Spicy Chickpea Fatta

With Date Molasses

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Preparation info

  • Difficulty

    Medium

  • Serves

    2

    as a snack

Appears in

Spirit & Spice

By Ghillie Basan

Published 2019

  • About

In Arabic, the word ‘fatta’ refers to the crumbling or breaking of toasted flat bread into small pieces, which are sometimes then soaked in stock but always form the base of a layered meat or vegetable dish topped with yogurt. Simple and tasty, fatta dishes provide a filling snack for labourers in the field, bus and taxi drivers in the city, children coming home from school – quick and nutritious, they fill a hunger hole. When I prepared these chickpeas for the photoshoot of this book, we had to take a break while the photographer and publisher cleaned the plate! ‘Better than nachos’ was the verdict from my greedy guests.

Ingredients

For the yogurt

  • 3–4 tablespoons thick, creamy yogurt
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the Chickpeas

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 red onion, finely sliced
  • 1 x 400 g/14 oz tin of chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 1 teaspoon Harissa Paste
  • 1–2 teaspoons tomato paste
  • a drizzle of honey
  • 2 teaspoons dried mint
  • juice of ½ a lemon
  • sumac for sprinkling
  • a small bunch of flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

To Serve

  • 3–4 tablespoons date molasses
  • 1 teaspoon pul biber, Aleppo or Urfa chilli, or fine dried chilli flakes
  • 2 pitta breads, or other flat breads
  • 1–2 tablespoons tahini

Method

Beat the yogurt with the garlic, season to taste and put aside.

Heat the oil in a frying pan and stir in the cumin seeds and onion for two minutes. Toss in the chickpeas, harissa, tomato paste, a drizzle of honey and the dried mint. Cook the chickpeas for a couple of minutes to make sure they are heated through and well coated in the sauce, then stir in the lemon juice and sumac. Season to taste and toss in most of the fresh parsley.

In a small pan heat the date molasses with the chillies. Turn the heat off before it boils. Quickly toast the pitta breads, break them up with your fingers, and arrange them on two plates.

Pile the spicy chickpeas on top of the pitta pieces, and then spoon the yogurt on top. Drizzle the tahini over the top, followed by the date syrup and finish off with the rest of parsley. Tuck in while the chickpeas and date syrup are still warm to enjoy the spices with the cooling yogurt.