For optimum texture and flavor, use dried chickpeas—never the canned variety—to make felafel. In Egypt, felafel (known there as ta'amia) is made with dried fava beans, and when Anwar Sadat came to Israel in 1977 many felafel makers honored him by preparing the snack in the Egyptian way.

Variations: For sesame felafel, spread about ½ cup sesame seeds on a dish. Flatten chickpea-mixture balls, made according to recipe above, into patties, then gently press both sides into seeds. Proceed with recipe, frying for only 2-3 minutes. For Egyptian ta'amia, substitute dried fava beans for dried chickpeas and proceed with recipe.