It takes a lot of effort for me not to put chickpeas in every recipe I make.
But this time, I swear its warranted.
Meet my friend sabich. If you’re new to the guy, it’s probably because it is often overshadowed by it’s relative, the falafel.
Devoured street-side as a popular fast food in Tel Aviv, sabich is essentially a warm pita stuffed to the gills with fried eggplant, hummus, tahini, and hard boiled eggs.
Whoa, I know, but more on that later.
To veganify this bad boy I didn’t have to look to far before choosing chickpeas as a stand in. Not only are those little spheres protein + fibre powerhouses, but they already show their face a lot in Middle Eastern cuisine. (hello, hummus!)
Anyways, if the combination seems ‘unique’, trust me on this one. One bite of seasoned chickpeas, garlicky tahini, spicy zhug (rustic herby green hot sauce) held together by a warm pita is enough to make you question falafels’ very existence.
Traditionally done in a generous amount of oil (yum), I paired down the grease for this recipe as much as I could. While the results are still delicious, it may just mean a little more time in the pan for these bad boys.
Don’t rush them- they’re worth it!
Zhug is another Middle Eastern treasure that muddles together fresh herbs, spicy chilis and some acidity. You’re going to want more zhug in your life.
Alright friends, I hope this loving monologue is enough to get your warming your pitas. Send me a tag on instagram if you get around to making this deliciousness!
- 1 Italian eggplant, cut into half moons
- 1 heaping cup of chickpeas
- 2 tbsp neutral oil
- 1/2 tsp sumac
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 1/4 tsp paprika
- 1/4 tsp ground cumin
- 1/4 tsp ground coriander
- sea salt
- 1 Serrano pepper, finely minced
- 1/4 cup cilantro, finely minced
- 1/4 cup parsley, finely minced
- juice from 1/2 a lemon
- 1 small shallot or clove of garlic, finely minced
- 1 tbsp of olive oil
- pinch of salt
- 2 tbsp tahini
- water to thin
- juice from 1/4 of a lemon
- 1/4 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp nutritional yeast (optional but delicious)
- Sea salt
- 2 medium sized pitas
- 1 baby cucumber, small diced
- 1 tomato, sliced into wedges
- Heat 2 tbsp of oil in a large pan over medium high heat. Add the eggplant and cook for 8-12 minutes, until it is golden on the outside and very soft on the inside (wont be completly cooked yet).
- Add the chickpeas and the spices. Season with salt and stir well to coat everything in the spices. Cook for another 4-6 minutes, tossing once in a while, until the eggplant is very soft and beginning to fall apart.
- While this is all happening, make the tahini sauce. Put the tahini in a medium bowl and add water, 1 tbsp at a time, until a dreamy creamy consistency is reached. I like to do this by running it under the tap and whisking furiously. Yum.
- Make the zhug by adding everything into a small bowl and mixing to combine. Add more olive oil if you like a really saucy sauce.
- When the eggplant and chickpea is ready, cover the pan with something to keep warm and warm up your pita breads in the meantime. You can use a pan, the broiler or the microwave.