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Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Fetteh - Moroccan Chick Pea with Crispy Flatbread

Ever since hearing about, and then dining at Morrocan Soup Bar not long ago, I have been wanting to try my own Fetteh.  The dish is affectionately known as "the chick pea thing from Moroccan Soup bar" - you can even succesfully Google that phrase, believe it or not.  I had a look at many a blogger's posts on their takes and wondered why I had never come across Fetteh before.  Well the secret's out - and I'm telling everybody, well, anyone who reads this blog, mostly!  The dish is called Moroccan Chickpea Bake but only baking done in my version is to crisp the flatbreads (still tasts pretty good though!)
In a nutshell, Fetteh is crispy flatbreads topped with spiced chickpea and seasoned yoghurt, finished with a garnish of burnt butter and almonds - in a word "Delish"  
When creating my version of Fetteh I decided that it called for the very best ingredients and I would somehow have to traverse the globe for these (cue the adventure theme music).    
My foodie friend and certified taste tester, Miss A was kind enough to source some very fine yoghurt - and she went all out.  The end product used was from Schulz Organic of Timboon in Victoria's south-west, (click on the name to find out more) and it was a delicious creamy yoghurt that just oozed "specialty".  
Next, the tahini was a product Lebanon, and I found it was oiler and runnier.  This is essential for combining with the yoghurt, as the harder the tahini, the more cumbersome the task of mixing.
The burnt butter came courtesy of the neighbours across the Tasman Sea - New Zealand.  It is a nutty and salted butter with a very creamy taste and just finished superbly when drizzled on this dish.
And finally, I would have to mention the sweet paprika hails from none other than, Hungary, and it's fragrance is one of my favourites.  
Of course you do not have to be as pedantic as me (I am a bit nuts when it comes to food!).  Source the best ingredients your budget allows, and most of these ingredients are readily available at supermarkets.  Thankfully, I have friends like Miss A - who is well versed in yoghurt culture (pun intended!), and access to European delicatessens and Middle Eastern groceries - it all makes my food journey more authentic.  The local supermarket, however, does have a few surprises these days, stocking their shelves with international goods that were a rarity to find not long ago.
I really liked how this dish turned out and especially how simple it was to prepare.  I am looking forward to a return visit to Moroccan Soup Bar to compare once again - but I think I hit the mark here with "My Rockin' Fetteh" (cue bad joke theme music).       
Ingredients, to serve four as a main
4 x Lebanese flatbreads 
Olive Oil
Grind of Salt
2 x Bay leaves
1 Stick X Cinnamon
3 x Cloves
2 x 400g tins Chickpeas, washed and drained
3 tsp x Baharat (see note)

250ml x Stock (Chicken or Vegetable if you want to keep this strictly vegetarian)½ tsp x Garlic powder
3 tbsp x Tahini paste
5 tbsp x Natural Yoghurt, (the best you can find)
50g x Butter, chilled and sliced (this assures even melting)
3 tbsp x Slivered Almonds, toasted
1 tsp x Sweet Paprika
Fresh parsley
Preheat the oven to 180C
Brush a little olive oil on the flatbread and bake till crisp (this can take up to 15 minutes)
Remove from oven, allow to cool, then break into shards and reserve

Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a deep pan and add the bay leaves, cinnamon and cloves
Fry for 30 seconds then add the drained chickpeas and stir in the baharat  

Pour in the stock and bring to a gentle boil
Cook on medium heat for 10 -15 minutes or until the liquid reduces to a third
Sprinkle in the garlic powder and stir to mix through
In a small bowl beat the tahini and yoghurt together to a smooth mix
Remove the chick peas from the heat and discard whole spices
Fold through 2 tbsp of the tahini and yoghurt mix

When you are almost ready to serve prepare the burnt butter garnish
Heat the butter heating gently until it is is evenly melted, stir or shake the pan to assist
Once the frothy bubbling subsides then the butter will go from golden to brown very  quickly
Remove the butter from the heat when the colour changes to brown and it has a nutty fragrance
Stir in the toasted slivered almonds and reserve to a small bowl 

To assemble the dish, place the broken flatbread shallow serving dish 
Top with the warm chickpea mix followed by a drizzling of the remaining tahini and yoghurt mix
Sprinkle the paprika over the dish
Finally use a teaspoon to distribute the almonds 
And evenly pour on the burnt butter 
Add a final garnish of parsley and place in the centre of the table for everyone to dig in.

Note: Baharat translates to “spices” in Arabic and can be purchased from Middle Eastern grocers. For the Westerners it is packaged as the product Baharat spice which literally translates to “Spices Spice”. Since I have a well stocked spice cupboard, I make my own. See the recipe below. Baharat can also be used to flavour burger patties or even as a rub on lamb chops before they are grilled or barbequed.
2 tbsp x Black peppercorns
2 tbsp x Cumin seeds
1 tbsp x Coriander
1 tbsp x Cloves
½ tsp x Cardamom seeds, ground
1 stick x Cinnamon
2 tbsp x Sweet Paprika
1 tsp x Nutmeg powder

Place all whole spices into a spice grinder or mortar and pestle and grind to a fine powder then mix in the paprika and nutmeg
Store in an airtight jar


leaf (the indolent cook) said...

Oh yes, this is certainly a favourite from the Moroccan Soup Bar! Well done on replicating it, certainly looks very delicious!

Adrienne said...

i had this for lunch and can vouch that it is totally, absolutely delicious!!! :)

Anonymous said...

Since finding this recipe here a couple of months ago I have made it almost every week. I veganized it by using coconut yoghurt and frying the slivered almonds in coconut oil , sounds weird but there is no discernible coconut's just heavenly. I was always a bit out of sorts when dining with friends at the Moroccan Soup Bar as they always pronounced this dish the most delicious yet I couldn't try it...thanks for leading me to heaven!