Here is the BEST baked Egyptian ta'ameya. In Egypt, the falafel equivalent is called ta'ameya. Ta'ameya is slightly different from traditional falafel because it's made with fava beans instead of only chickpeas. The fava beans make the texture a bit softer on the inside. This is an authentic Egyptian Ta'ameya recipe lightened up by baking instead of frying.
Making falafel from scratch every time you want to eat falafel is a waste of time. Instead, I batch prepare the base falafel recipe ahead of time and freeze the rest. I can literally prepare a breakfast feast within minutes.
AND, If you are looking for a gluten-free falafel recipe, this is it!
Ta'ameya, or Tamiya, is one of the most common breakfast items in Egypt. If you are ever visiting Egypt, one of my favorite Ta'ameya restaurants is called Zooba. They just recently opened a branch in New York City, so that's another option if you are in the neighborhood. Another one of my favorite street food restaurants in Cairo is called Gad.
This ta'ameya recipe is an authentic Egyptian falafel recipe. If you would like to fry it instead (the traditional way of making it), add frying oil to the ingredients below. I have a more in-depth post on frying ta'ameya if you'd like to check it out.
- Dried chickpeas: You cannot use canned chickpeas for this recipe, unfortunately, because the chickpeas should not be cooked. The baking (or frying) is when the chickpeas/fava beans cook. You can use small, medium, or large chickpeas. Make sure to soak the chickpeas and fava beans ahead of time.
- Dried split fava beans: There are several types of fava beans. I use peeled dried fava beans for this recipe (also called split fava beans). You can tell that the peel is removed if the fava beans are closer to the chickpeas color. If the fava beans are dark in color, then the peel is still on. Depending on if the fava bean is large are small, the peel can be very thick.
- Fresh parsley: Italian parsley is the best option for this recipe, but curly parsley works as well. Dried parsley will not be an equal substitute.
- Fresh cilantro (coriander): Fresh cilantro is needed for this recipe. I recommend only using the leaves for this recipe.
- Onions: You can use white onions, sweet onions, red onions, and brown onions. Green onions are not a suitable substitute.
- Fresh garlic: You will need freshly peeled garlic for this recipe. I do not recommend dried garlic or powdered garlic.
- Ground spices: This recipe needs ground coriander and ground cumin.
You will also need:
How to Make Ta'ameya
Soak chickpeas and split fava beans for 12 to 15 hours. Wash the cilantro and Italian parsley. Remove the leaves. Peel and chop the onions. Peel the garlic cloves. Add the cilantro, Italian parsley, onions, and garlic to the food processor.
Before adding the fava beans and chickpeas, blend the onions, garlic, cilantro, and parsley.
Add the chickpeas, fava beans, ground coriander, ground cumin, and salt. If your food processor is not large enough, you will need to blend the ingredients in batches then mix them all together at the end. My recommendation is to remove half of the vegetable mixture and blend half of the beans mixture.
Blend on high until the mixture is consistent. Make sure that there are no chunks of garlic or onion floating around. The mixture should be consistent and look like below.
Store part of the mixture in freezer-friendly bags (if not using right away). The falafel mixture is good for 4 months in the freezer.
Add baking soda and egg to the falafel you are cooking. The frozen falafel mixture should not have baking soda or egg added to it until right before it's going to be cooked.
How To Make Baked Ta'ameya
Add parchment paper onto a baking sheet. Spread oil all over the parchment paper. I recommend using the same oil you fry with because it has a high burning point. Using a spoon, scoop the falafel mixture from the bowl onto the baking sheet.
Sprinkle some sesame seed love. I use raw sesame seeds, but toasted sesame seeds can work as well.
Bake at 450 ℉ (232 ℃). Place the baking sheet on the bottom rack for about 4 to 5 minutes then move the baking sheet to the top rack of the oven for another 4 to 5 minutes. Ovens are all different, so monitor the falafel closely. You should get a color like below.
How To Make Fried Ta'ameya
You can use an ice cream scoop and drop the balls into the hot oil, or shape the Tamaya like a little mini donut. The mini donut shape requires some skills. I have a full post on how to fry Egyptian falafel (Ta'ameya).
The baked falafel recipe is way easier because it's literally scooping the Ta'ameya and dropping it on the baking sheet. BAM- look at that!
Using the Frozen Falafel Mixture
When you are ready to make this baked ta'ameya, take the falafel mixture out of the freezer and submerge it in room temperature water (keeping it in the freezer bag). Once the falafel mixture has defrosted, add the egg and baking powder. Continue the steps as you would normally.
Egyptian Ta'ameya vs. Lebanese Falafel
Ta'ameya and falafel are almost the same! Just like stuffed grape leaves are called dolmas in Greece and wara anab in Lebanon, falafel and ta'ameya are similar. Egyptian Ta'ameya uses chickpeas and fava beans, whereas traditional Lebanese falafel uses only chickpeas. Traditionally ta'ameya and falafel are both fried.
Personally, if I want to make baked falafel, I use the Egyptian ta'ameya mixture because I prefer its texture and taste baked. However, if you really want crunchy fried falafel, this Lebanese fried falafel recipe is delicious.