FoodLife & Style

Ramadan recipes: Shamy tiss’eya

When I moved from Syria to Egypt, the thing I missed most was Syrian cuisine. I spent days and nights dreaming of the beautiful ma’luba (rice, meat and aubergine layered like a cake then flipped upside down) and the glorious mefaraket batata (cubes of potato cooked with onion, lemon and meat). The dish I missed most, however, was Syrian tiss'eya.

Tiss’eya is a traditional Syrian entree served on Friday morning at the weekly family breakfast. My mother used to soak the chickpeas the night before and wake up early to create the marvelous dish.

When I went to Syria last year, I learned the recipe from my sisters but managed to do something wrong every time. I mixed too much salt with the bread. I added too much lemon juice to the sauce. There was always too much bread or too few chickpeas.

Finally, to my own surprise, I managed to pull this recipe off at an iftar gathering for Al-Masry Al-Youm English Edition staff. I proudly present you with the recipe, which is perfect for both hungry peope breaking their fast and those looking for a light, yet filling meal–or the vegetarian looking for a new way to cook chickpeas.

1/2kg chickpeas
1/2kg missabaha (hommos naaem)–-chickpeas with smushed garlic, yoghurt, and tahina
3 cloves of garlic
1 lemon
1 shamy bread
Ghee or butter
Pine nuts

1. Soak chickpeas for 24 hours.
2. Boil until well done.
3. Add lemon and salt to missabaha and mix well.
4. Cut bread into small pieces.
5. Salt the bread pieces and cover with boiled chickpeas.
6. Make sure that the soup of the chickpeas has covered the bread so it is wet with chickpea broth but not soaked.
7. Smush the garlic well and spread over bread and chickpeas.
8. Take misabaha and cover the dish with it–a layer over the bread and the chickpeas.
9. Add spices over the top.
10. Take butter and melt it well with pine nuts until the pine nuts brown–drizzle misabaha with hot butter and pine nuts.

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