• Chickpea fatteh (Racha Abou Alchamat)Source: Racha Abou Alchamat

Chickpea fatteh is a traditional Syrian dish that combines chickpeas, pita bread, tangy tahini yoghurt sauce and toasted nuts. The word fatteh is derived from the act of slicing bread into pieces. This dish reminds me of my childhood, when our extended family would gather around the table for breakfast every Friday.

Serves
4-6

Preparation

40min

Cooking

2hr
30min

Skill level

Easy
By
Average: 5 (1 vote)
Yum

The chickpeas are the main ingredient in this recipe, which is why we use dry chickpeas. If you don't have access to dried chickpeas, you can use canned chickpeas, but believe me when I say it won't taste the same.

Ingredients

  • 250 g dry chickpeas (will make 500 g after cooking)
  • ½ tsp bicarbonate of soda

Tahini sauce

  • 500 g natural Greek yoghurt
  • 4 garlic cloves, finely crushed
  • 170-200 g tahini
  • Juice of 3 lemons
  • Salt, to taste

Bread

  • Lebanese flatbreads, roughly chopped into squares about the size of a 50-cent coin (allow about ½ flatbread per person), with a few pieces cut into narrow strips, for garnish
  • 400 ml sunflower oil for frying, or olive oil for baking

To garnish and serve

  • Cumin powder
  • Raw nuts (pine nut, cashew, shredded almond or pistachio)
  • 70 g butter, olive oil or ghee
  • Sweet paprika powder
  • Chili flakes, optional
  • Red chilli paste, optional (see Note)
  • Fresh pomegranate seeds, optional
  • fresh mint, pickled cucumber, pickled chillies and spring onion, to serve

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.

Instructions

Soaking time: overnight (10-12 hours)

  1. To cook chickpeas: Soak them overnight or for 10-12 hours, then drain and rinse before adding to a big pot with about 8 cm of water above the chickpeas. Bring to boil.
  2. Reduce heat to low, and simmer chickpeas until they reach your desired tenderness (firm on the outside but soft on the inside). This usually takes 2 hours. While cooking, you may notice a foam develop. Remove by skimming the surface of the water with a metal spoon. After 2 hours, add the bicarbonate of soda and continue to simmer for another 30 minutes or until the peel is quite soft; add water if required (chickpeas should always be covered with water). When cooked, drain, reserving the water.
  3. To prepare the tahini sauce, whisk together the yoghurt, garlic, tahini and lemon juice (you are aiming for a medium consistency sauce). Season with salt to taste.
  1. After you've chopped the bread, you have three choices: Allow the pieces to dry overnight, or for few hours in an uncovered tray (the original method); deep fry them in a pan and set them aside on baking paper to absorb the oil; or drizzle them with olive oil and bake them in the oven until golden brown.
  2. Heat the nuts in butter (or oil or ghee) until golden. 
  3. To assemble, take a bowl or deep large plate and layer the components. Start with the dry or crisp flatbread squares, add pinch of salt and cumin, drizzle over about 3-4 generous tablespoons of the chickpea water, add the chickpea on the top of the bread, then add the tahini sauce.
  4. Drizzle the nuts and oil all over the fatteh. Top with the extra crisp bread strips, pomegranate seeds, cumin and paprika powder, if you like.
  5. Serve immediately with some fresh mint, pickled cucumber, pickled chillies, spring onion and chilli paste.

 

 

Photography, styling and food preparation by Racha Abou Alchamat.