Before going to Abu Dhabi where falafel is common, I wanted to learn how to make it from friends in Texas so I could compare versions. (Plus it's a great excuse to eat it!) They were kind enough to teach me how they do it, so here goes:
It began the night before with soaking the chickpeas in water for the next days preparation.
The next day, we blended them with about 2 onions a lot of garlic and cilantro. The cilantro is something some people omit, or switch for a different herb.
Ground, it looked like this and was ready for the falafel maker. This cool little instrument has a spring in it that pushes the falafel mixture into the hot oil when you are done scooping it into the shaped end.
Then we fried them in hot oil. These cool little falafel balls flipped themselves over when needed and rose to the top when they were ready. Pretty simple!
Finished, they looked like little hush puppies to me, but were healthier and definitely tasty.
There are literally a million combinations you could create for the toppings, but we sauteed eggplant, onion and red pepper, made tahini sauce, schoog (a homemade hotsauce that was delicious) and cut up tomato and cucumber to serve in our pita bread.