Garantita | Algerian Chickpea Tart { FRUGAL, VEGETARIAN & GLUTEN - FREE }


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بِسْــــــــــــــــــــــمِ اﷲِارَّحْمَنِ ارَّحِيم
السلام عليكم و رحمة الله و بركاته
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It's been one of those days. You moms out there know what I mean. It was one of those days when you hit the snooze button few too many times, woke up late, no time to even get yourself ready . You rush to prepare the coffee, the cocoa, kids and spouse dressed, fed and out the door. Only to have a mile high pile of laundry to tackle, dishes to scrub, school papers to grade, that huuuuuuuuuuuuge spill your toddle just made, whilst doing homeschool lessons with your four-year-old. Hours seem like minutes, passing by without warning until you glance at the clock realizing it's aaaaaaaalmost lunch time. What to do? What to prepare? Mentally take inventory of what's in your fridge. Hmmm no leftovers ... you have an almost empty jar of mayo, 1 egg, few tomatoes and the clock is ticking. What to prepare with few pantry ingredients that requires very fuss and prep work? I'll tell you about one particular Algerian lunch time dish that's not only easy to whip but a good & filling non-meat protein packed dish for at home, at school, at work or on-the-go. ... It's called Garantita. You may be asking: 

 What is Garantita? 

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Garantita also written calentita, galentita, karantika, karan, kalentika, grantéta, karantita, garantita, garentéta, gaurantita, kalentica, karentita, or even in Arabic كرنتيكا is an Algerian dish made from chickpea flour. Some call it a tart. Some call it a flan. Some call it a sandwich spread. Whatever you decide to call it, it's just YUM! 

Garantita is consumed hot and frequently sold by street vendors (and ultra small street cafés) in major cities of Algeria spread on baguettes as a sandwich.  The Garantita smeared  inside the bread - usually topped off with harissa, mayo and onions. Optionally, some places offer french fries, cream cheese, tomatoes, olives and even shredded roasted chicken. By vocation, it's a simple  and cheap dish that appeals to the wealthy and poor alike. Simply decorated with only harissa and cumin, the "Garantita simple" offers the Algerian customer an inexpensive perfect little pleasure for around a mere 10 dinars (about 9cents € ) for hand held sandwich. It serves as quick bite for people at lunchtime, but also a tie-over to dinner snack  It also serves as a "budget rescue" meal for poor families in Algeria. 


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And behind every popular dish is a story, often of the most unusual and interesting. It is said that a Spanish cook in the 1500s, besieged in the fort of Santa Cruz came up with the dish. Low in morale and supplies he could not console the bellies of the soldiers in his platoon. So he ingeniusly cooked up some chickpeas he had soaked in water, then spread it over simple peasant bread. He called it Calentito torta, meaning hot in Spanish, referring to the nurishment the protein packed chickpea offered the troops. The Calentito spread and won eternal glory for this resourceful cook in Algerian culinary tradition. A few centuries later, still in Oran, the Spanish no longer in command in Algeria, the memory of this legend still lives on. And the legacy of Calentito has entered into the popular food culture in Algeria.

And like most Mediterranean dishes, the Garantita has travelled all over the Mediterranean making happy friends. In Italy there's chickpea flatbread called farinata which means ‘made of flour’, in the Genoese dialect it's called fainâ, or in Tuscany it's “cecina”  meaning 'made of chickpeas'. In Provençe, a similar flatbread “socca” but finally in Gibraltar you find the Calentita the kissing cousin of the Garantita where it has reached 'national food' status. 


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The base for garantita is universally the same, but with slight differences region to region. In Oran, the Garantita consists of flour, chick peas, water, olive oil, salt and cumin and sometimes cheese. In Algiers, the recipe is enriched with milk, butter and eggs. Today, I present my own version that is suited to my family's taste. Garantita is for me, a simple protein packed vegetarian dish that I can easily make with less with 5 minutes prep work. It's really a "no recipe" dish that requires ingredients you probably already have in your pantry. Whisk or even easier yet, whiz all the ingredients in a food processor, in a blender or with an immersion blender. Pour into a greased Pyrex baking dish ... Or if you use a silicone baking dish so you're clean is a breeze. Bake the mxiture in a hot oven until the sides are nicely crispy and golden brown, while the center is looks not yet set and jiggly. The finished garantita has a thick chickpea tart layer thats topped with a thin custardy layer. Slice into wedges and sandwich into a sliced baguette or serve piping hot with crudité in the side to snack. Personally, I like some harissa, sliced onion and tomates while my kids' taste steer move towards less spicy accompaniments. To me, it's like eating hot hummus on bread J

๑۞๑ Just to note, chickpea flour here in Algeria is called Farina Garantita or also by its French name Farine de pois chiche.  You may find elsewhere in the world, it may also be called Besan flour, Gram flour, Chana flour or even Garbanzo Bean flour. It is incredibly high in protein. Excellent for children, vegans, vegetarians and anyone trying to find inexpensive protein sources. It's also naturally gluten free and low in calories. 


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 { GARANTITA }
THIS VERY POPULAR ALGERIAN STREET FOOD MADE OF HEALTHY NATURALLY GLUTEN FREE CHICKPEA FLOUR, USUALLY SERVED HOT  DRESSED WITH CUMIN AND SOME HARISSA SAUCE.


YIELD: 9 servings
PREP TIME: 5 mins
COOK TIME: 40 - 45 mins


 whisk and large mixing bowl or food processor/blender/ immersion blender, square 8x8 inch/ 20x20cm baking dish, knife

۞ = SUBSTITUTIONS



  • 1 ½ cup - 180g chickpea flour ۞
  • 3 cups - 840ml milk and water
  • 1 egg
  • 3 TBS oil (olive oil or sunflower oil)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • a generous pinch of garlic powder (optional)
  • sliced and pitted green olives (optional)
  • paprika and ground cumin for décor

  • GARNISHES:

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PREHEAT your oven to 180°C - 350°F.

     ۞ IF USING A WHISK AND BOWL:

 MIX all the dry ingredients (including the spices) in a large bowl. Make a well in the center.
Add in the egg, milk and water into the well. Whisk together the ingredients together to obtain a  homogenous batter. 

     ۞ IF USING A FOOD PROCESSOR, BLENDER OR IMMERSION BLENDER STICK:

SIMPLY place all the ingredients in your kitchen and whizz until it comes together to form a homogenous batter. It should be thin like a crêpe batter - thin and smooth. 

GREASE a square 8 x 8 in / 20 x 20 cm  Pyrex or silicone baking dish. Pour the preparation in the dish. Sprinkle with cumin and paprika. Optionally also the pitted and slice green olives.


BAKE for about 40-45 minutes, or until a golden crust forms - depending on your oven.

REMOVE from the oven, cut into your desired portions. 


Garantita is traditionally served spread on a French baguette dressed with more cumin and hot harissa sauce. Optionally, you can also dress the sandwich with sliced red onions, tomatoes or if you want to really be fancy shredded roasted chicken and/or a creamy cheese like La Vache Qui Rit.


Chickpea Flour
Chickpea flour is widely available in Turkish, Indian and Middle Eastern shops. It can also be labelled as besan flour, gram flour, cici flour, chana flour, or  garbanzo bean flour.

Make Your Own
Can't find chickpea flour in your area? You can easily make your own by roasting chickpeas in the oven, then after cooling grinding them in a coffee grinder.

Subsitution
Can't even find chickpeas even in your area? Yellow lentils prepared in the same manner (as above) is a good subsitute in this recipe.

Vegan Or Egg Free Alternative
Make this recipe by omitting the egg and using one flax egg by mixing 1 tablespoon flaxmeal + 3 tablespoon hot water. 

    CATEGORIES: kid's fav, ALGERIAN SAVORY, quick and easy, Frugal, vegetarian, gluten free

    SOURCE: feirouz

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      12 comments:

      1. Salam alaikum sister,

        JazakAllahu Khayran sister for the recipe and history of this tasty and simple dish mashaAllah
        Btw, I got a new oven so I will be baking this later...inshAllah

        ReplyDelete
      2. I must say I have never heard of this dish - thanks for the history on it!

        ReplyDelete
      3. I've often eaten (and made) socca and farinata and they're lovely but this sounds great. The addition of cumin is really appetising. To make socca or farinata, you need to let the mixture rest for a few hours before cooking but garantita sounds much quicker to make.

        ReplyDelete
      4. thank you for this recipe. good to see an algerian recipe blog. our cuisine is underrated! :) i'm a young algerian girl living in the states and i miss the food from the home land

        ReplyDelete
      5. This beautiful tart I have never encountered in the state you have presented. It seems a beautiful 'garniture' and more! . . . Just I would never dream of using a 'la vache qui rit' in any serious recipe! Well, you did say it to be just an example!!!

        ReplyDelete
      6. délicieux ça fait longtemps que j'ai pas mangé
        bisous

        ReplyDelete
      7. Salaam and hello, Thank you all for commenting. Truly Algerian cookery is underrated and a hidden jem!
        @Phil, yes garantita takes much less time and effort than socca or farinata but equally as good :D
        @Karima Ask your husband about this dish, I'm sure he knows it. And give it a try of course!

        ReplyDelete
      8. Salaam, Bonjour & Hello Farah and Eha,
        Thank you both for commenting and stopping by.
        @Farah Merci Farah pour commenter.
        @Eha Well def garantita is a cheap street food that usually presented in a very basic and sometimes unappealing way. That's probably one of the reasons I rather make it at home. And other than in sandwich form I find it makes a nice snack or appetizers slice up in wedges served with aioli/mayo, harissa and cudité. And for my little kids (grin) it has to come with la vache qui rit
        Have a beautiful both of you!

        ReplyDelete
      9. Wow this looks incredible. Great pics too. Thanks so much for joining in with #recipeoftheweek. I’ve pinned and tweeted this post and there’s a fresh linky live now. I hope you’ll pop over and join in again this week, if you haven’t already!

        ReplyDelete
      10. It's Gibraltar not Gibralter and it's not in Spain.

        ReplyDelete
      11. Making this again today -- last time it came out delicj and was easy peasy to do! Thank you for all your effort of postingthe recipe and I loved readingabout its history and cultural background!

        ReplyDelete



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