"This dish reminds me of home back in Lebanon. Probably 90 per cent of people who live in Tripoli have this dish for breakfast. It’s always served on one big plate that friends, family and neighbours share," says Habib Akra of Jasmin 1 restaurant. You will need a 1.5 L round baking dish for this recipe.
- 1 onion, quartered
- 100 g (½ cup) dried chickpeas, soaked overnight
- 2 cinnamon quills
- 1 tbsp olive oil, plus extra, to drizzle
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed
- 1 tsp ground allspice
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- ½ tsp ground cardamom
- 400 g minced lamb
- 1 tbsp pomegranate molasses (see Note)
- 2 Lebanese breads
- 2 tbsp pine nuts, toasted
- ¼ tsp sweet paprika
- ¼ cup flat-leaf parsley, chopped
- pickled turnips (see Note) and green olives, to serve
- 560 g (2 cups) natural yoghurt
- 1 garlic clove, crushed
- 1 large lemon, juiced
- 2 tsp tahini
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.
Soaking time overnight
Place 1 onion quarter in a small pan with drained chickpeas and 1 cinnamon quill. Cover with 750 ml water and bring to the boil. Reduce heat to medium and cook, covered, for 30 minutes or until chickpeas are tender.
Meanwhile, finely chop remaining onion. Heat oil in a frying pan over medium heat. Add onion and cook for 5 minutes or until softened. Add garlic, spices and remaining cinnamon, and cook for 30 seconds or until fragrant. Add lamb and cook, breaking up with a wooden spoon, for 7 minutes or until browned. Add pomegranate molasses and 125 ml water, and cook for 2 minutes or until liquid reduces slightly. Remove from heat.
To make sauce, combine all ingredients in a bowl. Season with salt and pepper.
Preheat oven to 220 °C. Place the breads on a rack in the oven and bake for 5 minutes or until lightly golden and crisp. Set aside.
Drain chickpeas, reserving 80 ml water and discarding cinnamon and onion. Reserve 2 tbsp chickpeas to serve. Using your hands, break bread into 4 cm pieces and place in a 1.5 L round baking dish. Drizzle with reserved water, one-third of yoghurt sauce and top with lamb mixture, chickpeas and remaining yoghurt sauce. Bake for 10 minutes or until heated through. Scatter over reserved chickpeas, pine nuts, paprika and parsley. Drizzle with extra oil and serve with pickles and olives.
• Pomegranate molasses is available from select delis and Middle Eastern food shops.
• Pickled turnips are available from Middle Eastern food shops.