What do you mean you haven’t eaten at the Moroccan Soup Bar? This all-veg, no-alcohol, 17-year-old Melbourne institution run by the forthright Hana Assafiri is a “must-do” on any Melbourne eat-list. It gave us the cult of the chickpea bake and introduced sweet, warm mint tea and Arabic food to the masses that have plied its welcoming doors. Enjoy this recipe!
3 cups chickpeas, soaked overnight
2 – 3 flatbread rounds
300g plain yoghurt
5 cloves garlic
1 teaspoon tahini
100g slivered almonds
Parsley, finely chopped to garnish
3 teaspoons coarse salt
1 teaspoon sweet smoked paprika to garnish
Cooking method: Baking
Fill a saucepan with water to cover the chickpeas, about 5 centimetres above the chickpeas. Bring to the boil and cook for about half an hour until softened.
The time will vary greatly depending on the size of the chickpeas and whether they have been soaked overnight, so check them every 15 minutes to ensure they cook properly and remain covered with water.
Preheat the oven to 250°C.
Melt some butter. Lightly toast some flatbread in the oven. Brush the flatbread with butter and place on the oven racks. Allow to bake, checking regularly to ensure it doesn’t burn.
Once lightly toasted, remove and place in a tray. Melt some butter and drizzle over the backed bread. Sprinkle with salt. Turn down the head and bake for further 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, pound the garlic in a mortar and pestle with some coarse salt, until it makes a smooth puree. Add the garlic to the yoghurt and tahini. Stir until well combined.
Remove the bread from the oven and break into chip-sized pieces. With a ladle, drain the hot chickpeas. Add to the bread.
Cover the entire tray with a 2-centimetre layer of chickpeas. Add a thick layer of the yoghurt mixture.
Sprinkle paprika on top of the yoghurt.
Meanwhile, in a frying pan place the remaining butter and slivered almonds, Toast until caramelised.
Immediately pout this mixture over the cold yoghurt. It should make a “tsh” sound when the hot butter meets the cold yoghurt.
Sprinkle with parsley and enjoy