Updated: Sep 22, 2021
If you are thinking of Mediterranean food, one that pops up in your mind is most likely Falafel. Falafels are fried, deep-fried balls mostly used within Middle Eastern cuisine, usually composed of ground chickpeas; however, some variations are made with broad beans or Fava beans. They are hot and crispy to the exterior and soft and delicious inside. They are enjoyed by people all over the globe.
Usually, they are served in a wrap, pita or flatbread. Falafels aren't only a fast food option for vegans and vegetarians but are also an exceptionally well-known snack or an interesting ingredient in various meals. In addition, they're a fantastic source of fibre, protein and nutrients.
Where Did Falafel Come from?
Falafel is controversial in the entire region. Although the Israelis have celebrated Falafel as their national dish, but the Palestinians are not happy about it because what they see as "theft" and Falafel is also Arab speciality as well.
However, the Lebanese are indeed trying to get it recognized as their own. Even the Yemeni claim that it was they that invented the concept. It's not solely a matter of pride. The lens of political conflict reframes, most of the time, debates about the history of Falafel.
Particularly for Israelis and the Palestinians, possessing this distinctively Levantine dish is bound by questions of legitimacy and national identity. When they claim Falafel as their own, each in a way, claiming the territory and discrediting one another as an intruder or occupier.
How did Falafel get its name?
It was so closely related and the ingredient associated with one another that it could have originated from the fava beans, which gave Falafel its name. In the Egyptian city of Mersa Matruh, for instance, there was a substitution of fava beans by hyacinth beans and a little bit of beef. In the Levant, there was a preference for chickpeas in place of fava beans.
Falafels Are Made Of?
Falafels are primarily made from chickpeas or fava beans or a mixture of both. Chickpeas are naturally high in protein, soluble fibres and are multi-faceted carbohydrates. Falafels generally have a wide range of spices, herbs and other ingredients, including parsley, onion coriander, the garlic purée, cumin black pepper, flour, and vegetable oil.
Is Eating Falafel Healthy For You?
Falafel as a food item is made up of a variety of ingredients that have the number of nutrients.
There are many advantages to eating high-fibre foods. They can lower blood lipid levels, including cholesterol, decreasing the risk of heart disease and reducing colon cancer risk. Falafels are stuffed with numerous essential nutrients like magnesium, calcium, iron and phosphorus. They also contain potassium, zinc manganese, copper, Vitamin C, Vitamin B and folate.
High-Quality Protein and Vitamins
Falafel, made from chickpeas, beans, or both, contains high-quality protein, a crucial nutrient that benefits bones and the body, which provides your body with antioxidants that counter high oxidative because of coriander. In addition, green leafy vegetables and garlic contain allicin acid substances that can be beneficial to the body and help boost the immune system and help protect from the risks from heart diseases. Apart from various minerals, including calcium, potassium, phosphorus and zinc, magnesium, and iron, it is also a rich source of fibre in the diet.
Alongside the tiny amount of sugar, fat and calories is also a component: Vitamin B and Vitamin K, Vitamin A and beta-carotene. Also, beta-carotene, which is the first ingredient the bean has, is a sleep hormone, which aids in providing our body with power and energy and lessens constipation because of the fibre content as it helps prevent colon cancer and improves bowel movements. It ultimately helps in the elimination of toxic waste and toxins from the body.
Falafel VS Other Junk Food
Falafel isn't harmful to the body like fast food is high in saturated fats like hamburgers. Thus, Falafel is lighter in harm than fast food options. In addition, the director of the Medical Center in America stated it is Falafel Sandwich components made of natural ingredients and have very high nutritional standards.
Its basis is composed of beans or chickpeas and green leafy vegetables, onions, olive oil, garlic, coriander, garlic spices, making the Falafel nutritious and speedy for those seeking speed.
Is Falafel Israeli Dish or Arabic Dish?
Discussions about the history of Falafel's origins have often devolved into political debates about dealing with Arabs with Israelis. Nowadays, Falafel has been regarded as an official dish of Egypt, Palestine, and Israel. As a result, many are angry with Palestinians because they view the taking of their favorite dish by Israelis.
In addition, the Lebanese Industry Association has made allegations of copyright infringements against Israel regarding Falafel. Although Falafel isn't an official Jewish food, it was consumed in the past by Mizrahi Jews in the countries from which they came. Later it was adopted by the early Jewish immigration to Palestine.