I've tried many times to make decent falafel and have always failed. Recently, however, I realised what I'd been doing wrong. All of the recipes I had followed had used tinned chickpeas, but proper falafel are actually made with uncooked chickpeas or broad beans which have been soaked. The main problem with this is that you need a food processor in order to grind down the soaked pulses. Fortunately, Wikus gave me a Magimix for Christmas which has a very powerful motor which makes light work of jobs like this one.
This recipe is loosely based on Claudia Roden's falafel recipe in her Book of Jewish Food - though I'm made a couple of changes - using a 50/50 mix of chickpeas and broad beans, omitting the spring onions and replacing with extra garlic, and using fresh chillies instead of cayenne pepper.
250g dried chickpeas
250g dried broad beans (without skins)
1 large bunch of coriander (or two or three of the stupid little packs they sell in supermarkets)
2 green chillies
2 red chillies
6 cloves of garlic
2 teaspoons of ground coriander
2 teaspoons of ground cumin
Soak the chickpeas and broad beans for 18 hours in a large pan of water (do it before you go to bed the previous day). After the chickpeas have been soaked, drain and then dry on a large, clean tea towel - it is very important to get them as dry as possible to stop the falafel from falling apart when you cook them. Place all of the ingredients into a food processor - depending on how large your food processor is, it is probably easier to do this in two or three batches. Make sure you include all of the coriander, stalks and all. Blend the ingredients until you have a smooth paste. Use a spatula to scrape the mixture down from the sides of the food processor intermittently during blending to ensure that all the chickpeas and broad beans are properly blended. Once the mixture has reached the right consistency, place it in a bowl and cover with cling film for one hour. Then shape the mixture into walnut-sized balls and fry in hot oil until brown. Place the cooked falafel on a tray to keep warm in the oven.
This recipe makes a mountain of falafel, so make sure you have plenty of people to feed.