Falafel is one of the most popular foods in Lebanon and is associated with Lebanese culture. It is now becoming a favoured choice for people all around the world as the public keeps falling in love with this flavoursome dish.
Falafel has now become a global phenomenon. From its humble beginnings in the Middle East, these little creations have made their way all over the world, even into some of the best Lebanese restaurants in Sydney! Australia has to give thanks to Lebanese born citizens for this delicious treat. Falafel is also a great mezza option for Christmas lunch, served in the best Lebanese restaurant in Sydney.
There are many few that know how to make a tasty falafel. These little balls of crunchy goodness consist of chickpeas which are soaked, ground and mixed with spices including cumin, chilli, garlic and coriander and finally deep-fried until golden brown.
Hot and crunchy on the outside, fluffy and flavoursome on the inside, falafel is becoming a go-to lunch and dinner option for many. The best falafels are made with very fresh ingredients, freshly ground and freshly cooked. It is also all about the right balance of chickpeas, herbs and spices.
But finding the perfect falafel experience is no easy task.
How do you eat this delightful dish? Falafel balls are quite versatile and can be eaten on their own with a side of hummus, tabbouli or salad or can be a part of a full-sized dish. However, the most popular way to eat falafel is to roll them inside a piece of Lebanese bread, with pickles and a drizzle of tahini on top!
Did you know falafel is also extremely healthy? Although this may be hard to believe, we are here to provide you with some of the health benefits.
- High in fibre and protein: the main ingredient in falafel – chickpeas – is loaded with fibre and protein. They are one of the best sources of plant-based protein, making them an excellent choice for those who do not eat animal products. One hundred grams of boiled chickpeas contain approximately 9g of protein, which could rival some of the conventional sources. They also have a range of health benefits, including heart health, muscle repair and development, weight management, digestive health and more.
- Filled with vitamins and minerals: falafel also contains a variety of vitamins and minerals crucial for healthy bodily function. These include calcium, iron, zin, folate, potassium, B vitamins and magnesium. This is because it is rich in olive oil, vegetables and legumes.
- Low in calories: falafel balls are low in calories compared to many other fried options. Other Lebanese dishes such as shawarma or kebabs all contain high-calories meats, whereas the falafel is made from chickpeas which has a much lower calorie count.
- Rich in healthy fats: falafel is rich in ‘healthy fats’ and does not contain any saturated/trans fats. These are the two biggest contributors to high cholesterol. Although this meal is high in fat, if it is fried in healthy oil, it can definitely fit into a healthy diet. Chickpeas are also great for lowering cholesterol.
- Great for blood sugar levels: falafel is rich in fibre, which also makes it extremely beneficial for controlling blood sugar levels. Fibre slows down digestion allowing sugar to transfer slowly from your digestive tract into your bloodstream.
- Low in salt: depending on how you choose to pair falafel, the actual little creations on their own are low in sodium. It is extremely important to maintain a low-sodium dietary intake to preserve low blood pressure. If you want to add condiments alongside your falafel, ensure this is kept to a minimum.
Falafel balls are the perfect little snack. Not only are they delicious, but they are fast, cheap and healthy – making it an ideal snack/meal. Although it takes a few hours for the chickpeas to soak, cooking falafel is quick and easy. The main ingredients comprising of the dish can also be kept in your home for long periods of time without spoiling.
Have you fallen for falafel?
Try our mouth-watering falafel today. Indulge in a Lebanese feast the right way at Sahra by the River. All our dishes are made with the finest ingredients and served to the highest quality. Our bespoke menu allows you to choose from a variety of different options.