Thursday, January 10, 2008


The popular Tunisian breakfast soup. Born in poverty but fit for kings.

You will see many variations on this. However, the basic idea is simple. Chickpeas, garlic, harissa, cumin, lemon, served over dried bread.

The CC likes to add finely minced onions to give a richer base. (This is also quite traditional.)

Sometimes a soft-boiled egg is cracked open on top. Sometimes olives are added. At other times, capers (all keeping in tune with its essential Mediterranean character.)

The CC serves it with the spiced barley bread, naturellement!


1 large red onion (finely minced)
2 cups chickpeas (soaked overnight)
4-5 cloves garlic (crushed)
1 tbsp harissa
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp caraway
juice of 3-4 lemons
salt to taste

dried crusty bread


Soak the chickpeas overnight.

Cook them (along with the cumin, caraway and some salt) in a pressure cooker till they are almost done. You don't want them too mushy. Some texture is needed. If you don't have a pressure cooker, cook them over a medium heat in a stockpot. You will need to keep skimming the top.

The cooked chickpeas.

Fry the onions and garlic at medium heat.

Add the harissa, and continue frying. At this point in time, you will sneeze from the intense smell. Do not be alarmed. This is completely normal. (If you don't sneeze, you haven't used enough harissa because you are a wimp, and the Universe will resonate in sheer glee at the extent of your wimpitude!)

The fried mixture.

Add the chickpeas, and mash gently with a masher. Let it simmer at medium heat for 10 minutes. You will need to stir periodically.


Lablabi (served with olives and a lemon wedge)


Raj said...

Looking at the pictures of "Lablabi", I am reminded of traditional Indian "Ragda Pattice" served with tamrind or date chutney with corriander chutney.

Wondering how pattice topped "Lablabi" with olive to go taste.
I love olives.

ShockingSchadenfreude said...

It would definitely be delicious.

The texture is just sligtly more soupy than ragda but not much. It would work amazingly well.