Spicy chickpea, harissa & cheddar pittas

by Sabrina Ghayour

A fusion of east and west from Sabrina Ghayour’s new book, Feasts


1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp coriander seeds
Olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
3 fat garlic cloves, crushed
400g can chickpeas, drained
1 tsp ground turmeric
½ tsp ground cinnamon
1 unwaxed lemon, zest finely grated
Juice of ½ lemon
1 small bunch (about 30g) fresh coriander, finely chopped

To serve:
1 heaped tbsp rose harissa
10 mini pitta breads
150g mature cheddar cheese, coarsely grated


Heat a large, dry frying pan over a medium-high heat, add the cumin and coriander seeds and dry-toast for about 1 min, shaking the pan until they release their aroma and begin to brown a little, taking care not to let them burn. Crush the toasted seeds with a pestle and mortar. Set aside.

Return the frying pan to the hob. Add a good drizzle of olive oil and the onion and fry for 6–8 mins, or until translucent and the edges start to brown. Add the garlic, crushed cumin and coriander mixture, chickpeas, turmeric and cinnamon and mix well. As you stir, lightly mash some (but not all) of the chickpeas to create texture.

Now add the lemon zest and juice and season generously with salt and pepper. Mix well, then remove the pan from the heat. Stir in the coriander, reserving a little to garnish, and set aside.

Put the rose harissa into a bowl and stir in a drizzle of olive oil to loosen the consistency a little. Lightly toast the pittas, just to warm them through. Slice open each pitta and spoon the chickpeas inside. Top with a little of the harissa mixture, some grated cheese and a little of the reserved fresh coriander to finish. Serve immediately.

Recipe: Sabrina Ghayour
Image: Kris Kirkham

From Feasts by Sabrina Ghayour