Salt to taste
Place the chickpeas in a large bowl and cover with cold water at least twice their volume. Set aside to soak overnight.
The next day, drain the chickpeas well and combine them with the onion, garlic, parsley and cilantro. For the best results, use a meat grinder for the next part. Put the chickpea mixture once through the machine, set to its finest setting, then pass it through the machine for a second time. If you don't have a meat grinder, use a food processor. Blitz the mix in batches, pulsing each for 30 to 40 seconds, until it is finely chopped, but not mushy or pasty, and holds itself together. Once processed, add the spices, baking powder, 3/4 teaspoon salt, flour and water. Mix well by hand until smooth and uniform. Cover the mixture and leave it in the fridge for at least 1 hour, or until ready to use.
Fill a deep, heavy-bottomed medium saucepan with enough oil to come 2 3/4 inches up the sides of the pan. Heat the oil to 350°F.
With wet hands, press 1 tablespoon of the mixture in the palm of your hand to form a patty or a ball the size of a small walnut, about a scant 1 oz (you can also use a wet ice-cream scoop for this).
Sprinkle the balls evenly with sesame seeds and deep-fry them in batches for 4 minutes, until well browned and cooked through. It is important they really dry out the inside, so make sure they get enough time in the oil. Drain in a colander lined with paper towels and serve at once.
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