lettuce, tomato and cucumber.
Tip: serve the falafel with Iraqi amba sauce
أتمنى لك وجبة شهية ('Enjoy Your Meal')
Jinan runs her own restaurant Yalla Yalla in Den Bosch, where she surprises her guests with a diversity of Middle Eastern dishes. Jinan and cook Hamza tell you more about how they bring cultures together with their dishes.
Iraqi flatbread, also known as 'Samoon'. Or pita bread.
Vegetables: tomato, cucumber, lettuce
Amba (Iraqi Mango Chutney)
Meat grinder (or food processor)
Deep frying pan
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