In the United States, this common Middle Eastern street food is better known under the name, falafel. Whether made of chickpeas or fava beans (as it is here), it is typically served with tahina, a lemony sesame sauce.
FOR THE TAHINA
- 1⁄2 cup sesame paste
- Juice of 2 lemons
- 4 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
FOR THE TA'MIYYA
- 1⁄2 lb. dried peeled split fava beans, soaked overnight
- 2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
- 1 3⁄4 cups chopped fresh parsley leaves
- 1 bunch scallions, greens only, coarsely chopped
- 1 1⁄2 tsp. ground cumin
- 1⁄2 tsp. baking powder
- 1 1⁄4 tsp. salt
- 2 tbsp. coarsely chopped fresh cilantro (optional)
- Vegetable oil for frying
- For tahina, combine sesame paste, lemon juice, and garlic in a food processor. Purée, adding up to 1 cup water, until mixture has the consistency of thick cream. Season with salt.
- For ta’miyya, drain beans and place in a food processor. Add garlic and purée until ground. Add parsley, scallions, cumin, baking powder, salt, and cilantro (if using), and pulse until beans are thoroughly ground and mixture holds together.
- Wet hands (mixture will be sticky) and form mixture into 30 balls. Flatten each slightly (to ensure even cooking) and place on wax paper. Cover and refrigerate until ready to cook.
- Meanwhile, heat 2” oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Drop ta’miyya in hot oil a few at a time and fry until golden, 5-10 minutes; repeat with remaining ta’miyya. Drain on paper towels and serve as an appetizer with tahina.