Try Falafel : A Gateway To Egypt

What is the American style recipe for falafel? Did the falafel lost its value during the Americanization ?

Mark Bittman, mentioned “You cannot say enough about falafel “in his NYT article. Therefore, I would like to pass you his quick delicious recipe for my readers to try it at home


  • 1 ¾ cups dried chickpeas or 1 cup dried chickpeas plus 3/4 cup dried split fava beans
  • 2 cloves garlic, lightly crushed
  • ½ onion, quartered
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • Scant teaspoon cayenne, or to taste; or mild chili powder to taste
  • ½ cup chopped fresh parsley or cilantro leaves
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, or to taste
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice, or more to taste
  • Neutral oil, like grapeseed or canola, for deep-frying  


 Put beans in a large bowl and cover with water by 3 to 4 inches — they will triple in volume as they soak. Soak for 24 hours, checking once or twice to see if you need to add water to keep the beans covered.

  1. Drain beans well and transfer to a food processor with all the remaining ingredients except the oil; pulse until minced but not puréed; add water tablespoon by tablespoon if necessary to allow the machine to do its work, but keep the mixture as dry as possible. (Too much water and your falafel will fall apart. If that happens, add more ground beans.) Taste and adjust seasoning, adding more salt, pepper, cayenne or a little more lemon juice as needed.
  2. Put at least 2 to 3 inches of oil (more is better) in a large deep saucepan (the narrower the pan, the less oil you need; but the more oil you use, the more you can cook at one time). Turn heat to medium-high and heat oil to about 350 (a pinch of batter will sizzle immediately; a piece of falafel will sink halfway to the bottom, then rise).
  3. Scoop out heaping tablespoons of the mixture and shape it into balls or small patties. Fry in batches, without crowding, until nicely browned, turning as necessary; total cooking time per batch will be less than 5 minutes. Serve hot or at room temperature.

In the end, the falafel’s origin will remain a controversial topic between cultures but in a delicious way. The very interesting thing about the Americanization of falafel is, its change from being just a regular national food in Egypt and other countries, to be such exotic food in the United States, served in a different way like savory waffles. Very creative innovation, I admit that Transcultural Objects do not always lose their original values during cross-cultural movement.