There are dishes I would like to write a song about. But since I unfortunately sing like a dying rooster and have also not cut a good figure in writing songs so far, I gladly leave this pleasure to you. Balilah is a dish that absolutely deserves its own song! With a good mezze, the warmly served chickpea salad should not be missing.
Balilah: With only a few ingredients to the big taste explosion
For many dishes of Levantine cuisine you only need a handful of ingredients, but from the right combination you get an absolutely crazy aroma spectacle. All you need for Balilah are chickpeas, lemon, parsley, spring onion, pine nuts and a nice amount of the best olive oil. The lemon is used completely – even the peel. This allows you to bring a whole range of citrus flavours to your salad with just one ingredient. The lemon juice provides the necessary acidity. The lemon peel on the other hand gives Balilah the scent of a lemon plantation and a really pleasant bitter note.
Before you now call the salad “Fifty shades of lemon”, you must know that chickpeas are also used twice. A small part of the still warm chickpeas is crushed with garlic, while the rest is added as a whole. This gives the warm salad an absolutely delicious creaminess. And when you come across the roasted pine nuts, you will surely realize how multi-faceted Balilah is. The spice of choice here is cumin, by the way. The ground cumin not only provides a pleasantly hearty taste, but also makes the dish more digestible.
Mezze, starter and main course in one
Balilah is a warm chickpea salad that you can confidently serve as a whole main meal. I can actually eat a lot of it without getting tired of it 😉 You can also put the warm chickpea salad in small bowls and serve it next to hummus, baba ghanoush, falafel and co.
Recipe for Balilah Warm Chickpea Salad
- 500 g cooked chickpeas
- 30 g flat leaf parsley
- 30 g Pine nuts
- 1 Lemon Organic
- 2 Spring onions
- 1 Garlic clove
- 2 tsp Cumin ground
- 100 ml olive oil
- salt, pepper
- Place cooked chickpeas in a saucepan with water (or the liquid from the tin) and simmer for about 10 minutes at medium heat.
- Meanwhile, chop the parsley and cut the spring onions into rings.
- Peel garlic and crush finely in a mortar with a little salt.
- Wash and squeeze the lemon and finely chop one of the squeezed lemon halves.
- Roast the pine nuts for approx. 3 minutes without fat in a pan on high heat while stirring constantly until golden brown and set aside to cool.
- Put crushed garlic in a large salad bowl. Add a quarter of the chickpeas and mash them.
- Add the rest of the chickpeas with all the ingredients and mix well. Season to taste with cumin, salt and pepper.
- Serve Balilah warm with flat bread.
Find out everything you need to know about chickpeas in my guide.