New Internationalist

Recipe of the Week: Tamia/Falafel (Sudan)

Global Veg Book coverThe Global Vegetarian Kitchen features more than 100 easy, appetizing recipes and outstanding full-colour images. Whether you grow your own food, source fair trade or buy local, this cookbook starts where you are, offering tips to source local and cook global. 

Yummy falafel!Tamia are similar to falafel. An easy recipe for this great snack or mezze/appetizer that is probably as popular in the West as in the Middle East where it originated.

M A K E S 2 4
Preparation: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 5 minutes
1 can garbanzos/chickpeas
2-4 cloves garlic
1 onion
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 tsp coriander seeds
2 tbsp cilantro/coriander, chopped
juice of 1/2 lemon
1 slice bread
2 tbsp flour
1 tsp sesame seeds + 1 tbsp sesame seeds
1 tsp baking powder
salt and pepper

1 Drain the garbanzos/chickpeas and put them in a blender with the garlic, onion, bell pepper, coriander seeds and cilantro/coriander.
2 Pour the lemon juice on a plate and soak the bread in it; then squeeze out any excess liquid. Crumble the bread into the mixture.
3 Stir or blend again, then add flour, the teaspoon of sesame seeds, salt and pepper. Set aside for 10 minutes.
4 When ready, add the baking powder and mix it in well. Adjust the flavoring and seasoning to taste.
5 Take up small amounts and shape with your hands into flattish rounds. Scatter the remaining tablespoon of sesame seeds on the patties and then fry these for 2-3 minutes on each side until lightly browned. Serve with pita bread, salad and yogurt.

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  1. #1 porzeline 01 Nov 10

    What on earth is green bell pepper?

  2. #2 New Internationalist Publications 01 Nov 10

    Peppers are labelled differently around the world. In the US, it's specified as green bell pepper while in the UK and other EU countries, this fruit (often mistaken for a veggie) is know simply as a pepper. Here's a link to a wikipedia article showing images and a lot more information: Hope that explains it!

  3. #3 cosmo 02 Nov 10


  4. #4 ciderpunx 02 Nov 10

    Vegan alternative for serving

    You can make a lovely authentic and [a href=’’]vegan tahini sauce by mixing up some tahini, lemon juice, garlic and a bit of water. I reckon that'd be perfect with these :-)

  5. #5 Troth 05 Nov 10

    Thanks Cosmo for explaining re bell peppers. When I write the New Internationalist food books such as the Global Vegetarian Kitchen we use US phrases and spellings, and also put both metric and cups measurements for the ingredients.
    And ciderpunx, that tahini sauce sounds great!

  6. #6 Debbie 09 Nov 10

    It tastes great!

    I have finally managed to make this recipe and I am glad that I did. The book compares this to falafel and while that is a good comparison it tastes and smells more like polouri, a Guyanese snack that I grew up eating. Although, unlike falafel and polouri, these tamia, well the ones that I made, had a soft centre. Imagine biting into something very crispy but the inside is nice and soft. I don't know if it is supposed to turn out this way, but mine did, and I love them.

    In terms of actually making them it was easy. My blender, just a regular at-home blender, had a little trouble blending all the ingredients, so I had to do a lot of moving the ingredients around. But, that was no problem.

    Also, I needed much more flour to create the patties. In truth, I ended up not making patties but spooning the mixture into the heated oil. It worked out. I didn't want to add too much flour as I was concerned about the flavour when finished.

    I fried them in peanut oil, because it is excellent for frying and because I have a lot of peanut oil left over from the cheese pies recipe.

    I'd make these again.

  7. #7 youreallyneedthis 19 Feb 11

    Awful Falafels

    The recipe was.. for a large amount of falafels.. too much for two.. it tasted wayyy too oniony.. they were runny, there was no way to shape them with my hands. We just plopped them in the pan and hoped for the best, but the worst came out. It would have been okay had the recipe only been for a plateful.. but I had to throw out an entire food processor full of this green sludge... Maybe adding more bread and less onion would help. Sorry and Thank you.

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