I love falafel, but I try (and sometimes fail) not to eat too much fried food. When I make it at home, I use some version of Mark Bittman’s recipe. I highly recommend it, and once you make it by the book, play around a bit. Try different herbs or adding some spice for heat. I like making a smooth sauce from avocado, tahini, lemon juice, and water. Do it!
adapted from Mark Bittman
1 cup dried chickpeas
2 small or 1 big garlic clove, chopped
1/2 small onion, quartered
1 teaspoon cumin
1 dash cayenne, or to taste
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley, mint and cilantro (or just parsley)
1/2 teaspoons salt, plus more to taste
1/4 teaspoon black pepper, plus more to taste
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons olive oil
1. Cover the chickpeas with water by 3 or 4 inches—the beans will triple in volume as they soak. Soak for 12 to 24 hours, you should be able to break them apart between your fingers. If you don’t have quite that much time, I had moderate success doing a quick boil and then letting them sick for several hours.
2. Preheat to 375°F. Drain the chickpeas and transfer them to a food processor with the garlic, onion, cumin, cayenne, herbs, salt, pepper, baking soda, and lemon juice. Pulse until everything is minced but not pureed, stopping the machine and scraping down the sides if necessary; add water tablespoon by tablespoon if necessary to allow the machine to do its work, but keep the mixture as dry as possible. Taste and adjust the seasoning.
3. Grease a rimmed baking sheet with 1 tablespoon of the oil. Roll the bean mixture into 10 or so balls, about 1 1/2 inches each, then flatten them into thick patties. Put the falafel on the prepared pan and brush the tops with the remaining tablespoon of oil. Bake until golden all over, 10 to 15 minutes on each side.