The Arabic word taameya translates to “tasty little bits.” This version, made with fava beans, which are plentiful in the Nile delta, is thought by some to be the original falafel.
Falafel is a popular Middle Eastern “fast food” made of a mixture of chickpeas (or fava beans), fresh herbs, and spices that are formed into small patties or balls. It’s thought that falafel originated in Egypt as Coptic Christians looked for a hearty replacement for meat during long seasons of fasting or lent.
It has also become a popular vegan food in Egypt and throughout the Middle East. Falafel continues to be the people’s daily grub in Egypt and you can find it from street vendors in almost every neighborhood. It’s often served in sandwich form with a generous drizzle of tahini and loads of Mediterranean salad, along with slices of roasted or fried eggplant.