Yield: 1 dozen falafel
Active Time: 30 minutes
Start to Finish: 1 day, 30 minutes
For this recipe you’ll need:
1 cup dried chickpeas, picked through and rinsed
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
3 cloves roasted garlic, rough chopped (see note, below)
2 tablespoons tahini paste
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 1/2 teaspoons cumin seeds, toasted and ground
1 1/2 teaspoons coriander seeds, toasted and ground
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 handful fresh parsley leaves, rough chopped
1 handful fresh cilantro leaves, rough chopped
Salt and pepper to taste
Oil for deep frying
The day before, place the dried chickpeas in a large bowl and add cool water to cover by 2 inches.
Soak the beans in the refrigerator for at least 18 hours or up to 24. The chickpeas will swell to triple their original size. Drain and rinse thoroughly.
Heat 2 inches of oil in a heavy pot until it reads 365º on a deep-fry thermometer.
Put the soaked chickpeas in a food processor and pulse until coarsely ground. They should not be completely smooth, but there should be no whole chickpeas remaining.
Add the baking powder, roasted garlic, tahini, lemon juice, spices and herbs to the processor bowl. Process until the mixture is pureed, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Shape the falafel mixture into ping-pong size balls. This can be done very quickly with an ice cream scoop.
Carefully slip a few at a time into the hot oil, making sure they don't stick to the bottom.
Fry until the chickpea fritters are dark brown on all sides, turning as needed, about 5 minutes per batch.
Remove the falafel with a slotted spoon, and drain on a rack set over a sheet tray.
Place falafel on a platter and serve with Cucumber-Yogurt Sauce.
To roast garlic, slice the top off a whole head of garlic to expose the cloves. Place it in a small ovenproof dish, drizzle with olive oil and cover with foil. Bake at 350º for 40 to 50 minutes, until the cloves are soft and a light golden color.