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Egyptian Falafels or Ta’amia - made with Split Fava Beans

Egyptian Falafels (or Ta’amia) - made with Split Fava Beans

by Nick Saltmarsh April 06, 2015 9 Comments

Surprisingly easy to cook from scratch, this traditional Egyptian dish, made with Split Fava Beans, is delicious as a snack or meze.

Authentic Egyptian falafels (or more accurately ta’amia) are made with split fava beans instead of chickpeas. Unlike many others, our recipe is both gluten free and vegan – it contains no eggs, flour or breadcrumbs.

Makes 16 to 24 falafels for 8 generous portions


  • 500g dried split fava beans, soaked overnight (or speed-soaked in boiling water)
  • 1 red onion
  • Big bunch fresh coriander
  • 1 red chilli pepper
  • Zest of 2 lemons
  • 10 mint leaves
  • 3 pinches coarse salt
  • 3 pinches fresh ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp cayenne
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • Vegetable oil for deep frying

For the yoghurt sauce

  • 8 mint leaves
  • 350g yoghurt (or vegan alternative)
  • Juice of ½ lemon
  • Coarse salt
  • Fresh ground black pepper


  1. For this recipe you need to soak the beans, but don’t boil them as all the cooking happens in the oil. The beans can be soaked overnight or speed-soaked by placing them in water that’s been brought to the boil, then taking it off the heat and leaving to stand for 1 hour.
  2. Coarsely chop the herbs, chilli and onion. Mix with the beans, spices and lemon zest, and pulse in a food processor until fairly smooth – though not to a paste.
  3. Roll ping pong ball size patties from the mixture and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, prepare the yoghurt sauce. Finely chop the mint and stir with the yoghurt, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Refrigerate.
  5. Heat enough vegetable oil to cover a single layer of patties in a deep pan. When the oil is very hot, carefully place the patties in the oil and deep fry until dark golden brown – this will take a few minutes.
  6. Drain briefly on kitchen paper and sprinkle lightly with salt.
  7. Serve the falafel with the yoghurt sauce, a lightly dressed salad and some pitta bread.

Nick Saltmarsh
Nick Saltmarsh


9 Responses


January 30, 2018

Good recipe – used a dried chilli, and herbs with fresh mint as that is what I had in store – absolutely fab, taste and texture ☺️ Thank you

Ian Foster
Ian Foster

November 24, 2017

I had Ta’amia, in Cairo, many years ago and I am positive they were with a yoghurt sauce. It was white and more liquid than tahini sauce. These are fantastic snacks and quite filling when in a small pita with salad. The Egyptians also cook them with minced meat and small eggs (bantam/pigeon/quail???) inside.

An khena
An khena

August 30, 2017

I forgot…the fried aubergine was tasty in the salatat pitta/falafel but hard to cook well without ending up saturated in oil. The most flavoursome pitta was lightly charred over a flame. If you want a taste similar to popcorn as a coating toast sesame seeds in a dry pan and add salt. Absolute heaven. The staple use for fava beans in Egypt is fool. It is stewed and thick (usually purchased from a travelling vendor with a donkey & cart rather than home made due to fuel costs). It certainly sticks to the ribs and is an acquired taste. It is eaten with plain bread. The easiest recipe of the week prize has to go to mulakhiya (Jews mallow). After picking and drying the leaf it looks like green tea when it is crumbled up. Put it in boiling water and it turns into a slimy gloop similar to okra that the poor eat with plain bread; another staple diet.

An khena
An khena

August 30, 2017

Egyptians also eat them in lightly charred pitta with salatat (lettuce, tomato, salt & oil). Put humous and or garlic or garlic mayonnaise or garlic oil with chillies into that and you have a fantastic main course; a kings’ feast of goodness. In Egypt salt is imperative. Yinbisit habibi.

Nick at Hodmedod
Nick at Hodmedod

December 05, 2016

Hi Susan. Sorry the recipe wasn’t clear (I’ve clarified it now) – you need to use 500g dried Split Fava Beans.


November 06, 2016

Do you mean 500gm of dry fava beans , which are then soaked, or 500 gm of wet fava beans?

Timothy Douglas
Timothy Douglas

July 19, 2016

We have made these a number of times and can honestly say that they are the best ones we have tasted – thank you


June 17, 2016

Egyptians will never ever eat Falafel with yogurt sauce ….they will always eat it with TAHINA sauce …

Cheryl Giffard
Cheryl Giffard

April 03, 2016

I was wondering if it is possible to make these and then freeze them? If so, would you freeze them in their raw form, or once fried, and cooled? I am trying to make some things that we can store in the freezer and take out as and when. If they are suitable for freezing, would they be able to go in the oven straight from frozen? Finally, when fresh how long would they stay fresh for if kept in an airtight container? Thank you

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