Pharaohs’ Friday #5 Fried Bean Delights (Tameya)

We have always had a plethora of recipes for “falafel”.  For the most part, most of these recipes are based on the Lebanese version of falafel that uses chick peas (or garbanzo peas) as a base.  However, the Egyptian version (known as tameya) uses fava beans as its base.  Also, tameya always looks a bit greener on the inside than falafel because the recipe uses a bit more greens (yeah!).

Honestly, we have always been wary of making our own tameya for two reasons.  1.  It’s a deep-fried food and we only eat those on special occasions! 😉

2.  There are so many places in Cairo that make tameya, it just seemed unnecessary.

Well, now it’s time we make our own tameya!  And boy, was it worth it!!!  Not only did this recipe have just the right amount of seasoning, making it the perfect treat for a special breakfast – but it looked like the restaurant versions, too!!!  Our friends couldn’t believe it was homemade!!!  So, here it is:

Depending on the size of your shapes, this recipe will make 30 patties.

½ kilo of shelled and separated fava beans

The shelled and separated fava beans are sold like this.

water to cover the beans for soaking
1 ½ cups of onions, chopped (about 2 onions)
¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons parsley, chopped
3 tablespoons fresh coriander, chopped
3 tablespoons fresh dill, chopped
3 tablespoons leek, chopped
4 ½ cloves of fresh garlic, minced
2 ¼ teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon pepper
⅜ teaspoon hot red pepper
⅜ teaspoon baking soda
sesame seeds for dipping
oil for frying

1.  Soak the beans for at least 12 hours.

Shelled and separated beans before soaking

Shelled and separated fava beans after soaking

2.  Drain the beans and put aside in a large bowl.
3.  Wash and chop onions, parsley, coriander, dill, leek, and garlic.

4.  Put half the beans, and half of each of the onions, parsley, coriander, dill, leek and garlic in the food processor bowl.  Mix on high speed.  Stop and scrape down the mix and mix again.  Keep doing so until the mix becomes very fine.

5.  Do the same with the other half of the beans, onions, parsley, coriander, dill, leek and garlic.
6.  With the both halves of the mix in a large bowl, add the salt, pepper, hot red pepper, and baking soda.  Mix well.
7.  At this point, you can go ahead with the next steps, or if you like, you can separate the mix into small bags and freeze it so you can make it later.
8.  When you’re ready to fry the tameya, shape the patties as you like ahead of time.  The traditional way is to shape them in small balls or in patties.

Small balls without sesame

9.  If you’d like, you can add sesame seeds to the balls or patties on the outside.  The easiest way is: as you shape the ball or patty, dip your hand into the seeds and gently push them into the ball or patty.

Patties with sesame before frying (these were our guests' favorites!)

10.  Using a large skillet, fill it with enough oil to have about 1 and ½ inches of oil (or about 4 cm).  Heat the oil.  You can tell the oil is at the right temperature by putting a tiny bit of the mix into the oil.  If the oil bubbles around the outside of the mix, you know you’re ready to start frying.
11.  Fry the tameya in groups.  It should take about 5 minutes to finish cooking.  Use a spatula that has holes to flip the tameya half-way through cooking.  You can be sure that the tameya is finished when it has turned a dark reddish brown on both sides.  Once the patty or ball is done, use the spatula and gently shake off the extra oil by shaking it on the side of the skillet.  Place the ball or patty in a flat plate covered with paper to absorb the extra oil.


Serving Suggestions and Variations:
– Eat as a sandwich with balady bread.
– Serve with tahina, babaganoug, tomatoes with garlic, cucumbers or any assorted salads including pickled carrots, onions, radishes, etc.
– Some people like to break up the tameya and sprinkle it on their bowl of simmered fava beans.
– Others add fried eggplant, simmered fava beans, fried potatoes and tameya to one sandwich for a super crazy Middle-Eastern sandwich.
– Try a healthier version by baking the balls or patties.  It won’t turn brown, and there won’t be much fat, but I think it still tastes good!

Here's our attempt at baking them....

Nutrition Information: (1 of 30)
Calories: 121; Fat: 8 g; Cholesterol: 0 g; Carbohydrates: 9 g; Fiber: 4 g; Protein: 4 g


One response to “Pharaohs’ Friday #5 Fried Bean Delights (Tameya)

  1. Pingback: Pharaoh’s Friday #9: Eggplant Salad (Babaganoug) | Alf Hana

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