Mysterious Chickpea Bake

November 28th, 2006

This one goes out to Claire Pettigrew in Frenchieland, where I hope she is eating many delicious things. Thanks to the Moroccan Soup Bar on Brunswick St in Melbourne for the recipe. My reverse-engineered version is never as good as the real thing, so I recommend heading there if you get the chance. I’m calling this the mysterious chickpea bake because it tastes so much better than you’d imagine from such a simple list of ingredients.


Can of chickpeas
Few slices of lebanese bread, torn into pieces the width of a doorknob
About half a pack of flaked almonds
1-2 cups of a mildly flavoured vegetable like eggplant or zucchini (I usually use eggplant), chopped into smallish cubes
Few cloves of garlic
Small onion
vege stock cube/powder
salt & black pepper
Few cups of thick, creamy yoghurt
Olive oil, for frying


Finely chop the garlic & dice the onion. Saute in olive oil over a low heat in a saucepan, until they start to get transparent. Add the eggplant and fry lightly, then add the chickpeas, a little water, & the stock (add a little salt & pepper at this stage). Bring to the boil, then simmer until the eggplant is soft and most of the liquid has evaporated. Set aside.

Coat the bottom of a frypan with olive oil (or a mix of olive & something cheaper), and fry the almonds until golden brown (watch them carefully – they burn easily!) Remove the almonds but leave the oil in the pan.

Mix the almonds, eggplant & chickpeas, & yoghurt together in a baking dish. Pop into a warm oven, just long enough to heat the dish through (don’t leave it in too long or turn it up too high or the yoghurt will curdle).

Meanwhile, add some more oil to the pan and fry the lebanese bread until golden brown & crunchy (you’ll have to do it in a few lots – don’t skimp on the oil or it will go soggy later). Drain.

Take the chickpea bake out of the oven, stir the fried lebanese bread through, and serve with a little paprika sprinkled on top. Eat straight away, as the bread goes soft pretty quickly.

This is great served with fatoush, baba ganoush, and lebanese bread. Or with warm rice mixed with toasted shredded coconut, mint & currants.