One of my most favorite pass-times is to watch food channels and cookery shows. Though I don’t eat or cook meat, I am most intrigued by the different cooking techniques and end up watching everything regarding food. It so happened that I saw pita bread for the first time on one of the food network channels. Shortly after that, when we were on a lunch date I had the chance of tasting the pita bread along with hummus. As much as I liked the hummus, I was not very fond of the dried out version of the pita bread from that restaurant. Soon after I forgot about the whole pita bread saga. Few months back, in one of the Good Food magazine issues, I saw a salad stuffed in to the pita bread and that it was being called as pita pocket. Again, I was intrigued by the name and of course the idea.
Sadly though, I have never made pita bread at home nor have I found it in the super markets here. Last week, surprisingly I found whole wheat pita bread in one of the stores and immediately grabbed it with both my hands. My initial thoughts were to make a Falafel based salad or stuffing for the bread. Having tried Falafel only recently, I wanted something different and I ended up making Greek style chickpea salad. For the spread, I made a simple mint based creamy yogurt. Pita breads were toasted, mint yogurt was spread and the chickpea salad was stuffed. Arranging took less than a couple of mins and it makes for such a filling and tasty meal.
To make Greek Style Chickpea Salad Pita Pockets with Mint Yogurt Spread
Serves – 2
Time to prepare – 15mins
What I used –
For the Chickpea Salad
- Whole-wheat Pita Bread, 2
- Boiled Chickpeas, 2 cups
- Finely Chopped Onion, 3 tbsp (one medium sized onion)
- Finely Chopped Capsicum, ½ cup (one medium sized capsicum)
- Lemon Zest, 1 tsp
- Lemon Juice, 1 tbsp
- Olive Oil, 1 tsp
- Finely Chopped Garlic, 2 tsp
- Finely Chopped Coriander, ½ cup
- Paprika Powder, 2 tsp
- Roasted Cumin Powder, 2 tsp
- Salt, as req
For the Greek Style Mint Yogurt
- Thick Yogurt, 1 cup
- Finely Chopped Mint Leaves, 3 tbsp
- Salt, as req
How I made –
- In a muslin cloth, pour the thick yogurt and let the excess water drip. Squeeze it gently to remove additional water. What remains is the creamy thick yogurt. It should be enough to let the water drain for 5-10mins.
- In a small bowl, mix the finely chopped mint leaves along with the creamy yogurt. Add salt and mix well. Mint Yogurt spread is ready. Keep aside.
- In a bowl, add boiled chickpeas, finely chopped onions, capsicum, and coriander along with the lemon zest, lemon juice, paprika powder, roasted cumin powder and salt. Mix well.
- In a small pan, add a tsp of olive oil/ vegetable oil. Roast the finely chopped garlic. (This step is optional. One can add raw garlic as well) . Add it to the salad mix. Mix well. Check for salt and spiciness.
- In a hot tawa, toast the pita bread on both the sides until golden brown. Remove it off the heat. Let it cool for a minute. Using a sharp knife, cut it into two halves. Gently run the knife through the diameter of each half to open it up.
- Take a couple of tsps. of creamy mint yogurt and spread on the insides of the pita bread.
- Take atleast three tbps of the salad and fill it into the pita bread. As you push in the salad, the pita bread expands and holds more. Fill the bread with as much salad as it can hold. Repeat the same for the remaining half as well.
- Serve hot with additional mint yogurt spread if preferred.
Note: Soak chickpeas for atleast 8hrs and boil in a pressure cooker for atleast three whistles. To get the lemon zest, Use a fine grater to grate the skin of the lemon.