If you are using canned chickpeas, drain the liquid from the can, and rinse the chickpeas thoroughly.
If using dried chickpeas, then follow these steps below.
Soak 1 cup of dried chickpeas 6 to 8 hours or overnight. Drain the water and cook by adding 3 cups of water either in Instant Pot for 30 minutes or in the stove-top pressure cooker for four whistles.
Let the pressure release naturally and drain the water from the chickpeas and let it cool.
Prepare the falafel mix-
In a blender, add the cooked/canned chickpeas, garlic cloves, salt, ground coriander, cumin, and red chili powder.
Blend it nicely—no need to add any extra water.
Now add the chopped parsley, dill, and onion. Just pulse it.
Note- As we use cooked/canned chickpeas, they are very soft and disintegrate when we deep-fry. So we add rice flour, which acts as a binding agent. You can use APF as well, but I wanted to keep it gluten-free.
Add the rice flour and mix the dough. The falafel mix is now ready.
I split the batter into three portions—one for deep-frying, one for baking and one for air-frying. You can follow either one of the methods.
Deep-Frying the falafels-
Heat the oil for frying. Meanwhile, take a small portion of the dough and roll into small balls (small gooseberry size would do). Similarly, roll the balls with the remaining mixture and keep it ready for frying.
When the oil is hot, slowly drop the falafels in batches and fry in medium heat till they turn golden brown and crisp.
Note- If they disintegrate, add more rice flour or all-purpose flour.
Place the fried falafels on a tissue paper to drain the excess oil.
Baking the falafels-
Preheat the oven to 400 deg F. Line an aluminium foil or parchment paper in a baking tray and set it aside. If using aluminium foil, grease it with oil.
Now take a small portion of the dough and flatten into small patties. To differentiate the three versions, I flattened this one. You can roll them into small balls also. But for baking, I prefer flattened patties.
Place the patties on the baking tray and spread some oil on the falafel patties.
Bake for 15 minutes at 400 deg F. Now take the falafels out and flip them. Spread some more oil and bake for 15 minutes at 400 deg F. Basically, we are baking for 30 minutes flipping half-way through.
That's it; let it cool, and baked falafels are ready.
Air-Frying the falafels-
I usually don't preheat my air-fryer. But your air-fryer requires preheating then do it accordingly.
Take a small portion of the dough and shape it into small ovals/oblong falafel. You can flatten it as well.
Place this in the air-fryer/basket and spread some oil.
Set the temperature to 380 degrees F, set the timer for 8 minutes, and turn the air fryer.
After eight mts, when the air fryer beeps, remove the basket and flip the falafels. Spread some more oil and air-fry it again at 380 deg F for eight more minutes. We are air-frying for 16 minutes at 380 deg F, flipping half-way through.
Serve it hot with hummus or sauce of your choice.
You can use more parsley for this measure. You can add up to ½ cup. Also, dill is optional.
Adjust the salt and spice as per your taste.
When deep-frying the falafels, if they disintegrate, add more flour.