The day before you want to make falafel, put the dry chickpeas in a bowl or container and add enough water to cover them by a couple inches. Let them soak overnight, and for up to a day.
When you’re ready to make falafel, drain the soaked chickpeas and put them into the bowl of a food processor. Add the remaining ingredients and pulse, scraping down the side of the bowl, until it’s well blended and you have a mixture that holds together when you squeeze it.
Heat an inch or two of oil in a heavy, shallow pot until it’s hot enough that a scrap of bread sizzles if you dip it in, or if you dip a wooden spoon in, the oil bubbles around it. If you have a thermometer, aim for 350-375F. Shape the chickpea mixture into small balls, patties or quenelles and cook in batches in the oil until they’re deep golden. Transfer with a slotted spoon to a paper towel-lined plate to drain.
Makes a dozen or so falafel.