Arabic Falafel Balls

"Beans, beans, they're good for your heart. The more you eat the more you....hopefully won't flatulate." Since we had kefta the other night, I thought I'd round out the meal and make falafel balls. I really enjoy the flavor and texture of falafel so I thought it would be a great addition to the meal. I've made falafel before but I wanted to try the real deal and use dried chickpeas, not the canned ones. While I was at it, I thought it would be nice to try a different recipe too. I scoured the Internet and found a recipe called "The best falafel EVER," and they were indeed tasty. I couldn't tell if using fresh chickpeas made that much of a difference but it seemed like every recipe I looked at said you should use fresh, so that's what I'd recommend. I have to warn you though, you must have a heavy hand when adding your seasonings. My first few tester patties were tasteless and bland but after I added A LOT of S&P, I could tell I was liking them more since the patties were strangely getting bigger and bigger. The end result was a tasty falafel - crisp on the outside and soft in the middle. I thought it would be nice to serve them with a spicy dip so I made one flavored with sriracha sauce. If you've never tried Sriracha before, it is HOT so beware! It was a nice finishing touch with just the right amount of heat. Enjoy!

Arabic Falafel Balls
Adapted from Hummus 101 Blog
Makes 25 falafel balls

2 cups of dried chickpeas, soaked in water for 12 hours = 6 cups cooked chickpeas
Crumbs from 2 slices of white bread
5 cloves of garlic
2 teaspoon baking soda
1/3 cup chopped parsley
1/2 cup chopped coriander
1/2 small onion
1 teaspoon cumin spice
1 teaspoon smoky paprika (pimenton)
Salt, pepper, Cavenders Greek Seasoning

1. Pulse garlic, herbs, and onion in food processor to a fine mince.
2. Wash and dry the soaked chickpeas and add half to food processor along with the spices. Pulse a few times until you get a fine mixture, but not pureed. Empty the bowl and add the remaining half of the beans and pulse the same way.
3. Add mixture to bowl with the rest of the pureed mixture. Add baking soda and bread crumbs to mixture and mix thoroughly.
3. Season generously with lots of salt, pepper, and Cavenders. Make tester patty and adjust falafel to your own taste.
4. Once you are content with the taste add a bit of water making one homogenous mixture - batter should be pretty wet (just wet enough for everything to be pretty combined) but not drowning in water. Put mixture aside, covered, for 30-60 minutes or put in fridge for longer.
5. Wet your hands and shape into a disc 1-1/2 inch wide and 1/2 inch thick. If moisture seems too wet, squeeze out a little moisture through your hands. Don't be skeptical if the batter seems too wet like I was, it will dry up and the falafel will stay together in the oven.
6. Pre-heat oven to 375F. Spray cookie sheet and put patties on top and cook for 18-20 minutes flipping half way in between. Bottoms should be nice and brown and crispy.

*If you would like to freeze the falafels - bake then freeze and store in individual servings. Remove from freezer and bake in oven.