2 cups dried chickpeas
1 cup fresh parsley
1 cup fresh cilantro
1 small red onion, diced
7-8 garlic cloves, peeled
1 small green chili pepper (serrano or jalapeño)
2 tsp salt, or to taste
1 tsp pepper
1 Tbsp cumin powder
1 Tbsp coriander powder
1 tsp baking powder
oil, for frying
Serving suggestions (optional):
diced cherry tomatoes
sliced red onion
The night before, soak the dried chickpeas in water. Make sure the water covers the chickpeas by 2-3 inches, as they’ll triple in size. Soak for at least 18 hours, or longer if the chickpeas are still hard. Drain and rinse the chickpeas, and dry them with a paper towel or dish cloth.
Add the chickpeas, parsley, cilantro, onion, jalapeño, salt, pepper, and all the spices in your food processor or blender and pulse or blend until the mixture is well combined, about 45 seconds to a minute. The texture should be like coarse sand.
Transfer the falafel mixture to a bowl, stir in baking powder, and mix well. Cover it with cling wrap and refrigerate at least one hour, or until you are ready to cook.
Use your hands or an ice cream scoop to form the falafel into balls or patties. Scoop out about 2 tablespoons of the mixture at a time. Shape the falafel into small balls, about 1-1/4 inch in thickness. Do not pack them too tight, or your falafel will be dense. If they’re not holding together, give the mixture a few more pulses in the food processor.
Once all the falafels are formed, you can cook them by your preferred method. To deep fry the falafel, add about 3 inches of oil to a sauce pan over medium heat. Heat the oil to 300-350°F. Carefully drop the falafel into the oil, let them fry for about 3 to 5 minutes, or until crispy and golden brown (see note 2). Fry in batches, avoid crowding the falafel in the pan (about 6-8 at a time). Place the fried falafel on a plate lined with paper towels.
Shallow Fry or Pan Fry Method: Form small patties instead of balls, as they will shallow fry better than in ball form. Heat a few tablespoons of oil in a pan on medium-high heat. Place the falafel in the pan and cook each side for 3-4 minutes, or until golden brown. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate.
Baking Method: Make small falafel patties instead of balls. Preheat the oven to 400°F and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Place the falafel on the baking sheet and drizzle generously with olive oil. Bake for 15 minutes. Flip and bake for an additional 10 to 12, or until golden brown
Serve falafel hot with pita bread, tahini or hummus, tomato, cucumbers and red onion.