I loved the falafel I had in a Druze village near Mt. Carmel in Israel. It took me years to find a similar recipe, but I think this is it. I make up the falafel mix and fry one patty to make sure I have all the seasonings to my liking before I make the rest into patties. (And if you really want to go all out, you can get a 4 cm falafel tool that makes the best, quickest most consistent patties -- I love mine, and I also use it for making other appetizers.)
2 cups garbanzo beans, dried
1 medium onion, quartered
2 cloves garlic
2 slices stale bread
1/4 cup parsley
1/3 cup red bell pepper, chopped
2 teaspoons salt
3/4 teaspoon black pepper
2 teaspoons cumin
2 teaspoons oregano
2 teaspoons ground coriander
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
4 teaspoons flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 cup water
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup water
6-8 tablespoons Unflavored Olive Oil
Check beans for foreign matter. Place in a large bowl; cover generously with water and soak overnight. Do not cook them.
Drain beans. Add onion, garlic, bread, parsley, and red bell pepper. Run through a meat grinder on fine or pulse in a food processor until mealy (about the size of panko bread crumbs. (I process half of the bean mixture at a time to ensure I get a good mix.) Add spices, flour, 2 teaspoons baking powder, and 1/4 cup water. Mix well.
In a small dish, mix the remaining baking powder and water. Use it to moisten the palms of your hand and form balls of the chickpea mixture the size of walnuts; then flatten a bit. Place on a parchment lined baking sheet until ready to cook. They can be frozen at this point if you wish, and cook them up to a month later.
You can cook your falafel in a skillet, in a deep fryer, in an air fryer, or in the oven. The key is using enough olive oil to make them crisp. Don't skimp -- olive oil helps with texture and taste.
1) Skillet or Deep Fryer: Place about 4 tablespoons of olive in a skillet (or 2 inches in a deep fryer) and cook the falafel on medium high until deeply golden brown on each side. Add more olive oil as necessary. Drain on paper towels.
2) Air Fryer: Make a foil liner for your air fryer. Spray or brush about 1/2 teaspoon of olive oil on each side of the falafel. Bake in a preheated air fryer until crisp and deep golden on each side, about a total of 8-12 minutes.
3) Oven: Generousely spray or brush each falafel with olive oil on one side. Bake in a 350 degree preheated oven until golden on the first side. Spray or brush again and turn over; spray or brush the second side with more olive oil. Total baking time is about 10-12 minutes, depending on the size.
** I love to dip falafel in one of our dip mixes or serve them in a pita with lettuce, tomato, onion, cucumber and a drizzle of tzaziki or sour cream.