Fool and Ta'amia

EGYPT

A centuries old Egyptian breakfast that will
transport you to the streets of Cairo

SUBMITTED BY

Menna

I kicked off my “5 People, 5 Breakfasts, 5 Countries” series with a bang with this common Egyptian breakfast dish, fool and ta’amia. This staple breakfast includes fool, or fava beans made with any sauce, and ta’amia, an Egyptian falafel made from fava beans. I particularly loved the fool aspect, as it reminded me of a visit to Cairo years ago; as I traveled throughout Egypt, I sampled so many traditional Egyptian foods, and they were all so aromatic and flavorsome. 

This recipe comes from Menna, who is originally from Egypt but now lives in North Carolina. When she visits relatives in Egypt, they constantly indulge in fool and ta’amia, so the taste of this dish is very special to her. I also must agree with her sentiment that these foods are very filling and succeed in preparing you to face the rest of the day with energy! 

Many street vendors and families alike throughout Egypt have their own version of fool and ta’amia. Menna’s version includes a tomato or lemon sauce infused with cumin. But this dish boasts versatility; you can make it vegetarian, vegan, or with sausages in it. Any which way, it’s delicious!  

The fool is easy enough to make, but the falafel requires some elbow grease and patience. It definitely feels like an accomplishment when you sit down to your homemade bowl of fool and ta’amia. But I hope that you’ll give it a try, as different breakfast flavor profiles are such a beautiful thing to explore.  

American breakfasts can feel rigid in comparison to other recipes from around the world, and this savory Egyptian dish is the perfect way to expand your breakfast palate. Make it your way and share with friends or family, and I guarantee you’ll opt for more interesting breakfasts instead of the usual pancakes or eggs we so often enjoy! 

Watch the Video

Fool and Ta'amia

Ingredients
  

For fool

  • 1 can cooked fava beans
  • 1 Tbsp chili powder
  • ½ tomato chopped
  • ¼ onion chopped
  • ¼ green bell pepper chopped
  • salt
  • lemon juice
  • vinegar

For ta'amia

  • 400 g split fava beans
  • 100 g spring onions
  • 100 g leeks
  • 50 g fresh coriander
  • 50 g parsley
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 2 tsp dried coriander
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp cayenne
  • 2 ½ tsp salt
  • 1 l vegetable oil for frying

Instructions
 

To make fool

  • Drain your fava beans in a sieve to remove excess liquid.
  • Use a potato masher or ricer to mash the beans into a paste.
  • Push the paste through a sieve until all the skins have been removed and you are left with pure bean paste.
  • Add the remaining ingredients to the paste and mix well.
  • Taste for seasoning and adjust to your liking.
  • Plate in a bowl, and garnish with olive oil as well as some chili powder.

To make ta'amia batter

  • Wash your fava beans thoroughly in the sink, then place in a bowl and cover with water. Allow them to soak for a minimum of 8 hours.
  • Once doubled in size, drain the fava beans and set them aside.
  • Wash your leeks, spring onions, coriander and parsley, then roughly chop them up .
  • Add the greens to your food processor and add the beans on top (The weight of the beans will help force the herbs into the blade).
  • Process everything until a finely minced paste forms, then add the salt and spices.
  • Mix together thoroughly until well combined then set aside.

To shape

  • Wet the palm of your hand or a piece of parchment paper, very lightly.
  • Place about 2-3 Tbsp (or 1 ice cream scoop) of Batter on the paper/your hand then lightly flatten it using very little pressure.
  • Wet your second hand and press it into the topping, then lightly press the topping to the batter so it sticks.
  • Flip your ta'amia onto your second hand or another piece of parchment paper then apply the topping this side as well.
  • Fry the ta'amia within 5 minutes otherwise it will deflate.

To fry

  • Heat your oil to 160℃ or 320℉, then add your ta'amia in.
  • Once added, baste the top with hot oil so it solidifies, then fry for 2-3 minutes on this side.
  • Flip over once browned then fry for another 2-3 minutes.
  • When that time is up, fry it for 2 more minutes on each side.
  • Remove from the oil and drain, before placing it on a paper towel lined tray to dry.
  • Enjoy warm with fool on the side!

Notes

Recipe inspired by Middle Eats
Course: Breakfast
Diet: Gluten Free, Vegan, Vegetarian

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