Recipe: fava bean falafels

Try these authentic Egyptian falafels made with split fava beans


Looking for a locally grown alternative in the kitchen? Why not try the delicious and versatile fava bean?


Makes 16 – 24 falafels

  • 500g dried split fava beans, soaked overnight (no need to boil)
  • 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
Dried fava beans – a medieval winter staple. According to famous fictional villain Hanibal Lecter, fava beans go very well with “…liver and nice chianti” | Credit: John Potter

1. Roughly chop the herbs, chilli and onion. Mix in the beans, spices and lemon zest,
and pulse in a food processor until fairly smooth (but not to a paste).

2. Roll into ping-pong-ball-size patties and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

3. Pour 2-3 inches of oil into a pan and heat. When the oil is very hot, deep fry the patties for a few minutes until dark golden brown

4. Place on kitchen paper to drain and sprinkle lightly with salt.


5. Serve with a yoghurt and mint sauce, a lightly dressed salad and some pitta bread.