Put the dried chickpeas in a large bowl and add enough water to cover. Let them soak overnight or for at least 8hours before using. The day after, drain the chickpeas and wash them thoroughly under cold running water.
Now it’s time to salt the aubergine slices: put them in a large tray and add 2 to 3 tablespoons of salt. Leave them like that for at least 30 minutes – you’ll notice they’ll release some liquid and feel softer to the touch. Then, rinse the slices, wash them thoroughly and dry them with the help of a clean kitchen towel.
Add chickpeas and all the other ingredients, except the aubergines, to a food processor, and process everything until a thick paste comes together. Transfer the chickpea mixture to a large bowl and set aside.
In a large and lightly oiled grilling pan over medium/high heat, cook the aubergines’ slices for about 3minutes on each side, or until they’re slightly browned or have grilling marks. When the slices are cool enough to handle, cut them into small pieces and add them to the chickpea mixture.
Shape the chickpea mixture into medium-sized balls and line them on a baking sheet. Refrigerate for at least 3hours – the falafels should be cold and firm; if they’re not, let them sit in the fridge for a little longer.
Now, you can either fry or bake the falafels. If you want to fry them, heat about 5 cm (2 inches) of oil (I used olive oil) to aprox. 180 C (350 F) in a deep pan or pot. Add the falafelsin small batches and fry them for 4 to 6 minutes or until golden brown. Transfer the falafels to a plate covered with paper towels to drain the excess oil. If you prefer to have them baked, brush the balls with olive oil and bake them in the oven (180 c / 350 F) for 15 minutes or until golden brown, turning half way through for even browning.
Serve the falafels in pita bread with some yoghurt-based (I used a soy-based vegan yoghurt) sauce, chopped tomatoes, avocados and salad leaves.