Adapted from http://toriavey.com/toris-kitchen/2011/01/falafel/
1 cup dry chickpeas, soaked overnight in 4 cups water
1/2 small white onion
1 fresh jalapeño or 2 tablespoons pickled jalapeño slices, drained
1/4 cup minced cilantro
2 tablespoons minced parsley
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
2–3 tablespoons wheat flour or chickpea flour
3–4 cups oil for frying (grapeseed, canola, corn)
Avocado tahini sauce:
1/2 cup tahini
1–2 tablespoons water
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 clove garlic
1/2 fresh jalapeño pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
Soak the chickpeas at least 8 hours and up to 12 hours at room temperature. Drain. You should get about 2 cups of soaked peas.
Grate the onion on the large side of a box grater. You should get about 1/2 cup grated onion.
Remove seeds from chile for milder falafel. Mince the chile.
Grind the soaked chickpeas in a food processor with the garlic, herbs and spices until it looks like a chunky paste. It should not be completely smooth but look more like wet couscous. If you have only a tiny food processor like my 4-cup size, you’ll need to do this in batches.
Transfer to a bowl and mix in in the grated onion and minced chile. Add enough flour to make a dough that will stick together but isn’t too wet. Cover the bowl.
Refrigerate this mixture at least 1 hour and up to 3 days (be sure to cover so it doesn’t dry out).
Shape balls from falafel mix using about 2 tablespoons per ball (or a little bigger/smaller if you want).
Heat 2 inches of oil in a deep pot to 275ºF (135ºC)
Fry balls or patties for 3-4 minutes on each side until dark brown. Keep the oil temperature between 250-300ºF (120-148ºC). You want them to cook slowly to ensure the insides are cooked through or else you’ll have raw-tasting falafel.
Drain on paper towel or rack
For tahini sauce, combine all ingredients in a blender until smooth. Add extra water for thinner sauce.