Easy Creamy Lebanese Musabaha (Chickpeas Breakfast)

Easy Creamy Lebanese Musabaha (Chickpeas Breakfast)

Lebanese Musabaha is creamy chickpeas mixed with tahini, lemon, garlic topped with olive oil. It is usually enjoyed at breakfast time, accompanied by fresh and pickled vegetables and pita bread. 

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Musabaha is an ancient Middle Eastern dish made of creamed tender warm chickpeas (garbanzo beans) that have been left semi chunky mixed through a sauce. 

Generally served during breakfast, this popular Levant dish can be altered to suit your taste and can be referred to as hummus musabaha, it is a variant of balila.

Different ingredients are used in various Middle Eastern countries.

The word musabaha or msabha or msabaha translates from Arabic to English as “swimming” it is pronounced as mmsab·ha. Pronunciation will differ between regions.

Musabaha is the name of the dish as it references the chickpeas swimming in a pool of juices.

Notes on some of the ingredients, the full list of ingredients and their measurements can be found in the recipe card below.

Chickpeas - dry or canned can be used.  If using canned, go for the organic variety.

I prefer to use dry chickpeas as they are way creamier and the flavor is better in every way possible. 

Tahini bolsters the creaminess of the chickpeas and gives a nutty taste

Olive oil - use a high-quality extra virgin olive oil. Generally, a copious amount of it is used to dress the chickpeas. I have however limited to one tablespoon in this recipe - personal preference.

Crushed garlic clove, again use fresh and you can adjust the amount used to suit your taste.

Step 1 - Sort chickpea pieces (discard any bad beans) and then soak overnight in water (1 cup of chickpeas to 5 cups of water). The next morning, pour chickpeas and their water into a pot, bring to a soft boil over high heat and then turn down to low heat and cook with the lid partially open for approximately 50 minutes. This will ensure they are really tender and almost falling apart. Skim off any froth.

Step 1 - Add chickpeas with their brine to a pot and cook them until they are starting to fall apart.

Step 2 - In a bowl, add salt, garlic, and lemon juice. Mix until well combined and the salt has dissolved. Add chickpeas and mash them until they are chunky. Add brine, and tahini and mash further until they are semi-chunky. The consistency should be a mixture of smooth and chunky. Top with olive oil and a few whole chickpeas and serve warm with suggested garnishes.

Top with a flavorsome shatta (Middle Eastern hot sauce) and then rip off a piece of Lebanese bread (pita bread) to scoop the musabaha and enjoy a fresh plate of fresh and pickled vegetables (fresh mint, tomato, radish, pickled turnip known as lifit (affiliate link), olives, pickled green chili, and pickled Armenian cucumbers (snake cucumbers) (affiliate link).

As a snack, try it with some crackers using my gluten free crackers recipe.

Some of the traditional garnishes found include;

Whole tender chickpeas - I love the contrast in textures when I add these on top

The ingredients can be altered to suit your taste.

Use only good quality ingredients, this makes the world of difference to the flavors.

Musabaha is generally topped with a generous amount of olive oil, I personally have limited it down to a spoonful. You can adjust this to your liking.

Some people like to add a spoonful of yogurt. This can be referred to as laban ma hummus, which means yogurt with chickpeas.

Garlic can be left out.

Freshly chopped parsley can be mixed through this chickpeas breakfast.

Other Lebanese recipes you might enjoy include balela salad, a spinoff of balila. Or my easy zaatar pastries and for something sweet my Lebanese milk pudding.

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