yields 3 dozen falafel balls
½ pound dried chickpeas (soaked overnight)
½ pound dried fava beans (soaked overnight)
8 cloves fresh garlic
6 green onions (scallions) or 1 large yellow onion
2 jalapenos, seeded
1 large bunch fresh Italian parsley, stems cut off
2 tsp. ground cumin
2 tsp. ground coriander
½ tsp. ground allspice
½ tsp. cayenne pepper
½ tsp. fresh ground black pepper
3 Tb. hulled, untoasted sesame seeds
2 Tb. sea salt
4-5 Tb. white flour
1 Tb. baking powder
1. Please do not substitute canned beans for dried beans. For one thing they are more expensive and for another they will not make good falafel. Make sure the beans are soaked overnight. Drain and combine half of each of the beans with all the garlic and onion into a large food processor. Process until all of the garlic is finely chopped. Add the remaining beans and process until the beans have a fine homogenous texture.
2. Add the remainder of the ingredients, except the sesame seeds, flour and baking powder. Process until all the ingredients are well blended and the parsley is finely chopped. Add the baking powder and some of the flour. The mixture will start to come together. The falafel mixture should hold together if you make a clump with your fist. Add the remainder of the flour as necessary. Finally blend in the sesame seeds.
3. There are two ways to make a good falafel. First, you can deep-fry the falafel. To do this use peanut oil at 350˚F. Shape the falafel into a ball using a falafel maker (you can buy these cheap at a Middle Eastern grocer) or two spoons. Fry the falafel on both sides until they are a golden brown. For a healthier version, which is what I like to do, you can pan fry the falafel. In a nonstick skillet over medium heat, use extra virgin or regular olive oil to barely coat the pan. Fry the falafel on both sides until golden brown.
4. Once you make the mixture, falafel freeze well for about three months. They are best when cooked fresh, so never make them ahead of time. To make a falafel sandwich use either pocket pita or large thin Lebanese pita. Flatten each falafel with your fingertips and use between 3 and 4 falafel for each sandwich. Add tomatoes, fresh mint, pickled turnips, pickled wild cucumber, mixed greens, tahini dressing and, if you like, hot sauce.