The humble falafel is the subject of todays Google Doodle, with a cute animation showing the snack jumping into a salad-filled pitta bread.
The doodle is celebrating the origins of falafel, which originated in the Middle East, and has grown in popularity on these shores in recent years.
Its a dish that can be enjoyed by vegans as well as meat-eaters, and adapted into everything from salads to burgers.
Heres what you need to know about falafel and where it came from.
Where does falafel come from?
Despite being popular across the Middle East, the exact origins of the dish are unknown – although one theory has suggested that it was invented in Egypt around 1,000 years ago – but its popular across the entire region.
It is sometimes eaten as part of iftar, the meal which breaks the fast days during Ramadan, and is also popular with Jewish communities, as being plant-based it is regarded as parev – meaning under Jewish dietary laws it can be served as part of a meat or dairy meal (as Jewish people are not allowed to mix meat and dairy products in the same meal).
Although falafel is traditionally made from chickpeas, it can also be made from fava beans, or a mix of both – with onions, herbs (such as parsley or green onion) and spices added to the mix, and the whole thing served in pita bread with salad, pickles and tahini added (its also delicious when combined with hummus).
And despite being deep-fried, its surprisingly healthy – with the chickpeas high in protein, as well as providing fibre, complex carbohydrates, calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium and zinc.
How do you make falafel?
If you want to try making your own, heres how you do it.
100g chickpeas, soaked overnight
200g split dried broad beans, soaked overnight, or 250g broad beans
5 garlic cloves, crushed
half a small onion,chopped finely
25g coriander leaves, chopped finely
25g flat leaf parsley, chopped finely
1/2 teaspoon cardamom, pounded, seeds removed
1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 tablespoon plain flour
100 sesame seeds
vegetable oil for deep frying