Saturday, July 08, 2006

Chickpea and Pomegranate dip with pitta crisps

Chickpeas, grão de bico, garbanzo. God bless the greeks, romans and egipcians who use to cultivate it a long time ago. And double blessed are the Portuguese and Spanish for spreading it around the world back in the old days. Chickpeas are so full of goodness – well beyond their wonderful flavour. They lower cholesterol, are rich in fibers, have a high level of protein and are low in calorie. The Spanish use them quite a lot in their diet. Good on them. I am a very big fan, and confess to sometimes overdoing it on the ‘nibbling ‘ front. For this dip you can leave the chillies out if you are not into spicy food. It goes really well accompanied by a good yarn with friends and a glass of your favourite wine.

6-8 Pitta bread

100ml extra-virgin olive oil plus extra for the crisp

1kg 200g Chickpeas

1 Lemon, juiced

2 red chillies, seeded and chopped** optional

1 clove garlic, crushed

2 tsp cumin seeds, toasted in a dry frying pan

1 small red onion, finely chopped

A small bunch mint or parsley, finely chopped

Pomegranate molasses thinned down with a bit of water

Heat the oven – 200oC/fan 180oC/gas 6. Cut the pitta into triangles and spread them on a baking sheet. Brush them with olive oil and bake for 7-8 minutes – until golden and crisp.

Put the chickpeas, 100ml olive oil, lemon juice, chilli and garlic in a food processor, season an pulse until crushed. Add the mint/parsley, red onion and cumin seed and pulse it some more. Adjust the seasoning. Drizzle with pomegranate syrup and serve with warm pitta crisps.

I also like having it with a leafy salad. I sometimes thin it down with a bit of olive oil.

Click here for the Portuguese version.


paz said...

I have never had this before! Looks very appetizing. Very nice photo!


valentina said...

Paz, I made mine quite spicy so it was double yummy.