Falafel is a finger food popular in Arabic counties and nations on the Mediterranean Sea. Zaibak Bros., a Chicago-based falafel manufacturer, writes that the chickpea and spice patty is thought to have originated in Egypt. Falafel is a favorite of vegetarians and vegans because it contains no meat but is high in protein. Typically deep-fried until crisp, falafel can be baked for a healthier choice.
Drain and rinse the chickpeas. Combine chickpeas, onion, parsley, cilantro, garlic, cumin, lemon juice and salt in a food processor. Pulse until chopped and combined.
Add baking powder and flour, and pulse until flour is combined. Test the dough by taking a tablespoon's worth and trying to form a ball. If the dough falls apart, add an additional tablespoon of flour to the food processor and pulse a few more times.
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
Form falafel balls using the tablespoon and rolling the dough in your hands. Flatten the falafel patty between your palms until 1/2 inch thick, and then place on a baking sheet covered in nonstick aluminum foil.
Bake patties for 15 minutes. Turn and bake an additional 15 minutes.
Serve falafel with tzatziki or tahini-yogurt sauces. If you prefer to use dried garbanzo beans, soak in water for six to eight hours and drain before adding to food processor. If you do not have access to fresh parsley or cilantro, you may use dried. Substitute teaspoons of dried for tablespoons of fresh. For example, substitute 4 tsp. of dried parsley for 4 tbsp. of fresh parsley. Freeze uncooked falafel patties on sheets of wax paper for later use. Uncooked falafel should keep up to three months in a freezer.