Falafel is our traditional “take away sandwich”. It is like a vegetarian hamburger made in the Lebanese way. I remember when I was in complementary school, during our long  lunch break once a week, two of my best friends and I managed to escape from school to go down town and buy a Falafel sandwich and a bottle of Pepsi Cola, and we would come back to school and enjoy our lunch. I was amazed by the way the man could fry them so fast and then roll them quickly with vegetables in the pita to make a delicious sandwich. And above all this, I was totally in love with the smell of the frying pieces of Falafel.

I thought that it was very complicated to make them at home. But when I grew up I figured out the recipe so I can enjoy eating them any time I wanted to right at home.

A few years ago however, I found the perfect recipe for a home made Falafel. I want to share this with you.


  • 1 cup of chick peas
  • 2 cups of crushed beans(fava beans)
  • 2 tablespoons of chopped fresh coriander
  • 1 tablespoon Falafel spices
  • 1 teaspoon of baking soda
  • 1 onion
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 3 cloves of crushed garlic
  • oil for frying


  • Soak the chick peas and the crushed beans separately in 2 bowls of water for 24 hours
  • Drain the water and place them, separately in a food processor and mix well
  • Mix the crushed garlic with the fresh coriander and the onion
  • Mix all the ingredients together, season with salt, Falafel spices and the baking soda
  • Heat the oil, take a small piece of the Falafel mixture and put it in the special dispenser (called aleb falafel) and deep fry them until brown color
  • You can eat them with all kinds of vegetables you like: tomatoes, parsley, onion, pickles and lettuce, but the most important is the dip for the Falafel, the taratour

The dip(Taratour preparation):

  • Crush 2 cloves of garlic with salt, add 1 cup of tahini and mix with about 2 cups of water, then press 1 lemon and mix it with them
  • Adjust the lemon and salt to your taste.


Rice and Beans (Riz bil Foul)

When my children were young, we used to spend the summer holidays in our home in the mountain. One night, my sons felt they like to eat some beans from one of the street vendors. I took my little boys in the car and I asked them to keep an eye out for beans vendors. My eldest son saw one and I stopped the car with the vendor at the passenger’s side. I told my son to ask the man for some beans and, in his excitement, he mixed up the words while asking. Instead of saying, “3ammo 3andak foul?” (sir do you have beans?) he said “3ammak Foul” (your uncle is a bean!)

Since then, this has become a joke between us. My son is now a young man working in New York City, and while talking to him yesterday he told me “3ammak Foul”. I know that this is his way to tell me that he misses me. That’s why I decided to cook the rice with broad beans today.


  • 100 gs minced meat
  • 1 chopped onion
  • 1 cup of frozen broad beans (the green ones)
  • 1 cup of rice
  • 1 tablespoon cooking oil
  • salt, seven spices


  • Heat the oil in a pot and fry the onion
  • When the onion start to get golden color, add the meat and fry it with the onion
  • Season with a dash of salt and a 1/2 teaspoon seven spices
  • Add the beans and mix it with meat and onion, then lower the heat and cover the pot for few minutes until the beans becomes tender
  • In the same pot, put the rice with 2 cups of water, adjust the seasoning as desired, and let the rice cook on a low heat until it absorbs all the water
  • Serve it with yogurt and green salad


White Beans with Meat and Rice (Fasoulya)

This stew is a traditional Lebanese dish. When my youngest brother went to a boarding school in Lebanon for a few years, they used to serve it to the students with white beans, meat and rice every Wednesday, and as he got homesick sometimes, this dish made him remember his home and made him feel good.

He’s a lot bigger than he used to be then, but even now when he knows I have it for lunch, he gladly invites himself over to eat. But I have to make bigger portions. A lot bigger.


  • 2 cups of dried white beans
  • 300 gs of beef meat cut into large cubes
  • 5 cloves of garlic
  • 1/2 cup of chopped fresh coriander
  • 1 tablespoon of ground dried coriander
  • 1 teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda
  • Juice of one lemon
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 tablespoon of tomato paste
  • Cooking oil


  • Soak the white beans with the bicarbonate of soda and cover with water, overnight
  • The next day the beans double in volume – drain them form the water and wash them
  • In a casserole put 2 tablespoons of cooking oil and fry the meat then cover it with water, cook for about one hour until the meat is tender (to save time you can use the pressure cooker)
  • In another casserole boil the beans until it is almost tender, then drain again the water
  • Put the beans over the meat, add the tomato paste, salt and pepper, cover with water and let it boil on low heat in the covered casserole
  • Crush the garlic with salt, add the fresh and dried coriander and mix all the ingredients well
  • In a small saucepan, heat some oil and fry the mixture of garlic and coriander then add it to the casserole of beans with meat
  • Finally, you can put the lemon juice
  • Serve this delicious food with cooked rice.