2 cups (400 g) dried chickpeas (not canned or cooked chickpeas)
5 garlic cloves chopped
1 small onion chopped
1 cup parsley leaves chopped
1/2 cup cilantro leaves chopped
2 tsp ground coriander
2 tsp ground cumin
1 1/2 tsp sea salt
1 tsp black pepper
Red pepper flakes or cayenne pepper to taste
1 tsp baking powder (optional, see notes)
The day before you start making the falafel, place the dried chickpeas in a large bowl. Fill it with plenty of water (the chickpeas should be covered by at least 3 inches/7 cm but add more water if needed) and soak for 18-24 hours. Drain the chickpeas completely and use a paper towel to lightly pat dry them (if they are too wet).
Transfer the chickpeas along with all other ingredients to a large food processor. If you have a small food processor, you will need to work in batches. Process everything for about 20 seconds, then scrape down the sides of the food processor and blend again. Do this a few times until the mixture is well combined, but not mushy.
Refrigerate the falafel mixture (in the food processor bowl) for about 45-60 minutes (or longer).
Use an ice cream scooper to scoop the falafel mixture and shape it with your hands to form a ball (or make a patty/disk if you wish). Do this with the remaining falafel mixture.
Use the cooking spray to lightly spray the falafel balls. Also, spray the basket of your air fryer to avoid sticking. Heat the air fryer to 375ºF (190ºC) and set the timer to 15 minutes. Cook the falafel balls in the air fryer, flip them after 10 minutes. They should be crispy and slightly brown on the outside. You might need to fry them in batches if necessary.
Serve hot on its own or assemble the falafels in pita bread with tahini, lettuce, tomato, and cucumbers. Enjoy!