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Recipe: 'Abu Hadi's Fattet Hummus'

Abu Hadi's Fattet Hummus, or Chickpea Fatteh, from <em>Day of Honey.</em>
Courtesy Annia Ciezadlo
Abu Hadi's Fattet Hummus, or Chickpea Fatteh, from Day of Honey.

Abu Hadi's Fattet Hummus
Chickpea Fatteh
Serves 2 generously

The key to this deceptively simple dish is getting all the elements ready as quickly as possible. Abu Hadi's version of this popular Levantine dish is a little different from the typical Beirut one, reflecting his Damascus upbringing. I have taken some liberties with his recipe, such as heating the cumin and paprika in the butter, and adding olive oil. I'm sure Abu Hadi would forgive me; he likes to experiment with new flavors.

1 3/4 cups cooked chickpeas or one 15-ounce can*
2 cloves garlic
1 teaspoon coarse sea salt
2 teaspoons lemon juice (about 1/4 lemon)
1 1/2 tablespoons tahini
2 1/2 cups whole milk yogurt
1 large or 2 medium (six-inch) day-old pitas, two halves separated
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons pine nuts
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon dried mint

* Approximately 2/3 cup dried.

Small cooking pot
2 small bowls
1 or 2 serving bowls (I recommend glass)
Small skillet

1. Rinse the chickpeas and rub them very lightly between your hands to remove as many of the skins as possible. Warm them in a small cooking pot with 1/4 inch water over very low heat. Add more water if necessary.

2. In a small bowl, mash the garlic and salt together with a pestle until they make a smooth paste. Add the lemon juice and stir until you have a loose slurry. Set aside.

3. Take half of the lemon-garlic mixture and put it in a second bowl. Add the tahini and mix until smooth. Add the yogurt and whisk until fully combined. Set aside.

4. Toast or fry the pita halves until just golden brown (for a step-by-step explanation, see the recipe for fattoush, page 329). When they are cool enough to handle, break them into bite-sized pieces—roughly ½-inch squares or triangles. Set aside half of them. Layer the other half on the bottom of a serving bowl.

5. Pour the chickpeas with their cooking liquid into the bowl with the remaining lemon-garlic slurry. Mix them until coated thoroughly, mashing about half the beans with the pestle. Dump them in your serving bowl on top of the toasted bread. Top with the yogurt mixture.

6. Melt the butter in a small skillet over medium heat with the olive oil. Add the pine nuts and toast, shaking the pan so they cook evenly, until golden brown. Add the paprika and cumin and stir gently to coat. Dump the nuts on top of the yogurt and top with the remaining toasted bread. Garnish with dried mint, and if desired, dust with more cumin and paprika.

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Annia Ciezadlo