Balila is one of Saudis most sought after snacks. You will find balila stands practically everywhere in Saudi from the malls to the parks. Tabasco sauce on top is the natural choice for most. You can choose to soak dried chickpeas overnight in water and baking soda or go the easy route like I have using canned. The bouillon cube is not usually used however it is something I use when using canned chickpeas.
Balila is popular all around the Middle East yet all countries make it differently. For example in Lebanon the sauce is made of garlic cloves, olive oil, cumin and salt. The Lebanese drain the chickpeas after they have cooked while the Saudis typically do not. Yet, I do!
1 (400 gram) can chickpeas
1/2 bullion vegetable cube
Water to cover (2-3 cups)
2-1/2 tablespoons vinegar
3 teaspoons ground cumin
1/2 tomato, diced
1/2 cucumbers, diced
Salt to taste
1. On high heat in a 4-quart saucepan add chickpeas, water and bouillon cube. Bring to a full boil then reduce heat to medium. Cook for 30 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, in a small bowl add vinegar, cumin and salt. Mix well.
3. Drain chickpeas and place into a small bowl. Pour sauce on top of chickpeas, place into small serving bowls and sprinkle tops with tomatoes and cucumbers.
Yields: 4 servings