tamaaya – Egyptian falafel recipe

  • Yield:

    21 good sized tamaaya falafel
  • Cooking Method:

  • Prep Time:

    15 mins
  • Cook Time:

    20 mins
tamaaya – Egyptian falafel recipe

Egyptian tamaaya are delicious - rammed full of fresh herbs and vegetables they are creamy and soft on the inside and crispy, crunchy on the outside. They are similar to falafel but are made with fava beans (broad beans). If you're allergic to sesame seeds just miss them out, the tamaaya will still be taste-tastic. Perfect served with home-made hummus and a simple salad.


  • 1 C dried spilt fava (broad beans)*
  • 2 C water
  • 3 large garlic cloves
  • 1 small onion 
  • 1 medium leek
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp flour** (we use brown rice flour)
  • 1 Tbs ground flaxseed
  • 1 Tbs water
  • handful of fresh coriander
  • handful of fresh parsley
  • handful of fresh dill
  • 5 Tbs sesame seeds 
  • for frying I use: ½ C sunflower oil & ¾ C coconut oil


  1. If you use dried split broad beans, pop them in a clean bowl and stir in the 2 cups of water the night before you plan to make the tamaaya.

    tamaaya falafel recipe
    tamara shaped, coated & ready to fry

  2. When you are ready to make your tamaaya drain and rinse the broad beans and pop into a food processor followed by the roughly chopped garlic, onion and leek. Blitz them until they are all finely chopped.

  3. Now add the ground spices, flaxseed and water and blitz again - is should form a thick paste. 

  4. Add the fresh herbs, I include the stalks as they are so full of flavour. Blitz until all the herbs are finely chopped and the mix is light green from all the fresh herbs. (You can just about see the colour of the mix under the sesame seeds in this photo)

  5. Pop your sesame seeds into a bowl, ready to coat the tamaaya. Using a table spoon and the palm of your hand shape your tamaaya and then pop into the bowl of sesame seeds and turn over so both sides are coated. 

    tamaaya Egyptian falafel recipe
    frying the first side - edges are just starting to brown

  6. Place your coated tamaaya on a plate and pop them into the fridge to cool for about 20 minutes whilst you heat up the oil.

  7. When the oil is hot (test by dropping a seed or bit of paste into the oil) you can carefully place your tamaaya in to fry. I cook 5 or 6 at a time in my pan, they take 3 minutes on the first side, you will see the edges starting to brown, then I flip them and cook them on the second side for 1.5 -2 minutes. They should be brown and crispy all over. 

  8. When they come out of the frying pan, pop onto some kitchen paper so that any excess oil is absorbed. I cook the lot, then let the family take as many or as few as they like.


*I use dried split fava, which need to be soaked over night in water, then drained and rinsed before use. If you buy them fresh or in a tin you can skip the soaking part of this recipe.

**you can use whichever flour is good for your families dietary requirements. Flours have different absorption levels, so if your tamaaya are breaking apart when they hit the oil, it means that they are too moist and need a little more flour in them.