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Fetteh (or The Moroccan Soup Bar’s Chickpea Bake)

September 26, 2009

For those who don’t live in Melbourne, there’s this restaurant called the Moroccan Soup Bar which is rather famous. It’s this little place in Fitzroy that people will line up at for hours to get a table because they don’t take bookings. They serve very nice home-style vegetarian Moroccan food. But the thing everyone raves about, the thing that keeps us all coming back to wait in the cold is their Chickpea Bake.

A little while back I went there to dinner with some friends. We had a  great time, but after Simon and I discussed how if we could just crack that chickpea bake there’d be no need to jump through all the hoops to get a table at the Soup Bar. And after all, how hard can it be? We know the three main ingredients – chickpeas, bread and yoghurt.

To cut a long story short we gave it a shot and were 99% right. I’ve since done some research and the dish is called Fetteh. And here it is!

You’ll need

  • 1 piece of pita bread
    1 clove garlic
    1 tin of organic chickpeas (I think the organic part is important, they’re much softer)
  • 300-350 grams of yoghurt
  • 2 tbsp of olive oil
  • a pinch of cumin
  • a pinch of paprika
  • 30g of slivered almonds
  • A squeeze of lemon

To cook
Firstly, preheat your oven to quite a high temperature. Separate the pita bread and then toast it in the oven until nice and crunchy. Break it up into smallish pieces and set aside. Next, put the chickpeas and yoghurt in a saucepan and simmer until they’re warmed through (make sure they’re tender). If you can be bothered, you can rub the skins off the chickpeas first. It takes a bit of time and I don’t think it changes the flavour, but the texture of the overall dish will be better because you won’t have bits of chickpea skin floating around.

While your chickpeas are heating through, heat up the olive oil and gently fry the garlic, cumin, paprika and almonds. Careful not to let them burn. Once golden take them off the heat.

To put it together, layer the chickpeas and pita bread in a large bowl. Pour the olive oil mixture over the top and give it a squeeze of lemon. Then serve it straight away or the bread will get soggy!

When I first tried making it before researching it I used labna instead of yoghurt. It was pretty good, but not runny enough. I actually think a mixture of labna and yoghurt would work really well. You can also put some fresh herbs like parsley or coriander on top, or some fresh tomato.

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Fetteh # 2

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6 Comments leave one →
  1. September 26, 2009 6:42 pm

    This just in: at the Soup Bar they might use tahini (… have to give that a go!

  2. Thea permalink
    October 10, 2009 2:41 am

    I am so excited to make this. thank you!
    love tip

  3. October 10, 2009 5:10 pm

    Did you ever go to the Soup Bar when in Melb??

    • Cris permalink
      October 10, 2009 6:52 pm

      This is so much much more than the sum of its parts. Quite surprising. and unbelievably good comfort good. With only yoghurt in the fridge this made a perfect meal. And I don’t even have that chickpea love affair thing that is out there.

  4. Thea permalink
    October 14, 2009 2:57 am

    No, I didn’t go to the soup bar.
    Speaking of this sort of thing, a ‘Moroccan Buffet’ has opened in Leduc. Weird, and a little bit scary. Possibly, however, it’s the real deal because only someone with no idea about semi-rural alberta could think it’s a good idea to open an restaurant of exotic tendencies in Leduc.

  5. December 10, 2009 9:07 pm

    Heh, we tried this as well – it’s such an impressive dish. And hard to replicate!

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