Spinach borani with fried chickpeas

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Spinach yoghurt is topped with crispy deep fried chickpeas and dill - perfect for serving as part of a mezze spread. 

This recipe is taken from Berber & Q: On Vegetables by Josh Katz, published by Kyle Books.
Photography by James Murphy.

First published in 2022

Borani is a dish of Persian origin, though there are Turkish variations, usually involving yoghurt as a base or topping. It comes in all different shapes and forms depending on where you are in the world, some with meat, and many using blanched or sautéed vegetables that are subsequently blended or incorporated into the yoghurt. Fried chickpeas are a great topping for many dips and spreads, such as pumpkin chershi. At our Shawarma Bar, we garnish our hummus with fried chickpeas. If you’d rather not go to the effort of making them, this borani will taste delicious all by itself.








Pour the sunflower oil into a heavy-based saucepan to a 2cm depth. Place the pan over medium-high heat until the oil is 200ºC when probed with a thermometer. Lower the chickpeas into the hot oil to deep-fry for 8-10 minutes, or until golden brown and crisp

  • sunflower oil, for deep frying
  • 100g of tinned chickpeas, drained, rinsed and patted dry

Remove the chickpeas from the oil with a slotted spoon, transfer to a plate lined with kitchen paper, sprinkle with the zaʹatar and turmeric, and season generously with salt and black pepper


Bring a saucepan of salted water to the boil and blanch the spinach for 30 seconds, drain and refresh in a bowl filled with iced water, or under cold running water. Drain and squeeze dry with your hands to remove as much of the liquid as possible


Finely chop the spinach and add to a bowl. Stir through the yoghurt, garlic and lemon juice. Fold in half the olive oil. Season to taste with salt and black pepper


Spread the borani around the base of a plate and spoon over the deep-fried chickpeas. Garnish with chopped dill and finish with a generous drizzle of the remaining olive oil around the outside. Serve with the warmed bread

  • 1 tbsp of dill, chopped
  • 50ml of extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 pitta breads, lightly brushed with oil and warmed in the oven or grill, to serve

Josh Katz is a chef specialising in live fire cooking and co-owner of Berber&Q Grill House, Berber&Q Shawarma Bar and Carmel.

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