Friday, July 2, 2010


Middle Eastern cuisine is my drug. There is something about it that appeals to me and makes me addicted. I guess it has a lot to do with it being healthy, humble, yet extremely refined, fragrantly spicy, exhaliratingly exotic and rich in traditions as well as history, thus reminding me of great as well as intriguing ancient civilizations (Mesopotamia, Ancient Egypt, Ancient Greece, Persia, etc...). It carries a kind of romantic aura that plunges me directly into mythic worlds...

But where does this magnetic attraction come from? In another life I was maybe a Summerian lady, a Babylonian warrior, a Greek amazon or a cook in the Ottoman palace's kitchens, though I also believe I could have been a Sioux or a Viking princess before I got reborn as Rosa, the "mad" foodblogger that you all know. Who knows? I can only say that an unknown bond keeps me attached to the delightful savors of that area of the globe.

I am very passionate about Greek, Turkish, Moroccan and Lebanese cooking. I cannot get enough of chickpeas, Basmati rice, pine nuts, coriander, tahini, bulgur, cumin, flatbreads (Pita, Khoubz & Lavash), olive oil, sesame seeds, honey, yogurt, phyllo, feta, etc... Those are ingredients that I would never like to live without. It is impossible for me to take them out of my diet.

Well, to make this story short, the other week my friend Corinne and I were in town and we decided to eat a little something. Corinne being married to a Palestinian man, she is also very much besotted by Middle Eastern dishes, so we decided to buy a falafel sandwich from "Parfums De Beyrouth", a take away in the red light district area of Geneva called Les Pâquis. While eating that delicious snack I told Corinne how much I love "Falafels" and I started wondering why I had never made any. After leaving the place, I promised myself to make some as soon as possible. A week later, homemade "Falafels" graced my table...

"Falafels" are little deep fried croquettes in the shape of a ball which are thought to originate from Egypt - though some people believe that they come from India - (They were eaten for Lent by the Copts. The recipe migrated further East and chickpeas replaced the fava beans.). They are a common mezze, snack and street food item all accross the Middle East. "Felafels" can be eaten topped with salad, vegetable pickles, hot sauce and a tahini-based sauce or served in a pita or wrapped in a flatbread. They are generally made with mashed chickpeas (although certain versions contain no chickpeas - Egyptian falafels are made with fava beans instead, thus their green color), bulgur wheat (not in all recipes), spices and herbs such as coriander and parsley.

To make my "Falafels" I inspired myself from many sources around the net and from my books in order to create the recipe that follows. They turned well and were close to perfect. Of course, it is my first attempt at making them, so I'm sure I can still develop and adapt that recipe a little in the future. I'll definitely try other versions soon in order to find the most perfect flavor combination and texture.

Those "Falafels" look perfect and taste wonderful. They ar
e not greasy at all, very flavorful, delicately spicy (the spices reveal themselves to you slowly), gorgeously crisp on the outside and pillow-soft on the inside. A soul-uplifting delicacy that'll make you travel without leaving the house!

~ Falafels ~
Recipe by Rosa @ Rosa's Yummy Yums 2010.

Makes about 24 falafels.

1 Cup Dried chickpeas
1/2 Cup Bulgur
1 Big white onion, chopped
3 Cloves garlic
2-3 Tbs Fresh chopped parlsey
2 Tbs Fresh chopped cilantro/coriander
1 Big egg (~63g)
2 Tsp Ground cumin
1/4 Tsp Ground Coriander
1 Tsp Paprika
1 Tsp Kirmizi biber
1 1/2 Tsp Sea salt
1 Tsp Dried oregano
1/2 Tsp Baking powder (optional)
A pinch freshly ground black pepper
A few drops red Tabasco
2 Tbs Tahini
2 Tbs Bread crumbs (or more/optional)
Peanut oil, to deep fry

1. The day before, place the chickpeas in a bowl and cover them with water. Leave overnight.
2. The next day, put the bulgur in a bowl and cover with water. Let the bulgur stand in the water for about 15 minutes, then drain very well.
3. Place the chickpeas, onion, cloves, parsley, cilantro, egg, baking powder, tahini and spices in a blender and process until still a little grainy.
4. Transfer the mixture into a bowl and add the bulgur as well as breadcrumbs (you should be able to create balls/if not add breadcrumbs).
5. Cover the bowl and let rest for about 2 hours in the fridge.
6. Fill a pan with 6cm (3 inches) oil and heat. The oil should be about 190°C (375° F).
7. Deep-fry the falafels (5 at a time) until golden brown.
8. Remove from the pan and drain on kitchen paper and serve hot.

The mixture should be blended, but not pureed.
Add a little more breadcrumbs if the mixture is too wet and you cannot make balls with it.

Serving suggestions:
Serve the falafels with "Tarator Sauce" and a good salad or make sandwiches with halved pita breads stuffed with tomato slices, salad (chopped iceberg), onions slices and "Tarator Sauce".


~ Falafels ~
Recette par Rosa @ Rosa's Yummy Yums 2010.

Pour environ 24 falafels.

1 Tasse (250g) de Pois chiches secs
1/2 Tasse de Bulghur
1 Gros onion blanc, haché
3 Gousses d'ail
2-3 CS de Persil haché
2 CS de Coriandre haché
1 Gros oeuf (~63g)
2 CC de Cumin en poudre
1/4 de CC de Coriandre en poudre
1 CC de Paprika
1 CC de Kirmizi biber
1 1/2 CC de Tsp Sel de mer
1 CC d'Origan séché
1/2 CC de Poudre à lever (en option)
Une pincée de povre noir fraîchement moulu
Quelques gouttes de Tabasco rouge
2 CS de Tahini
2 CS de Panure (et plus si la préparation est trop mouillée/en option)
Huile d'arachide, pour frire

1. Faire tremper les pois chiches toute une nuit afin qu'ils se réhydratent.
2. Le lendemain, faire tremper le bulghur dans de l'eau afin de le réhydrater. Laisser le bulghur dans l'eau pendant au moins 15 minutes. Bien égoutter.
3. Mettre les pois chiches, l'onion, l'ail, le persil, la coriandre, l'oeuf, la poudre à lever, le tahini et les épices dans un mixer et réduire en une masse assez homogène, mais granuleuse.
4. Mettre cette mixture dans un bol et ajouter le bulghur et la panure (vous devriez pouvoir former des boules avec la préparation/si non, ajouter de la panure).
5. Couvrir le bol et laisser reposer au frigo pendant 2 heures.
6. Remplir une casserole avec 6cm d'huile et chauffer. L'huile doit atteindre les 190°C.
7. Frire 5 falafels à la fois (pendant 5 minutes), jusqu
'à ce qu'ils soient bien dorés.
8. Retirer les falafels de la casserole et faire égoutter sur du papier de cuisine. Servir chaud.

La préparation ne devrait pas être réduite en purée.
Ajouter un peu de panure si la mixture est trop mouillée et que vous n'arriver pas à former des petites boules.

Idées de présentation:
Servir les falafels avec de la "Sauce Tarator" et avec de la salade, des légumes au vinaigre ou bien en tant que sandwich dans du pain pita et avec des tomates en tranches, de la salade (iceberg), des rondelles d'oignons et de la "Sauce Tarator".


  1. These are absolutely perfect!

  2. My daugther love Falafel dear Rosa! And yor recipe is absolutely lovely and tasty, I will try soon, I have to buy bulgur, I dont have it right now, have a nice week end, gloria

  3. Ils sont magnifiques tes felafels, j'avoue ne pas connaitre la version avec le burgul.

    Si tu ne l'as pas je te conseille vivement : Classic Palestinian Cookery - Christiane Dabdoub Nasser
    il est aussi traduit en francais et je crois l'avoir vu en Suisse, il y a 1 ou 2 ans.

  4. oh, Rosa, these looks sooo awesome!

  5. I love middle eastern food --your falafel looks delicious!
    Have a wonderful weekend!

  6. Ooh the crisp edges of these falafel look so inviting! I haven't eaten a lot of Lebanese or Greek food but your words and these falafel have inspired me to try more. Delicious!

  7. I don't make a lot of middle eastern foods, but these look fantastic! Definitely something I'd want to give a try :)

  8. Your falafels DO look appetizing and your words make them even more appealing to me(being one not loving strong and hot spices)"delicately spicy, revealing them selves slowly...") That won me over and I will have to make them!And YES, middle eastern foods Do recall some of the ancient cultures..!


  9. I love these. You are a very good cook Rosa!

  10. your falafels look amazing ,rosa!and i love this middle eastern dish!i have a post in my blog with falafels,too!

  11. Rosa, your falafels look simply gorgeous! It's 37C here and I wish I could just grab a few of these with some really cold drinks!

  12. Amen sista, I love, love, love falafels! Yours look perfect. I still have yet to make these babies.

  13. Hi Rosa,
    They look so yummy and gorgeous!!

  14. A classic oftentimes in my table but not a drug he he - yeah extremely addictive :)

    Give me a dozen Rosa!

    All the best,


  15. Way ta go Rosa, these look as good as any falafel I've seen at the falafel shacks here.

  16. I have never seen such beautiful falafels, amazing pictures.

  17. I also love middle eastern food and love falafel especially:) Thanks for sharing the recipe. I have always wanted to try making them. I will give it a shot now. Yours look delicious. I love the picture of the mountain too!

  18. je comprends qu"on soit accro !! Pierre

  19. Rosa, I totally agree with you regarding Middle eastern food and its fantastic qualities! My falafel experiments at home have resulted in a few failures...somehow they never hold heir shape! I'm going to give your recipe a try. Thanks for sharing!

  20. je n'en ai jamais fait n mange mais tu me donne svraimenet envie de tester

  21. Oh dear, your posts are always so well put together, awesome work.
    Delicious recipe and beautiful clicks.
    Wishing you a great weekend ♥

  22. Love love love falafel. Such a delicious vegetarian meal.

  23. Rosa,

    I am going to make this falafels. they are gorgeous. I am in love with them.

  24. Rosa - I've never made falafel but if I do, this is the recipe I would choose.

  25. I have never seen such beautiful photos of falafel. I'm inspired to try!

  26. j'adore ces boulettes très parfumées...magnifiques tes photos.

    Très bon we :)

  27. Wow, the inside looks extremely moist!

  28. Wow, they look perfect!
    I cooked them once and I was not very happy how they turned out...the recipe I followed were very simple, yours is so elaborate, full of flavors...

  29. Oh, I feel just the same about this fabulous cuisine! I used to make felafel quite often but it has been years. It is a great summer treat! I love the way yours look and I'll defintily try your recipe! Delicious!

  30. Mmm les falafels, quel délice!
    Je viens justement de faire germer des pois chiche et une petite partie va se transformer comme par magie en boulette exquises!
    Il est drôle de constater à quel point chacun a des recettes différentes. Bravo pour la tienne, à bientôt.

  31. fresh falafels are my drug. What a yummy looking recipe. I've been thinking about making some, I'm spoiled with good Middle Eastern markets close by and your recipe is a great incentive.

  32. Middle eastern cuisine is my drug of choice too Rosa:D

  33. Falafel is a staple in our house...yours look delicious! Your recipe is quite different from the one I use so I'd love to give it a try.

  34. Beautiful pictures and delicious recipe. Great to try this weekend. Following you to get more of such treats. Best wishes.

  35. I love middle eastern food too :)
    Your falafels look fantastic!! In Lebanon, some recipes call for dried fava beans along with the chickpeas!
    Once I've tried them baked, but fried are much better!!

  36. My sister loves falafel! And these look mouth watering!

  37. i'm not ashamed to admit that middle eastern food is my drug of choice as well. it could be worse, no? i love falafel, and your little balls of chickpea goodness are perfect!

  38. Rosa...your recipe for one of my favourites is absolutely precious.
    As long as you don't mention this to my Egyptian friend who thinks her recipe is not to be beaten.
    Maybe, I'll have a friendly challenge with her...and I may even bake them;o)
    Great recipe and very wonderful photos.
    Flavourful wishes,

  39. While I wouldn't say it's my drug I do like falafels. It's been years though since I've eaten. Yours look great, which we were neighbors so I could mooch. :)

  40. Que de parfums dans ces falafels, j'adore !! Bon dimanche, bises

  41. Your falafels look perfectly delicious. ;-)

  42. I LOVED this post, Rosa! You really poured your heart into it. Easy to tell you love Middle Eastern cuisine.
    I am not as familiar with it. Would you be shocked to hear I've never eaten a falafel? So it was such fun to read about how you made them and the extraordinary spices in them. They look delicious!

  43. I LOVE middle eastern food too!! This looks delicious :)

  44. i really enjoyed this post, your writing style is lovely. "summerian lady, a babylonian warrior..." i could just imagine middle eastern goddesses sinking their teeth into spicy and delicious dishes!

  45. Fabulous falafels. I've made them once but they didn't look as nice as yours Rosa.

  46. I love adding Parmesan to those. Not entirely original but delicious.

  47. Ils ont l'air extras tes falafels!!

  48. Your falafel looks delicious! I think I'd like a few for breakfast today. I've made falafel a couple of times, and now I think I should have them more often.

  49. Girl can you believe I've not found a good falafel place here in Atlanta and have been craving them for the last 2 months or so. DC has them in abundance and they're sooo good! I'll clearly just have to make them for myself, adapting your recipe!

  50. I never quite thought about Middle Eastern cuisine as a drug, but now that you mention it, I'm addicted!

    I've been trying to get here for days to feast my eyes on those beauties, Rosa. Perfection in my eyes. I better learn how to make them because I haven't seen one place to get falafel in my neck of the woods.

    Thanks for sharing, Rosa...

    P.S. Have you ever stopped by Joumana's blog; Taste of Beirut. Her selection of Lebanese recipes is amazing!!!

  51. Wow! That is so impressive and tempting...I am drooling now..

  52. I can see alot of good stuff in making this :D

  53. I just had some great falafels at the farmers market this weekend. What I really liked was that the breading had sesame seeds in it. Gave it a wonderful flavor.

  54. Une merveille tes falafels, réussis à souhait !

  55. I love middle eastern cuisine. It's been a while since I've had some. A must try!

  56. I love them too. When you come to Paris I'll take you to St Paul to ahre some with you. I never tried to make them either, yours look fantastic.

  57. wow I love this one! truly a great vegeterian snack! couch eating seems to be the right time to indulges this liittle bites! ;)


  58. J'ai toujours eu un problème avec les falafels. Ils se dissouent dans l'huile. Un truc qui ne convient pas... Je retente le coup avec cette superbe recette Rosa.

  59. There's a bunch of aromatic spices like cumin, coriander, and oregano in this recipe. Sounds delicious already!

  60. Never seen a more perfect falafel. Looks delicious. It's absolutely a summer must-have for me!

  61. Wow, the burst of spices in the falafels already gives hint on how it will taste. I love it. I think I will add a bit more than a few drops of Tabasco sauce. My family loves spicy foods.

  62. I Love Middle Eastern food, too!! I could it every day! In fact, your pictures are making me want to eat it right now!

  63. Gosh, you really amp up the all ready wonderful falafel in this post. Next to the blue sky these yummies are just perfect. Great recipe Rosa! xo

  64. husband love them, but never tried to make it I bookmarked your recipe :-)

  65. they sound delicious!! i would love to try these with a hot cup of tea!! :) lovely pics!! keep it up rosa!!

  66. These look really, really good. I'll need to try them sometime soon.

  67. Your falafels are beautiful! I could never get around to making my own, though boy do I love them.

  68. middle eastern food always fascinates me, these are pefect, great recipe


  69. Tes falafels me mettent l'eau à la bouche...
    Et je me suis encore une fois régalée en admirant tes clichés de paysages!
    Belle journée!

  70. these sound great love the music too!

  71. These look really authentic, you know I love good falafels but haven't made them myself for years and years and the supermarket ones here are too crumbly. I am dreaming of ones with firm crust with moist chickpeas inside, lovely.

  72. Those falafels look nice and moist and delicious!

  73. I am a lover of falafels!! These look divine. Could pick them up and have them all gone in no time.

  74. Dear Rosa,
    These look great! Good job!
    We really love falafels..
    I've many falafels recipe and tried your recipe too,they were so delicious! :)

  75. these look just perfect...crunchy and delicious...making falafel has been on my mind and ur pics has motivated me definately...must make it soon :) wonderful post!