From Egypt's fava-bean original to Syria's doughnut-shaped falafel, even deep-fried beans can fuel debate. Al-Monitor takes a look at the culinary staple in its different forms as it evolved in the region and beyond.
Egypt: The Original
With its Pharaonic roots, Egyptian falafel, or taameya, is made strictly from fava beans, and some say it is the original. Spices for the vegetarian-friendly dish vary from country to country, or even cart by cart, and are often flavored with cilantro, cumin, dried coriander, red pepper paste, garlic, parsley and onion for distinct local flavors. Egyptians, however, tout their homegrown taameya as bursting with a thousand flavors.
(Photo: Courtesy of Antonio Tahhan http://antoniotahhan.com)