How to make authentic Falafel from scratch using soaked chickpeas (not canned) with Homemade Pita, Creamy Tahini Sauce, Pickled Turnips, Cucumber Yogurt Sauce *Chickpeas need 10-24 hours of soaking time. Makes 10 Falafels (I highly recommend making a double batch of the falafels!)
Soak 3/4 cup dry chickpeas in a bowl of cold water on the counter for 10- 12 hours or up to 24 hours hours. They will swell into 2 cups. Place in a strainer, letting them drain WELL, and pat dry with a towel for extra dryness. (Wet chickpeas will be more difficult to fry.)
Measure 2 cups of the soaked, uncooked chickpeas and place in a food processor and pulse repeatedly along with the onion, garlic, cilantro, chili, salt spices and baking soda, scraping down sides, until it is well blended but still coarse like sand. Don’t overwork it- this should not be smooth, but rather quite coarse and granular. Refrigerate for at least 20 minutes.
Preheat oven ( or toaster oven) to 400F.
Form round, slightly smaller than golf ball sized balls in your hands. If it feels very wet, feel free to lightly dredge in flour if you like. (I usually don’t, even when wet!).
In a non-stick pan or cast iron skillet, heat a ¼ inch of “high-heat” 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. Place it carefully in the hot oil, do not move it or mess with it until a deeply golden crust forms (this crust will ensure it naturally releases from the pan). Using a metal spatula, carefully turn it over. Sear the other side. Each side will take about 3-4 minutes. Cook in batches, not crowding. Place falafels in the oven while you cook remaining falafels to cook them through. Keep them in warm oven until ready to serve.
Middle Eastern Pickled Turnips
Bring all ingredients to a boil in a medium-sized pot, remove from heat, and refrigerate until ready to eat.
Creamy Tahini Sauce:
Blend all in the food processor, until smooth. This may seem slightly salty, but trust me it works in the big picture when all the components are combined.
If Baking the falafels, heat oven to 400F. Place balls on a greased parchment lined sheet pan. Brush or spray the tops with olive oil. Bake 12-15 minutes, flip and bake 10-15 more minutes or until golden.