In a food processor, pulse the soaked, uncooked chickpeas and salt until they are the consistency of very coarse sand. (See photo)
Add the remaining ingredients, pulsing, scraping down sides, until it forms a bright green paste with a fine crumb. Don’t overwork it- it should not be smooth, but rather quite granular. Refrigerate for at least 20 minutes or overnight.
Form round, slightly smaller than golf ball sized balls and flatten just slightly. Lightly flour if you like. In a non stick pan or cast iron skillet, heat a ¼ inch of olive or peanut oil on med high heat until it sizzles when a pea sized portion of falafel is dropped in.
Turn heat to medium. Start with one tester falafel. Fry until all sides are a deep golden brown- this should take about 6-7 minutes. Place in a 350 oven while you cook remaining falafels. If the falafels stick to the pan, try dredging the falafel in a little flour (rice flour works too!) Place in a warm oven until ready to use for up to 20 minutes.
Dissolve yeast in 1/2 cup of warm water. Add sugar and stir until dissolved. Let sit for 10-15 minutes until water is frothy. Combine flour and salt in large bowl. Make a small depression in the middle of flour and pour yeast water in depression. Slowly add 1 cup of warm water, and stir with wooden spoon or rubber spatula until elastic.
Place dough on floured surface and knead for 10-15 minutes. (Alternately, place in a stand mixer and mix with paddle attachment until combined, then switch to dough hook on med -low for 10 minutes) When the dough is no longer very sticky and is smooth and elastic, it has been successfully kneaded.
Coat large bowl with olive oil and place dough in bowl. Turn dough upside down so all of the dough is coated. Cover bowl with a kitchen towel and allow to sit in a warm place for 2- 3 hours, or until it has doubled in size.
Once doubled, roll out in a rope, and pinch off 12 small pieces. Place balls on floured surface. Let sit covered for 10 minutes. Preheat oven to 500 F and make sure rack is at the very bottom of oven. Be sure to also preheat your baking sheet, or pizza stone. It is crucial that this is hot too.
Roll out each ball of dough with a rolling pin into circles. Each should be about 5-6 inches across and 1/4 inch thick, no thinner. Let rest for a few minutes before baking. By the time you get done rolling them all out, the first ones will be ready to bake.
Bake each pita for 3-4 minutes until the bread puffs up. Turn over and bake for 1- 2 minutes. It’s good to start with one tester. If your pita is not puffing up, make sure your oven is truly at a very hot 500 F, and do NOT open the oven door during the first 3-4 minutes of baking. Make sure your pan is hot too. If pitas are rolled too thin, sometimes they will not puff up. Lastly, if the dough is not given the proper time to rise (doubling in size) they also may not puff up.
Remove each pita with a spatula from the baking sheet and add additional pitas for baking. Take spatula and gently push down puff. Immediately place in large a storage bag…. this will keep the steam in and keep them moist. You can use a large cookie cutter for mini pitas, to get that uniformed look, perfect for an appetizer- sized falafel.
Middle Eastern Pickled Turnips
Bring all ingredients to a boil in a medium sized pot, remove form heat, and refrigerate until ready to eat.
Blend all in the food processor, until smooth. This may seem salty, but trust me it works in the big picture, when all the components are combined.
Cucumber Yogurt Sauce
Place all ingredients in a medium sized bowl, stir and refridgerate until ready to serve.
Lemony Tahini Dressing ( for a Falafel Salad)
Whisk all ingredients together in a small jar.
Toss a little dressing with your favorite greens ( I use kale and arugula), tomato, cucumber and or any salad veggie you like, and top with warm falafels.
If Baking the falafels, heat oven to 400F. Place balls on lightly greased parchment lined sheet pan. Brush or spray with olive oil. Bake 12-15 minutes, flip and bake 10-15 more minutes or until golden.