Monday, 19 August 2013

Lebanese Flatbread with Spicy Chickpeas

Lebanese flatbread

This month's Kitchen Nomad box brought me a selection of ingredients from Lebanon, and features a selection of recipes by Bethany Kehdy, author of The Jewelled Kitchen (a beautiful book that I'll be reviewing soon).

Ever since my first visit to Turkey, I've had a bit of a thing for middle eastern food, so many of these ingredients were familiar to me. I was particularly amused to see a pot of freekeh, an ingredient I first cooked with last week, when I served it with spicy roasted vegetables.

Kitchen Nomad - Lebanon

I was inspired by the flatbread recipe which came with the box, but obviously I wanted to make a vegetarian version. I stuck with the basic tomato and onion base, and got the idea of including chickpeas from a blog post over at When Shaikha Cooks. Za'atar is a blend of dried herbs (mostly thyme) with sumac and sesame seeds, which works wonderfully with the earthy taste of chickpeas, especially after adding a little garlic.

Lebanese flatbread

This recipe makes a light flatbread which bubbles up when cooked, and would be great with any number of toppings, or plain as an accompaniment for mopping up excess sauce. While I was working out the quantities for this recipe, I ended up with some spare flatbreads and chickpea mix. I baked these simply with a little grated cheese on top, and that was also delicious, really bringing out the garlic flavour of the spice mix.

Lebanese flatbread

Lebanese Flatbread
Makes 4

For the flatbreads:
150g strong white bread flour
100g strong wholemeal bread flour
½tsp salt
½tsp sugar
½tsp dried fast-acting yeast
125ml (½cup) warm water
2tbsp olive oil

For the topping:
230g chickpeas (cooked and drained)
2tbsp olive oil
2tbsp za'atar blend
1tsp whole cumin seeds
½tsp sumac
2 cloves garlic
8 large tomatoes
2 large onions
1tbsp pomegranate molasses
1tsp chilli flakes
a few fresh mint leaves
  1. Stir together the dry ingredients for the dough.
  2. Add the water a little at a time and bring together, until the dough is not too stiff (but stop before it gets sticky - you may need a little more or less than 125ml, depending on the humidity), then knead for a couple of minutes.
  3. Add the olive oil and knead gently until absorbed.
  4. Set the dough aside to rise for a couple of hours.
  5. Meanwhile, prepare the toppings.
  6. Combine the chickpeas in a bowl with the olive oil, za'atar, cumin, sumac, and crushed garlic. Set aside.
  7. Skin the tomatoes by submerging them in boiling water for a few seconds, then cut in half and scrape out the seeds. Chop the flesh finely.
  8. Squeeze any excess liquid from the chopped tomato.
  9. Finely mince the onion, and combine in a bowl with the chopped tomato.
  10. Add pomegranate molasses and chilli flakes.
  11. Divide the dough into quarters, and roll out each flatbreads to about 2mm thick.
  12. Divide the tomato and onion mixture between the breads, and spread evenly over the surface.
  13. Top the flatbread with the chickpea mixture, being sure to scrape all the oil and spices out of the bowl (you wouldn't want to waste any!).
  14. Roughly chop the fresh mint leaves, and sprinkle over the top of each flatbread.
  15. Bake at 250°C (480°F) for 5 minutes. The bread should puff up a little (especially in any areas which don't have topping) and start to crisp around the edges.
Lebanese flatbread


Ashley @ Wishes and Dishes said...

LOVE chickpeas! This looks awesome!

Gloria Baker said...

This flatbread look amazing and I love chickpeas too!!

Julia | said...

I love Lebanese cuisine and anything with chickpeas. What a treat!

Anonymous said...

we love chickpeas and this is a delicious Middle-eastern treat to have for dinner,thanks for sharing

Lavender and Lime ( said...

The box of ingredients looks amazing! I love using sumac :)

Anne ~ Uni Homemaker said...

I love flatbread, this sounds delicious!

Maureen | Orgasmic Chef said...

Gosh that looks so good. Sumac is a favorite of mine too.

Lucie @ Big Cook Tiny Kitchen said...

So delicious. I've been in a real middle easter mood of late. Made Lahmacun the other day and I reckon this might need to be next on my list!

Anonymous said...

Awesome! I have not tried any Lebanese food and have never used a few of the things in the recipe. Very interesting!

Remya Elizabeth Anish said...

sounds delicious! A new way to do with chick peas...Thanx for sharing the recipe of Lebanese flat bread

Jay said...

looks perfect n yumm
Tasty Appetite

Shaheen said...

Oh I've been wanting to make a vegetarian version of this recipe myself, but with soy mince. I remember watching my late father in law enjoying each mouthful of lachmachan at a Turkish eatery in Northern Cyprus. I asked if they did a veggie version and they did not and that is when I vowed to make one myself. Except I have never got round to doing it. I was in Cardiff this w/e and even found the flatbread, so its on my list to make. I don't know how similar Lebanisese and Turkish food is, but this flatbread reminds me of Turkish Lachmachan and I have to say I am loving your version too. I have most of the ingredients.

Midnight Cowgirl said...

This sounds really good!

Rachel said...

I'm beginning to get very intrigued by the Kitchen Nomad stuff. It's good to be able to enjoy it vicariously!

Subha Subramanian said...

I too love chickpeas.....looks really inviting........


Charlotte Klein said...

Oh, Rachel~YUM! This looks soo goooood! I haven't had za'atar in ages, but I remember it being delicious. Must try this!

Becca @ Amuse Your Bouche said...

This looks incredible!! I've never been too good with yeast but I might have to give this a go :)

Bread and Companatico said...

what a great idea to top a flat bread with chickpeas! this looks heavenly and it goes right into my to-try list. thanks for the visit!

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