1 cup dried chickpeas
1 teaspoon cumin
Half a large onion, roughly chopped (about 1cup)
1 teaspoon baking powder
4-6 tablespoons flour
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley
Soybean or vegetable oil for frying
Chopped tomato for garnish
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh cilantro
Diced onion for garnish
1 teaspoon salt
Diced green bell pepper for garnish
1 teaspoon dried hot red pepper
4 cloves garlic
1. Put the chickpeas in a large bowl and add enough cold water to cover them by at least 2 inches. Let soak overnight, then drain. Or use canned chickpeas, drained.
2. Place the drained, uncooked chickpeas and the onions in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade. Add the parsley, cilantro, salt, hot pepper, garlic, and cumin. Process until blended but not pureed.
3. Sprinkle in the baking powder and 4 tablespoons of the flour, and pulse. You want to add enough bulgur or flour so that the dough forms a small ball and no longer sticks to your hands. Turn into a bowl and refrigerate, covered, for several hours.
4. Form the chickpea mixture into balls about the size of walnuts, or use a felafel scoop, available in Middle Eastern markets.
5. Heat 3 inches of oil to 375 degrees in a deep pot or wok and fry 1 ball to test. If it falls apart, add a little flour. Then fry about 6 balls at once for a few minutes on each side, or until golden brown. Drain on paper towels. Stuff half a pita with felafel balls, chopped tomatoes, onion, green pepper, and pickled turnips. Drizzle with tahina thinned with water.
NOTE: Egyptians omit the cilantro and substitute fava beans for the chickpeas.