We stumbled across Fabulous Falafel a few months back, and finally had a chance to catch up with the owner to learn more about the story behind her fantastic food.
Meet Nancy: Owner of Fabulous Falafel here in Edmonton, that started back in 2022. Her parents were immigrants from Egypt and she grew up surrounded by Egyptian culture, learning to cook with her mom, as she always prepared traditional dishes for family meals. Her love of cooking also led her to begin experimenting with food, taking what she knew from her heritage, and what she learned on her own to try new recipes. Falafel being a family & friends favourite- she decided to start sharing her ‘fabulous falafels’ with the larger community. We asked Nancy:
What is your favourite food: “Oh gosh I love so many dishes. One dish I love is Dolma (stuffed grape leaves), in the middle east we call it ‘Wara2 3enab’.” As for Egyptian food: “My mom would make a dish called ‘Macarona bel Bechamel’ it’s kinda like the Egyptian version of Lasagna, and that was one of my favorite dishes growing up.”
Along with Falafel platters and falafel mix, Nancy make hummus, ful medames (a bean stew), *delicious* tahini dip, and koshari (Egypts national food- a filling vegan dish consisting of rice, lentils, pasta, chickpeas, fried onions and tomato salsa).
Nancy shared some great food facts along with a recipe for her version of an authentic Egyptian salad ‘Salata Baladi’, which is commonly eaten in Egypt, with any kind of meal. But before we get to the salad making & tips/tricks- let’s talk more about her star dish- falafel!
Falafel has a rich history and dates back to Ancient Egypt where inscriptions have been found inside the temple of the Valley of the Kings of Luxor- depicting beans being added to vegetables and cooked. Egyptians call it Ta’ameya (which means a bite of food) and it’s traditionally made with fava beans (and sometimes) chickpeas- this is unique from other parts of the world, where they are predominantly made with chickpeas alone. Falafel is now a well known vegan dish around the world, and in Egypt it is a popular fast food/ street food for any time of the day, but it is often enjoyed as a breakfast staple.
In the past, we’ve ordered Nancy’s falafel platter, which was perfect for ‘meal prep’ and made for quick & delicious lunch all week and would also be great for an office potluck or family function). More recently we decided to try out her falafel mix for a DIY falafel experience at home. We also opted to try out the ‘ful medames’ she makes, and here’s how it all went down:
- We followed the directions on the package and added a little bit of baking powder, shaped up our patties (we like a bigger falafel patty, but also tried smaller balls and both were great), and dropped them in the hot oil.
- After a quick flip and a few more minutes sizzling away- they were ready. All in all, it took us less than 10 minutes to get hot, savoury, crunchy on the outside, moist on the inside falafels on our plate.
- The ful medames (which Nancy offers this in a sandwich platter, but we asked for the dip solo- she’s awesome with customizing orders) made a great, easy no fuss snack. We also loved pairing it with our falafel, veggies and pita to make a sort of mezze platter. This bean dish is another breakfast staple made of fava beans stewed with tahini and seasoned with garlic, cumin, and lemon. We warmed it up a little bit and drizzled it with tahini dip and olive oil.
- We will DEFINITELY be buying all of these great finds again- especially the DIY falafel mix. The quantity for price is great and they are so well seasoned. Nancy also told us it freezes well…. Soooo this feels like a new freezer must-have. We ate them drizzled with the tahini dip Nancy makes, wrapped up in a pita, along side the salata baladi with some warm ful medames for a truly authentic and delicious Egyptian brunch- it was blissful.
Tips From Nancy:
- Make sure the oil is HOT when frying.
- You can add sesame seeds on the outside of the falafel (before cooking) for a different taste and texture- she likes them both ways.
- It tastes best when it’s pan fried/ deep fried but could also be baked or air fried.
- Falafels are very versatile and can be served in many ways. It can be served in a pita sandwich, on a salad, with rice, etc. or on its own. Best served with tahini sauce or hummus, salad and pickles.
Now, we can’t forget the Salata Baladi, which has become a go-to in our kitchen. It lasts so well in the fridge and pairs with anything. A pro-tips that was new to us, even as seasoned salad lovers 😉 is to add ice cubes to the dressing and letting it sit with the onions! This cuts the strong onion flavour and it thickens the dressing.
We were grateful to connect with a female entrepreneur here in Edmonton, sharing her culture through food. Support local and give Fabulous Falafel a follow, and you won’t regret trying out Nancy’s food. Her home based business is in the Terwillegar area (delivery is also available). Her food if vegetarian/vegan friendly and also much of it is gluten free. You can find her on Instagram @fabulous.falafel, Facebook and you can order through her website: https://fabulous-falafel.square.site/s/shop.
We hope you are feeling inspired to try some Egyptian food….happy eating fellow food lovers!