Chickpea and barberry stew

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Simple, sweet and sour.

A lovely chickpea and barberry stew / mezze dish. Instead of the turmeric try adding a pinch of asfur (the cheaper saffron) and try adding a thinly sliced shallot at the same time as adding the garlic. Apple or grape molasses would also work well here.


1/2 kilo cooked weight chick peas

3 tbsp of pomegranate molasses

Finely chopped skin of half a preserved lemon (optional)

1 handful barberries

1 tsp of ground coriander

1 heaped tsp turmeric

1 tsp ground cumin

1/2 tsp maple syrup

Water or vegetable stock

1 tsp red wine vinegar

Garlic – 4 cloves thinly sliced

Olive oil


Place the barberries in approximately 200ml water along with the red wine vinegar and the maple syrup for  at least 5 minutes, ideally twenty. Drain and reserve the liquid.

Put a saucepan on medium heat and pour in 100ml of olive oil. Add the garlic and onions if using and fry until golden but not burnt. Add the chickpeas, all the spices, 250 ml of vegetable stock and then the pomegranate molasses. Simmer for twenty minutes or until most of the liquid has evaporated, stirring occasionally. A few minutes before the end of the cooking add the barberries and the liquid they were soaking in.

Season with salt to taste.

Once cooled to room temperature add the coriander and a drizzle of olive oil and serve with a big spoon, some rice or couscous and a simple fresh salad.

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