FALAFEL (Serves 6)
1 3/4 cups dried chickpeas or 1 cup dried chickpeas, plus 3/4 cup dried split fava beans
2 cloves garlic, lightly crushed
1/2 onion, quartered
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 tablespoon ground cumin
Scant teaspoon cayenne, or to taste; or mild chilli powder to taste
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley or cilantro leaves
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, or to taste
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice, or more to taste
Neutral oil, like grapeseed or canola, for deep-frying
Put beans into a large bowl and cover with water by 7 to 10cm - they will triple in volume as they soak.
Soak for 24 hours, checking once or twice to see if you need to add water to keep the beans covered.
Drain beans well and transfer to a food processor with all the remaining ingredients except the oil; pulse until minced but not puréed; add water tablespoon by tablespoon if necessary to allow the machine to do its work, but keep the mixture as dry as possible. (Too much water and your falafel will fall apart. If that happens, add more ground beans.)
Taste and adjust seasoning, adding more salt, pepper, cayenne or a little more lemon juice as needed.
Put at least 5 to 7cm of oil (more is better) into a large deep saucepan (the narrower the pan, the less oil you need; but the more oil you use, the more you can cook at one time).
Turn heat to medium-high and heat oil to about 180 degrees. (A pinch of batter will sizzle immediately; a piece of falafel will sink halfway to the bottom, then rise.)
Scoop out heaping tablespoons of the mixture and shape it into balls or small patties. Fry in batches, without crowding, until nicely browned, turning as necessary; total cooking time per batch will be less than 5 minutes.
Serve hot or at room temperature.
The New York Times