This recipe is a popular breakfast dish all over the Levant and dates back as far as the time of the Crusaders. I prefer to have this on a hot summer night as it's light and refreshing. Serve it individually or on a large platter for everyone to share, mezza-style. As we say in Arabic, sahtan – enjoy in good health.
- 1 cup (200 g) dried chickpeas, soaked overnight
- 1 “loaf” (90 g) Lebanese bread
- 2 cloves garlic
- 500 g Greek or European style yoghurt
- ¼ cup (40 g) pine nuts
- 2 tbsp (40 g) unsalted butter
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.
The following recipe has been tested and edited by SBS Food and may differ slightly from the podcast.
Soaking time Overnight
Place chickpeas in a large bowl and cover with 4 cups (1 litre) of cold water, soak overnight.
Preheat oven to 160ºC. Drain chickpeas, rinse and place in a large saucepan with 6 cups (1.5 litres) water. Bring to the boil (watch it doesn’t boil over), turn down heat, skim off any scum, cover and simmer gently for approximately 30 minutes until just tender. Strain chickpeas, reserving some of the liquid, add ½ tsp salt, mix to combine and set aside until cool.
Meanwhile, toast the bread in the oven for 8-10 mins, or until golden, cool and crumble into chip sized pieces. Alternatively, brush a layer of bread with olive oil and toast in the oven until golden, then crumble. Or break into pieces and fry quickly in 2cm oil, drain.
Crush the garlic with 1 tsp salt in a mortar and pestle, or on a board with the back of a knife, until it becomes a paste. In a glass or ceramic bowl, combine mashed garlic and yoghurt, mix well.
Just before serving, place a frying pan over medium heat and toast the pine nuts until they just change colour. Stirring constantly, add the butter and cook until the butter is browned and fragrant. Remove from heat immediately.
On a serving plate, spread a layer of broken bread, a layer of chickpeas, then the yoghurt. Finally, top with the warm buttered pine nuts.
Photography by Alan Benson