Carefully inspect dried chickpeas for dirt and debris. Wash and drain, then cover the chickpeas with three times water to bean ratio for twelve full hours and up to twenty-four hours.
Drain and discard liquid. Allow the beans to sit in the strainer or colander for several minutes to completely drain. Pat the bottom of the strainer with a paper towel or kitchen towel to remove excess water. Transfer to a food processor.
Wash the parsley and shake out the excess water. Set aside.
Peel a small onion (about one and 1/2-inches in diameter) and cut into chunks. Peel two cloves garlic.
Transfer beans to a food processor and pulse until they are the consistency of fine gravel. You want them thoroughly minced and moist, but not creamy. Transfer to a medium-sized bowl and set aside.
In the food processor (you don't have to clean it), add the remaining ingredients and pulse until minced. Add back the beans and pulse a few times until all of the ingredients are thoroughly incorporated. Remove blade and transfer mixture to the medium-sized bowl or a measuring cup.
With clean hands, take a portion of the mixture and form into balls, then pat into disks. The most accurate way to get uniform sizes is to weigh them on a kitchen scale. The weight I prefer is 24g. This will give you twenty uniform-sized falafel per batch. The size is personal preference.
If you don't have a kitchen scale, make a ball about one and 1/2 tablespoons in size.
I like to flatten mine out into disk-shapes because they fit better into pita pockets this way. However, if you are serving them in a salad or as a main course, you may roll them into a ball. If you choose to flatten them, be sure you tidy up the edges by pressing them in a little. Jagged edges will cause your falafel to become crumbly and they may fall apart during cooking, so be sure to take the time to press them into tight, clean edges.
Place on a parchment paper or silicone-lined baking sheet and bake at 400º for ten to fifteen minutes, turn and bake another five to ten minutes, or until golden brown. (Be sure to check the bottoms of the falafel after ten minutes to make sure they are not scorching. Turn when the bottoms are golden brown. The tops may not brown until turned. Also, be aware that oven temperatures vary. If your oven tends to run hot, lower the temperature to 375º or use an oven thermometer to adjust your thermostat to a proper temperature.)
With our homemade pita bread, two falafel will fill each side of the pita, slice down the middle. It is excellent with hummus, fresh cucumber and a drizzle of minty tzatziki sauce made with soy or almond milk yogurt.