In Cyprus, we call this dish “revithkia”. It is a dish that my family makes all the time (too often according to the younger ones in the family). It also happens to be a fasting dish, which means it is eaten a lot during Lent, which happens to be right now in Cyprus. I first fell in love with this dish when my aunt made it for me in London. I asked her for the ingredients and recipe in order to make it for lunch the next day, and somehow got confused, because I didn’t realize you had to soak the chickpeas first before you made the dish. Which meant in the end I didn’t have “revithkia” for lunch, but for dinner. But now I know. This dish does take time to prepare, but the good thing about it, is that it is a lot of time where you do nothing. As long as you remember to soak the chickpeas overnight, you essentially throw everything else in a pot and let it roast for 1 & 1/2 to 2 hours. A lot of people make “revithkia” on the stove in Cyprus, but I prefer it in the oven because I can do other things while they are cooking. I also eat this dish so often that it was a matter of time before it evolved in my kitchen. If you add heat to this dish, it is really quite spectacular how much it intensives the flavours in this dish, without taking away from the “traditional” tastes that I come to expect from it. Anyway, I hope you are enjoying the start of spring in Cyprus, my absolute favourite time of the year (perhaps because it is also my birthday next month!). Enjoy!
Cooking Time: 1 & 1/2 to 2 hours (excluding 12 hours soaking time)
Serves: four people
1 & 1/2 cups dried chick peas (soaked overnight)
1 medium red onion, sliced
1 teaspoon Mitsides Tomato Paste
1/2 can Mitsides Chopped Peeled Tomatoes
1/4 cup Mitsides Passata
1 fresh tomato, sliced
2 medium cloves of garlic, sliced
1/2 dry chili (1 whole chili for spicy)
1 dry bay leaf
2 fresh sprigs of thyme
1 pinch sugar
salt & pepper to taste
olive oil for coating the bottom of your cast iron pot
1 & 1/2 cups of the broth in which the chick peas are boiled
1. Discard the chickpea soaking water.
2. Boil the chick peas for twenty minutes. Preheat the oven to 175C.
3. In a large cast iron pan, drizzle olive oil to coat the bottom. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the chick peas into the pot.
4. Add your tomato paste, crushed tomatoes, passata, bay leaf, garlic, thyme, chili, sugar, and salt and pepper.
5. Scatter the sliced red onion and tomato on top. Cover with the pot with a lid and place in the oven for 1 & 1/2 hours or until done. They are done when they are soft and not crunchy when eaten.