No matter where you go in the Middle East, chances are you'll always be able to find a restaurant or street stall serving up falafel. This classic is a real rags to riches story, making its way from a street food favourite to the menus of some of the finest restaurants in town, places just like O'Doner, Toss'd and Doner Deli.
Falafel is made from a delicious blend of ground fava beans or chickpeas – sometimes both – and mixed up with a zingy combination of aromatic Middle Eastern spices. This formula is then rolled into balls, donuts or moulded into fritters.
Crunchy on the outside and juicy on the inside, you'll often find these deep-fried balls of goodness served warm in pita or Arabic flatbread, with mountains of fresh salad and nutty tahini sauce.
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The word falafel is said to come from the Arabic word filfil, which means pepper. But similar to many Middle Eastern dishes the origins of falafel are a bit fuzzy, with stories differing from region to region. It seems everyone tries to claim a masterpiece, especially one that's loved by so many.
Many believe that falafel first originated on the streets of Alexandria, Egypt. It's said that sailors from all over the region picked this simple, but flavoursome snack up on return to the port, and loved it so much they took it home with them, resulting in its spread all over the Middle East.
You'll find falafel across the world today, with loads of choices here in the UAE. Over at O'Doner you'll find it both bundled up as a zingy veggie-friendly sandwich – with tahini sauce, fresh salad and a soft pita bread – and as a platter subbing in mixed pickles and freshly baked bread as the falafel companions.
At Toss'd, they're all about super healthy, super nutritious goodies. Here you'll get falafel in vibrant salads – we love the Lebanese, where hummus, baby plum tomatoes, cucumber, falafel and red onion are met with mint, lemon juice and olive oil. If you're not a fan of the green things, there's always the Falafel and Halloumi toasted wrap too.
They also stick with the wrap vibe over at Doner Deli with the Falafel Durum Meal, perfect for a hearty lunch on the go. With this delight you'll get our bean-y star wrapped up with cucumber, onion, lettuce, red cabbage and tomato.
Fancy giving falafel a go? Check out loads of great options here on Deliveroo.