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What’s the secret to perfect falafel? Depends on where you ask. Traditional recipes for the deep fried, garlic-laced bean balls vary from country to country, according to NPR writer and falafel enthusiast Hana Baba. In Sudan, falafel is made from a combination of garbanzo beans, onion, garlic, parsley, cilantro, and cumin. Head to Egypt and you’ll sample a recipe that uses fava beans in place of garbanzos. Lebanese falafel combines both fava and garbanzo beans and has a bright green hue due to the large amount of herbs used.
In the end, of course, it all comes down to personal preference. Get your falafel on and try your hand at each variation of the traditional recipe -- and be sure to let us know which one is your favorite.
Photos by Rashad Baba/Nawal Elbager