August 16, 2015 by Joanne T Ferguson
I am and I must say, I have always been fascinated by all things Egyptian since I was little and now have an affinity with the country, culture and especially the people having spent some time throughout Egypt!
I have VERY, VERY, VERY special and fond memories of our time in Egypt starting with the view from our hotel and the first time I saw the Pyramids.
Actually, the first time I saw them, we had a private guide who was driving on a very busy freeway!
I S-Q-U-E-A-L-E-D and he put his foot on the brakes thinking something was wrong!
When he asked, “What?”, I pointed to the Pyramids and he said, “Oh, I get to see them everyday” and kept driving!
I always thought may I never get THAT complacent that I could not appreciate the natural beauty around me everyday and after all, IT WAS THE PYRAMIDS!!!!!
First of all, I’d like to thank Fiona from Tiffin – bite sized adventures for inviting me to her A – Z Guidebook, a new travel series which is “interesting, different and exciting!”
“Bloggers from around the world can share a picture and story about a place that relates to each letter in the alphabet. It could be a city, a country, a street or an icon. It could be anywhere. If you would like to join, read the A-Z Guidebook tab at the top of the blog and write a travel post relating to the letter of the month.”
I am VERY EXCITED to share that C stands for Cairo, where our WONDERFUL Middle East adventures began and ended with a felafel!
I loved the history, the architecture, I became fluent in hieroglyphics, mastered the locals customs (some of which were initially challenging as a foreigner and tourist), I loved the bazaars where the locals shopped, I loved the spice markets, the Mosques where the locals prayed, I loved the Call to Prayer.
If you have never heard it, it is quite remarkable and takes some time to get used to, but after your leave the country, your mind still hears this; remarkable indeed!
There was one thing consistent throughout my entire experience in Egypt and it was my smile; I could NOT stop smiling and “each and every” minute not only was memorable, but was an adrenaline rush (in a good way) of all things new!
Despite being quite familiar with Egypt, Egyptian culture and customs, I realized upon my arrival, I had so much to learn.
One thing I have learned from my vast travels around the world is all countries, cultures are just “as curious” about another person’s country, cultures, customs and foods!
Oh, did I mention, I LOVE and LOVED Egyptian food and I was there to try it all!
FANG did not put on weight with all of the walking, climbing, and simply having the time of my life!
My name is Joanne aka Joanne aka mickeydownunder aka FANG and I have a confession, I am also “affectionately known” as The Queen of The Nile; a title that is honorary!
For those who may be unfamiliar what a falafel is, it is traditionally a deep fried patty or meatball made from fava beans, chickpeas, or a combination of both.
Falafel aka Ta’meya is traditionally a Middle Eastern dish whose origins are unknown.
It has been suggested falafel originated in Egypt by the Copts aka The Christian community, who substituted falafel for meat during Lent; the Christian preparation before Easter.
Felafel is unofficially the national dish of Egypt.
I decided to use chickpeas for the falafels today.
The chickpeas are soaked overnight and did you know they are not cooked before using, as if you cooked the chickpeas, they would fall apart?
Please note, if you do try to make your own falafel at home, fava beans need to be cooked for medical reasons.
While I always hand roll falafels, one can also use a falafel mould aka aleb falafel; CLICK HERE should you wish to view one!
In case you too are wondering, the Guinness World Record for the largest falafel is 74.75kg (165.8 pounds)!
The giant dish was created by a team of ten chefs at the Landmark Hotel in Amman, Jordan and contained 80kg (176.4 pounds) of chickpeas, 5kg (11 pounds) of onions and 2kg (4.4 pounds) fresh parsley and coriander, the record breaking falafel was deep fried in 350 litres (92.5 gallons) of vegetable oil.
I experienced many wonderful homemade falafels throughout our stay in the Middle East!
I am always inspired by what I read and see and today decided to slightly adapt Arabianmama’s falafel recipe.
I would love for you to hop over to Amrita’s wonderful blog and say G’day!
- 2 cups dry chickpeas
- 1 large red onion, finely diced
- 8 large garlic
- 1 bunch parsley
- 1 bunch coriander
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 2 teaspoons ground coriander
- Pink Himalayan salt to taste
- grapeseed oil to coat (optional)
- 1 egg
- In a large bowl, soak chickpeas over night and drain.
- In a food processor, add onion, garlic, parsley, coriander, baking sode, ground cumin, ground coriander, salt and chickpeas.
- Process several times until desired consistency.
- Add egg and process until well combined.
- With your hands, mould into desired patty or meatball shapes.
- See Notes: as recipe can be made the traditional way of deep frying or in an air fryer.
- Pre heat air fryer for 5 minutes.
- Brush falafel balls lightly in grapeseed oil with a pastry brush.
- Cook 10 minutes one side; turn and cook additional 10 minutes.
- Remove from air fryer and serve with sauce and accompaniments of choice. See Notes.
Recipe was made in the Rank Arena Air Fryer, but can be deep fried.
I served falafel balls with a mixture of 2:1 tahini and quark, adding 2 teaspoons of lemon; cucumber, tomato and lemon optional.
Are you a fan of falafel?
Have you ever made falafel at home?
Can you FEEL the love I have for Cairo and felafel today?
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With a “quick click,” a friend can also be enjoying Why Am I Thinking About Cairo and Falafel Today?