Today’s recipe is inspired by a dish that Tunisians tend to have for breakfast. It has a pleasantly alliterative name – LABLABI (I will forever be a language nerd) – and a mixture of spices I personally really like: cumin, coriander and harissa paste, which is why I’m rather keen on it myself.
Lablabi is a soup or stew that is traditionally topped with an egg (poached or fried) and some capers.
It doesn’t always feature tomatoes, so feel free to skip them if you are not a fan (add a good squeeze of lemon for acidity instead), but as I do love tomato-based stews and the colour is way more attractive too, I opted to use a small amount to give this dish more body.
I also riffed a little bit by adding a touch of smoked paprika and an extra hint of chilli to please my own tastebuds.
I hope you will enjoy it. For us, the Northern Hemisphere dwellers, it’s a timely recipe as it has been rather cold here lately. The test versions went down well with Duncan’s cousin, Syd, so I really hope you will approve of it too!
PS: If you make this vegan chickpea stew, don’t forget to tag me on Instagram as @lazycatkitchen and use the #lazycatkitchen hashtag. I love seeing your takes on my recipes!
Add the diced onion and fry it gently (on a low heat) until almost translucent (for about 7 minutes), stirring from time to time.
Add chopped garlic. Keep on frying gently until the onion is translucent and the garlic softens completely and releases its beautiful aroma (approx. 5 minutes).
Stir all the ground spices into the onion-garlic mixture. Fry them off gently for a minute or two (stirring the whole time) as they tend to burn easily.
Stir harissa paste into the onion and garlic mixture.
Add chopped tomatoes, chickpea brine, stock cube and salt to the pan. Simmer for about 15-25 minutes for the stew to thicken and for the excess moisture to evaporate. Adjust simmering time to achieve the desired thickness. Give the stew a good stir from time to time.
Once the sauce thickens, taste it and season with a generous amount of black pepper, more salt if needed, chilli flakes (if your harissa is quite mild) and some sugar if you find the dish too acidic.
Finally, stir in cooked chickpeas and let them warm through. Serve with toasted or fresh bread, topped with chopped coriander and a dollop of cashew cream if you wish.
*Traditionally chickpea brine (aquafaba / chickpea water) is used for this soup, if you would rather use water feel free but the soup will be thinner, especially if you decide to skip the chopped tomatoes. If you happen to have an opened bottle of wine lying around, feel free to substitute some of the liquid with a glass of red wine too – it may be very unconventional but will taste really nice, promise!