Was It A Football or a Chickpea World Cup!

This recipe, reminds me so much of Mondials or (Football World Cups) and anything football games!

Because in Amman, as I was growing up, whenever there was a football games season, all coffee shops would offer Baleela as a snack to have with the Shisha or the drinks you have while watching. This dish is also very reminiscent of Ramadan, as all Ramadan tents and restaurants over there will have Baleela on offer, especially for Suhoor. Such good times!

Baleela is a very old and traditional Levantine recipe of stewed whole chickpeas. It is usually seasoned with cumin and coriander. Aromatised ever so slightly with garlic and garnished with fried pine nuts. The traditional recipe uses clarified butter as a staple flavour and some people will add chopped onions too. I do not add any of the latter two, I have amazing Olive Oil that opens up the flavours of chickpea like nothing else can. I also sometimes add a spoon of my green shatta to the whole for a kick and because it just pairs absolutely phenomenally with the chickpeas. I also toast the pinenuts instead of frying them, by now I guess you know that is what I do with but generally. Finally a squeeze of fresh lemon lifts up anything it touches and especially hummus benefits from that bite, along with my olive oil that hummus swims in so much happiness and you can’t miss it! So you can say, I have come up with this recipe, as my version. Give it a try I really think you will love it my way.

Since Ramadan is approaching, and also since summer has kicked in full force this season, we will be looking for light meal recipes, and also for salads for our delicious Iftar Buffets. As such and sticking with the whole olive oil, hummus and lemon (all the Levantine staples), I have also included for you a recipe video for one of my favourite salads. I make it with Quinoa though instead of bulgur, simply because I am intolerant to wheat! However, if you are not, the toasted bulgur is something to sing songs for… so many delicious options…

Enjoy 🙂


  • 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp DS Cumin Mix
  • 1 dried lumy (dried lime)
  • salt & black pepper
  • 1 cardamom pod
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 800g cooked or canned chickpeas
  • 1 liter water
  • 1/4 cup tbsp DS Premium Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 3 tbsp Toasted pine nuts
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 tsp DS Green Shatta (green chili sauce, optional for spicy)
  • These recipes are great for Suhoor during Ramadan.
  • Make sure the chickpeas are cooked and soft.
  • You can use the traditional earthenware for making this if you have one, or a slow cooker (works very well here too), otherwise just your regular, heavy bottom cooking pot will do.


In a cook pot, place the cooked chickpeas, all the spices and season with salt and black pepper.

Add the water and bring the mixture to the boil.

Continue to boil for 10 minutes, then reduce the heat, add the garlic and simmer until the liquid is reduced by half.

Remove from the heat and sprinkle with the olive oil and the toasted pine nuts.

Pour into bowls and sprinkle with the lemon juice, toasted pine nuts and a fresh pinch of cumin.

Serve warm.

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