Add your dried chickpeas to a bowl, cover generously with cold water and leave to soak overnight. They will roughly double in size.
Drain your chickpeas into a colander and pat dry.
Now add your chickpeas along with the rest of your ingredients to a food processor and start to blend. The falafel mixture will stick to the sides so you will need to keep pushing it back down to make sure it is all blended together.
Keep blending until you have a falafel mixture that resembles a fine grain paste.At this point, if you like, you can place the mixture in fridge for an hour just to make it a bit easier to form your falafel balls afterwards. This is not essential so don't worry if you don't have time.
Take a small amount of falafel mixture and form into a ball about the size of a golf ball. The paste will not be very firm but it is easy to form the patties if you are gentle.
Carefully place each falafel ball onto a large plate and keep going until you have used all the falafel mixture. You should end up with 18-20 falafel balls.
Place the plate in the refrigerator and leave to chill for at least one hour. This will make your falafel more firm for when you come to cook them.
When you want to cook your falafel, heat your sunflower oil in a large saucepan (alternatively, we use a wok). Use enough oil to submerge your falafel.To check if the oil is hot enough, take a small piece of falafel and drop it into the oil. If it sizzles and rises to the top, you can start to add your falafel balls.
Carefully add your falafel to the hot oil, one at a time. We use our fingers but you can use a spoon for this if you like. Deep fry your falafel in batches of 5 or 6 so as not to crowd the pan.
Cook your falafel for up to 5 minutes until it is dark golden and crisp on the outside.
Remove the falafel from the oil and place on kitchen paper to allow the excess oil to drain.
Serve your falafel immediately as a meze, as a salad or in flat breads.