Recipes: Avocado Balila

The Avocado Balila is part of Pita Jungle’s current seasonal menu that digs deep in the roots of Levantine cuisine, focusing on rustic dishes from the coastal ranges around the Lebanon. Bassel Osmani, one of the co-founders of Pita Jungle and creators of the Seasonal Kitchen Crafts menu that the recipe is a part of, wrote that “Levantine cuisine refers to a delicious interpretation of the Mediterranean diet along the shores of the eastern Mediterranean Sea, and adjacent territories. Heavily inspired by the historical Ottoman’s presence for some four hundred years among other things, a locally rich agriculture benefitted from the cultural culinary diversity of an empire that spanned large swathes of Europe, Africa, and Asia.”

Recipe courtesy Pita Jungle.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 16 ounces of cooked or canned chickpeas
  • 4 cloves of minced garlic
  • 2 teaspoons of cumin
  • 4 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons of lemon juice
  • ½ cup chopped tomatoes
  • ½ cup of chopped cucumbers
  • ½ cup chopped onion
  • ½ cup chopped bell peppers
  • ½ avocado cubed
  • 2 green onions (chopped)
  • Fresh parsley
  • Pita chips and tortilla chips or blue corn chips

DIRECTIONS:

  1. In a sauté pan heat up 2 tablespoons of olive oil and sweat the garlic, don’t let it brown.
  2. Remove from fire and stir in 1 teaspoon of cumin then set aside.
  3. In 1/4 cup of water heat up the garbanzo beans.
  4. Drain the water.
  5. Mash the mixture roughly (mash half of the mixture and only roughly mash the other half of the garbanzo mixture preserving half the shape of the garbanzo).
  6. Drizzle on the minced garlic, cumin, olive oil mixture previously made and season to taste.
  7. In a separate bowl fold the chopped tomatoes, chopped cucumbers, onions and bell peppers with 2 tablespoons of olive oil, salt and pepper.

Plating:

  • Put garbanzo mash in the center of the bowl.
  • Top it with the mixed vegetables, and the chopped green onions and cubed avocado.
  • Sprinkle some extra cumin and the lemon juice, and if you like, add a drizzle of olive oil.
  • Add to these ingredients fresh parsley as final garnish.
  • Serve with pita chips and tortilla chips.

Yield: 1 serving

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