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Smashed lemon chickpeas (malezeye)


Serves 6 as part of a meze Akra restaurant in the old souk of Tripoli transforms the humble chickpea into a series of divine dishes. It is located in a fabulous old Ottoman building, with seating for up to 350 diners. You can choose from the classic hummus, one with meat, ful – a dish of mashed broad beans – and this one. Like the classic hummus recipe, malezeye is made with chickpeas, but it has more lemon. It’s not blitzed until completely smooth so there is more texture and it feels somewhat lighter to eat. — 300g (dry weight) chickpeas,

soaked overnight

— ½ tsp bicarbonat­e of soda

— 2 garlic cloves, peeled

— 120g tahini

— juice of 1½ lemons

— 60g butter

— 1 tsp Aleppo-pepper flakes

— 50g almonds, toasted

— 50g cashews, toasted Drain the chickpeas in a colander and give them a quick rinse. Tip them into a saucepan and cover with a few inches of cold water. Add the bicarbonat­e of soda and bring to the boil over a high heat. The bicarbonat­e of soda causes a mad rush of bubbles, so keep an eye on the pan and skim them off. Once boiling, reduce the heat to low and cook for 1½-2 hours, or until the chickpeas are really soft, adding more boiling water if needed. Drain the chickpeas in a colander placed over a mixing bowl to reserve the cooking liquid.

Put 150g of the chickpeas into a large mixing bowl and tip the rest into a food processor. Add the garlic, tahini, 200ml of the cooking liquid, the lemon juice and a really good pinch of salt. Blend into a lumpy-looking dip.

If it seems too thick, add a little more of the cooking liquid and pulse together. Transfer to the bowl with the whole chickpeas and mix well.

Melt the butter in a small pan over a medium heat. Add the Aleppo-pepper flakes and a pinch of salt. Mix well and remove from the heat. Leave for 30 seconds to infuse.

Tip the malezeye into a serving bowl and then swirl it around with a spoon to spread out. Drizzle with the melted butter and scatter over the almonds and cashews. Serve immediatel­y.

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