Soaking beans is easy and economical but requires advance planning. I usually start with dried beans, rinse them well and boil them (1 cup beans to about 3-4 cups water), then leave them sitting overnight.
At this point, the 'skins' on the garbanzo beans/chickpeas will become loose. You can rub them around and get most of the skins off pretty easily. I like to do this before I use the beans in a meal.
It's always good to rinse the beans after you soak them and discard the water. Then use a food processor to chop the beans up. Add the other ingredients:
3 cloves of garlic
1 shallot, diced - can sub chopped onion or dried onion
1 tsp coriander
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp fenugreek if available or dash of celery salt
2 tblsp lemon juice
1 tblsp cornstarch or flour
1/2 cup fresh parsley or 2 tblsp dried
salt and pepper to taste
Form the mixture into balls, and fry the balls after heating about 2 inches of oil or a deep fryer to 350ºF . Don't crowd the balls and fry in batches if necessary. Cooking time is a few minutes, so watch carefully and turn if necessary but don't agitate too much.
Serve over salad with lettuce, tomato and cucumber or on pita or french bread with your favorite toppings like shredded carrot or sliced tomatoes and feta cheese. Falafel also tastes good with plain or minty yogurt and tahini.