3 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, finely diced
2 cloves garlic, crushed
200g green split peas
600ml chicken or vegetable stock
2 tablespoons olive oil
1⁄2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
11⁄2 teaspoons cumin seed, toasted and ground
3 tablespoons plain yoghurt
zest and juice of 1 lemon
1/ 4 cup chopped mint or coriander
15 black olives pitted and chopped
100g soft feta cheese, cut into small pieces
chopped mint or coriander, lemon zest and olives
toasted pita breads
Heat the olive oil in a saucepan and add the onion and garlic. Cook gently until the onion is soft. Add the split peas and pour in the stock. Bring to the boil then lower the heat and simmer until the peas are tender and mushy and the water has nearly evaporated – about 1 hour, depending on the freshness of the split peas.
Allow to cool a little then transfer to a food processor. Add the oil, nutmeg, cumin, yoghurt and the lemon zest and juice. Blend to a smooth puree. Scrape into a bowl and mix in the herbs, olives and half the feta. Taste and season with salt or pepper if necessary. Allow to cool completely.
Just before serving, pile onto a platter and top with extra herbs, chopped olives, lemon zest and crumbled feta. Drizzle over a little oil and grind over some black pepper. Serve with lots of pita bread that has been split, brushed with olive oil and baked until crisp.
Makes approximately 21⁄2 cups
To toast and grind spices – heat a small dry pan over a medium heat. Add the spice and toss until fragrant and
just starting to darken in colour. Be very careful not to burn as this will make them bitter. Toast one spice at a time rather than combining, as each spice will take a different time to toast.
Tip out onto a plate and allow to cool. Grind in a mortar and pestle or a small coffee grinder, reserved
for the purpose.