Chickpea falafel.

Tantalizing Taameya or Falafel – Authentic Chickpea Patties

The authentic chickpea patties renowned as taameya or falafel represent the rich culinary heritage of the Middle East. Made from a harmonious blend of luscious herbs, freshly ground spices, and nutritious legumes, these emerald green chickpea patties are the inviting and enchanting. Whether enjoyed with warm pita bread or as an addition to a fresh salad, for dinner and lunch, with a generous dollop of hummus, fresh veggies, this falafel patties are one of a kind and truly plant based.

Assembled Falafel patties on a pita bread.

Chronicles of Taameya (Ta’ameya)

My grandmother used to make these chickpea patties all the time, it’s certainly a family recipe. Her original version was based on dry fava beans, which falls into the “Egyptian style falafel” category.  The word Falafel itself is Coptic and means many beans, but I always knew it as Ta’amya.

Being part of the Egyptian Armenian community my grandmother adopted a lot of dishes and tailored them to her family’s taste. When the family repatriated to Armenia in 1947, this recipe came along with them, and I inherited it. I like to keep it as close to my grandmother’s version as I can. 

One thing that I remember is her falafels were always emerald green inside. The luscious cilantro leaves and scallions gave those patties a vibrant green color.

The other important ingredient is coriander seeds. Freshly toasted and ground coriander seeds give the falafel its distinct flavor and permeate the kitchen.

Grocery and Pantry List

Falafel Ingredients chickpea, cilantro.
  • Chickpeas: Chickpeas are the main ingredient of falafel. My grandmother would use fava beans, sometimes chickpeas, and sometimes a combination of both. The fava beans has an acquired taste and takes some time to grow into; I for one did not like them as a child. They reminded me of an ancient species, like a bean dinosaur of some sort.
  • Cilantro: Cilantro is an herb that people either love or hate. The falafel I know and grew up with is permeated with this herbal flavor.  If you absolutely despise the cilantro you can substitute it with parsley.
  • Onions/Scallions: Being true to my grandmother’s recipe, I only use scallions. The regular onions have a more pungent flavor and are too oniony. Scallions also contribute to the deep green color.
  • Spices: Freshly toasted and ground coriander seeds give them a perfumy scent. My grandmother didn’t use cumin in falafel and neither do I. Cayenne pepper can be used as an option if you want to have some kick. 
  • Potato: Using a small uncooked potato. It provides an additional binding
  • Baking soda: Baking soda was a secret ingredient. A small amount gives a fluffier and lighter patty. The baking soda aids in breaking down the enzymes in beans and speeding up the cooking and browning process. The amount is so little that you can’t even taste it.
  • Salt: The amount of salt will depend on your preferences and dietary restrictions. I like to use pink Himalayan salt.
  • Oil: I usually use a grapeseed oil to fry the falafel patties but any kind of vegetable oil with mild flavor should work.

Special Tools to Use:

  • Grinder or a food processor.
  • Deep frying pan.

Falafel Recipe Steps at a Glance

This homemade falafel recipe can be broken down into the following steps:

  • Soaking the chickpeas
  • Washing and cleaning the greens
  • Grinding the chickpeas
  • Making patties and frying them

Step-by-step: How to Make Authentic Falafel

Step 1: Soak the Beans

Rinse the chickpeas thoroughly, ensuring there are no impurities. Transfer them to a spacious bowl and cover with cold water, leaving at least 2-3 inches of water above the chickpeas to accommodate their expansion during soaking. To this, incorporate a tablespoon of kosher salt along with a teaspoon of baking soda. Leave at least 8 hours to soak.

Step 2: Washing and cleaning the greens

Cut the ends of cilantro stems but leave most of the stems. Remove any blemished leaves and springs. Wash under the running water.

Step 3: Grinding the chickpeas

Put cilantro, scallions, potatoes, and garlic in a food processor. Pulse until they are evenly chopped. Move this mixture to a bowl.

In the same food processor bowl, add the soaked chickpeas and blend them until they are coarsely ground.

Slowly incorporate the green mixture and spices while occasionally scraping down the sides to aid in the process.

Finally, add the baking soda and give it one last pulse. Transfer the mixture to a bowl and refrigerate for at least an hour.

Step 4: Preparing the dough and making patties

Divide the mixture into 18-20 golf balls size balls and form 1-inch thick patties.

Step 4: Frying the patties

Falafel frying in a oil.

Pour ½ inch of oil into a frying skillet and heat to 350 degrees.
Carefully transfer the patties into the oil. Do not overcrowd them, and leave some room to flip them.
Carefully flip the patties and fry the other side for another 4-5 minutes. Once they are evenly browned they are ready.
Blot the oil on a paper towel and serve.

Best Way to Serve

Toppings to go with the falafel.
  • Falafel are best served hot and fresh.
  • Serve with salad
  • Serve with pita bread
  • Serve with mutabal and hummus sides
  • Serve along with pickled turnips
Assembling Falafel patties on a pita bread.

Frequently Asked Questions

Tips and Wisdom from Cafe Osharak

  • For the most authentic falafel, opt for dried garbanzo beans and soak them overnight. Avoid canned beans, as they offer a different texture and flavor. If you’re short on time, an overnight soak is sufficient.
  • Make sure to use an abundant amount of cilantro, including both stems and leaves. Cilantro not only imparts the vibrant green color of falafel but also contributes its distinctive flavor.
  • For an authentic touch, use freshly toasted and ground coriander seeds; they’re the secret ingredient that elevates the falafel.
  • Baking soda plays a dual role by aiding in the bean soaking process and acting as a leavening agent. You’ll notice the patties rise notably during frying.
  • While optional, adding a small potato provides extra starch to help bind the patties. Feel free to omit it if desired.

Do you have to use dry chickpeas?

Yes! The canned beans do not provide the desired texture nor consistency. 

One thing I have been doing, and it is working quite well for me, is to soak a big batch of garbanzo beans. After soaking, I would grind 4-cups of beans in a food processor to a coarse “sand” consistency, and place them in freezer bag; freezing them flat (as it takes a shorter time to defrost them).

Can you bake instead of frying?

Baking is always an option. I will add a quarter cup of oil to the mixture before forming the patties. It will keep them moist and help them to brown nicely. 

Will the chickpea patties freeze well?

Uncooked patties can be frozen, however, the cilantro will lose its brightness both in taste and color after defrosting. As I mentioned earlier it is better to freeze just the ground chickpeas.

 

More Recipes to Try From Cafe Osharak

If you try out this recipe, I would love to hear from you. Let me know if you find it delicious and straightforward to prepare. I am here to answer any questions and provide any suggestions. Also, be sure to explore other recipes from Cafe Osharak, as I’m sure you’ll love them too!

More plant based recipe.

Falafel – Authentic Chickpea Patties

These authentic chickpea patties are delicious and addictive. Spruce them up with fresh veggies and a generous dollop of hummus, serve on a green salad or inside a pitta pocket.
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Falafel sizzling in the oil.
Prep Time:30 minutes
Cook Time:30 minutes
pre-soaking:12 hours
Course
Appetizer
|
Main Course
Cuisine
Armenian
|
Mediterranean
|
Middle Eastern

Ingredients

  • 2 cup garbanzo beans
  • 1 cup cilantro roughly 2 bunches
  • 1 cup scallion
  • 1 each potato small
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 1 tablespoon coriander
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup frying oil avocado or grapeseed

Instructions

  • Rinse the dry chickpeas in cold water, and put them in a large bowl. Cover with 4-5 inches of water and let soak on the counter 10 – 24 hours.
  • Rinse the chickpeas and place them in a strainer to drain.
  • Place the cilantro, scallions, potatoes and garlic in a food processor and pulse until chopped (eg. little bit chunky.)
  • Transfer them to a bowl.
  • Place the soaked chickpeas in the same food processor bowl and blend until coarsely ground.
  • Gradually add the green mix and spices.
  • Scrape down a few times to help the process.
  • Lastly, add the baking soda and give that one last pulse.
  • Transfer the mass into the bowl and refrigerate for at least an hour.
  • When ready to fry, divide the mixture into 18-20 balls and form 1-inch thick patties.
  • Pour ½ inch of oil into a frying skillet and heat to 350 degrees.
  • Carefully transfer the patties into the oil. Do not overcrowd them, and leave some room to flip them.
  • Carefully flip the patties and fry the other side for another 4-5 minutes. Once they are evenly browned they are ready.
  • Blot the oil on a paper towel and serve.

Notes

  • For the most authentic falafel, opt for dried garbanzo beans and soak them overnight. Avoid canned beans, as they offer a different texture and flavor. If you’re short on time, an overnight soak is sufficient.
  • Make sure to use an abundant amount of cilantro, including both stems and leaves. Cilantro not only imparts the vibrant green color of falafel but also contributes its distinctive flavor.
  • For an authentic touch, use freshly toasted and ground coriander seeds; they’re the secret ingredient that elevates the falafel.
  • Baking soda plays a dual role by aiding in the bean soaking process and acting as a leavening agent. You’ll notice the patties rise notably during frying.
  • While optional, adding a small potato provides extra starch to help bind the patties. Feel free to omit it if desired.

Nutrition

Calories: 134kcal | Carbohydrates: 6g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 7g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Trans Fat: 0.1g | Sodium: 176mg | Potassium: 79mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 165IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 17mg | Iron: 1mg
Servings: 20 patties
Calories: 134kcal
Tried this recipe?Mention @osharak.cafe or tag #osharak.cafe!

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