Falafel is a traditional Arabic food that’s nowadays popular in several countries like Israel, Egypt, Syria, and Iran that is mostly known as hot street food from the category of fast foods. In Iran, It is especially popular in southern cities like Abadan, Ahvaz, Bandar Abbas, and Shiraz and you may undoubtedly find many northern Iranian people who hate or don’t like it or eat it in a different way which is usually not hot while it is the prime condition of a Falafel ball to be spicy.
The word “Falafel” descends from the Arabic word falāfil, a plural of the word filfil, meaning “pepper”. But originally it means “ball of legume”. A ball of mixed legume and garlic fried while drowned in boiling oil.
The first appearance of legume balls in the Middle East seems to be in Egypt and called Tamiya (the Arabic word for ‘nourishment’); these fried balls were a light green or yellow color inside. Many attribute Tamiya to the Egyptian Copts, who practiced one of the earliest forms of Christianity. They believed that the original state of humankind was vegetarian and, therefore, mandated numerous days of fasting and breaking it with eating Tamiya. In their language, it is made of three words (pronounced like “fell-off-el”) meaning “completely from legume” which means an absolutely-appropriate food for breaking your fast.
When chickpeas are used, they are not cooked prior to use (cooking the chickpeas will cause it to fall apart, requiring adding some flour to use as a binder). Instead, they are soaked overnight, then ground together with parsley, scallions, and garlic. Spices such as cumin and coriander are often added to the legume for adding flavor. The mixture is shaped into balls or patties. This can be done by hand or with a special tool. The mixture is usually deep-fried.
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It is a great source of protein for people who have cut meat out of their diet. It’s relatively low in fat and has no cholesterol if frying in low-fat oil.