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Tunisian Labladi?

Compliments of the season, Chow

I recently tried labladi in Monastir, Tunisia. It's a stew with garbanzos, french bread, cumin, garlic, olive oil, and sometimes, eggs. Served on the side was a plate of olives and pickles, meaning I couldn't resist any aspect of this dish.

Back in the NYC-area, has anyone found/tried labladi? It seemed more like a breakfast/lunch on-the-go meal than anything else (I ate it at a kiosk), but any tips will be welcomed.

Thanks,
BmB

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  1. Wow, that sounds delicious. I've never seen it, but will definitely be on the look-out.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Amy Mintzer

      I took a constitutional to the Tunisian tourism office in Manhattan to ask about labladi and more generally Tunisian restaurants. Turns out the building it was in is currently being razed. Good times...

    2. it sounds a bit like a Tunisian version of Shakshuka - although shakshuka usually has tomato + peppers in the ragout.

      2 Replies
      1. re: tigerwoman

        It's nothing like shakshuka, but they're both worth a slog to sample!

        Alternate spellings seem to be lablabi and leblabi:

        Here is a recipe that I found at the Wall Street Journal: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001...

        BuildingMyBento
        http://collaterallettuce.com/

        1. re: BuildingMyBento

          There were some ephermeral Tunisian/North African places in Astoria a few years back that were said to have it, but I never got a chance to try here. Loved trying it in Tunis. A friend and I resorted to a recipe and had a pretty successful lablabi brunch using this recipe utilizing veal bones: http://www.lindystoast.com/2006/02/le...

      2. Bump.

        Anyone find out about places serving this delicious Tunisian chickpea dish in the Outer Boroughs (or Manhattan, I guess)?

        5 Replies
        1. re: BuildingMyBento

          I'd never heard of this dish before, but this is now the second reference I've seen today! Sharing the first with you - a recipe from Mollie Katzen's new cookbook. Looks simple and delicious: http://www.seriouseats.com/2013/10/mo....

          Hope you have some luck finding a restaurant that serves it, but in the meantime seems you now have several options for trying it yourself.

          1. re: bklynite

            Thanks bklynite, for the link! I hit up Serious Eats often, but only the NY section. Good catch!

            The one I tried in Tunisia had baguettes torn up and added, and a few olives on the side, but the base sounds about right. Is it something you'd want to try?

            1. re: BuildingMyBento

              Im assuming you are talking about the Paula Wolfert Recipe linked in the comment section - the Katzen recipe looks pretty bland by comparison.

              The concept of labladi seems sort of similar in type to the Egyptian ful, also served for breakfast and with lots of addins, though obviously not made with chickpeas. Years ago there was an egyptian "Mr Felafel" in central Park Slope (different from the one there now) which served a dish of ful in a spicy, red sauce, which was wonderful. Im wondering if anybody has seen that dish around in the city in recent years? The current Mr. Felafel serves a good hearty ful but it is relatively brown and bland, a different approach from the delicious red version we remember.

              1. re: jen kalb

                Ful is another of my favorite meals, but I wouldn't say they're the same. Favas don't factor in labladi, nor do tomatoes. The labladi I had also contained bread, as opposed to scooping ful up with bread.

                That said, even with these recipes, finding a Tunisian restaurant is still on the agenda!

              2. re: BuildingMyBento

                Yes, I think this recipe sounds delicious and easy. And everything is better with bread and olives :-)