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Lablabi (Tunisian Chickpea Stew) Recipe

Lablabi is a traditional Tunisian dish that holds a special place in Tunisian cuisine. This hearty and comforting dish is often enjoyed as a breakfast or a late-night meal. Lablabi is essentially a chickpea stew with a flavorful broth, and it is characterized by its unique combination of ingredients.

Components of Lablabi

  1. Chickpeas: The star ingredient of Lablabi is chickpeas. These legumes are soaked overnight and then simmered until tender. They form the base of the stew and provide a substantial and nutritious element to the dish.
  2. Broth: Lablabi is known for its rich and flavorful broth. The broth is typically made by combining the cooking liquid from the chickpeas with various seasonings. It’s often seasoned with a blend of spices like cumin, coriander, paprika, and cayenne pepper, giving it a warm and aromatic profile.
  3. Bread: One of the distinctive features of Lablabi is the use of bread. Day-old crusty bread, often baguette or country-style bread, is torn into pieces and added to the stew. The bread dissolves in the broth, creating a thick and hearty consistency. This not only adds substance to the dish but also gives Lablabi its unique texture.
  4. Aromatic Base: Lablabi features a savory and aromatic base made with onions and garlic. The onions are finely chopped and sautéed until translucent, while minced garlic adds a robust flavor to the stew.
  5. Spices: Lablabi is seasoned with a mix of spices that vary based on personal preference and regional variations. Common spices include cumin, coriander, paprika, and cayenne pepper. These spices contribute to the warming and mildly spicy flavor of the dish.
  6. Garnishes: Lablabi is often garnished with fresh herbs like parsley or cilantro, adding a burst of freshness to each serving. Some variations also include toppings such as hard-boiled eggs or a drizzle of olive oil.

Lablabi (Tunisian Chickpea Stew) Recipe



Prep time


Cooking time






  • 1 cup dried chickpeas

  • Water for soaking and cooking

  • 1 large onion, finely chopped

  • 4 cloves garlic, minced

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

  • 1 teaspoon cumin

  • 1 teaspoon coriander

  • 1 teaspoon paprika

  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (adjust to taste)

  • Salt and pepper to taste

  • 4 slices of day-old bread (baguette or country-style)

  • Water for broth

  • Fresh parsley or cilantro for garnish

  • Hard-boiled eggs (optional, for serving)


  • Soak the Chickpeas:
  • Rinse the dried chickpeas thoroughly and soak them in water overnight. This helps soften them for cooking.
  • Cook the Chickpeas:
  • Drain and rinse the soaked chickpeas. In a large pot, add the chickpeas and cover them with water. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 1.5 to 2 hours or until the chickpeas are tender. Skim off any foam that rises to the surface.
  • Prepare the Aromatic Base:
  • In a separate pan, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add finely chopped onions and cook until translucent. Add minced garlic and cook for an additional minute.
  • Season the Base:
  • Add cumin, coriander, paprika, cayenne pepper, salt, and pepper to the onion and garlic mixture. Stir well to coat the aromatics with the spices.
  • Add Aromatic Base to Chickpeas:
  • Once the chickpeas are cooked, add the seasoned aromatic base to the pot. Allow the flavors to meld by simmering for an additional 15-20 minutes.
  • Prepare the Broth:
  • Tear the day-old bread into pieces and add it to the chickpeas. Add enough water to achieve your desired broth consistency. Simmer until the bread dissolves and the broth thickens slightly.
  • Adjust Seasoning:
  • Taste the stew and adjust the seasoning if needed. Add more salt, pepper, or spices according to your preference.
  • Serve:
  • Ladle the Lablabi into bowls. Garnish with fresh parsley or cilantro and, if desired, sliced hard-boiled eggs.
  • Optional Toppings:
  • Some variations include a drizzle of olive oil, a sprinkle of cayenne pepper, or a squeeze of lemon juice.
  • Enjoy:
  • Lablabi is traditionally enjoyed with a spoon or by dipping bread directly into the flavorful broth.


  • Bread Choice: Traditional Lablabi is made with day-old crusty bread. Baguette or country-style bread works well.
  • Consistency: Adjust the amount of water to achieve your preferred thickness for the broth.
  • Make-Ahead: Lablabi reheats well, and the flavors often deepen after sitting. It can be made ahead of time.

Complete Nutrition Information

Nutrition Facts

4 servings per container

  • Amount Per ServingCalories300
  • % Daily Value *
  • Total Fat 8g 13%
    • Saturated Fat 1g 5%
  • Sodium 599mg 25%
  • Potassium 500mg 15%
  • Total Carbohydrate 50g 17%
    • Dietary Fiber 10g 40%
    • Sugars 5g
  • Protein 12g 24%

  • Vitamin A 400%
  • Vitamin C 10%
  • Calcium 120%
  • Iron 4%

* The % Daily Value tells you how much a nutrient in a serving of food contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.

Nutritional Notes for Lablabi Tunisian Chickpea Stew:

  • Healthy Fats: Lablabi contains a moderate amount of healthy fats, primarily from olive oil.
  • Protein Source: Chickpeas are an excellent source of plant-based protein.
  • Fiber-Rich: Lablabi is high in dietary fiber, contributing to digestive health.
  • Low in Saturated Fat: The dish is relatively low in saturated fat, promoting heart health.
  • Rich in Iron: Chickpeas and spices contribute to the iron content, supporting blood health.

Alterations and Modifications for Lablabi Tunisian Chickpea Stew:

  1. Vegan Lablabi:
    • Alteration: Omit the use of eggs or any animal-based ingredients.
    • How to Achieve It: Focus on the plant-based elements such as chickpeas, vegetables, and spices. You can also replace the eggs with a vegan egg substitute or omit them entirely.
  2. Gluten-Free Lablabi:
    • Alteration: Replace regular bread with gluten-free bread.
    • How to Achieve It: Choose a gluten-free bread option or skip the bread entirely. Ensure that all spices and seasonings are gluten-free.
  3. Low-Carb Lablabi:
    • Alteration: Substitute bread with a low-carb alternative like cauliflower rice.
    • How to Achieve It: Prepare cauliflower rice by pulsing cauliflower in a food processor. Add it to the stew for a low-carb version.
  4. Spicy Lablabi:
    • Alteration: Increase the amount of cayenne pepper or add hot sauce for extra heat.
    • How to Achieve It: Adjust the spice level according to your preference. You can also add chili flakes or a dash of hot sauce during cooking.
  5. Protein Boost:
    • Alteration: Add grilled chicken, tofu, or a boiled egg for extra protein.
    • How to Achieve It: Grill chicken separately and add it to the individual servings. For tofu, marinate and pan-fry or bake until golden brown.

Detailed Storage and Freezing Instructions for Lablabi Tunisian Chickpea Stew:


  1. Refrigeration: Store leftover Lablabi in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days.
  2. Components Separately: For better preservation of texture, consider storing the chickpeas, broth, and bread separately. Combine when reheating.


  1. Chickpeas and Broth: Chickpeas and the broth can be frozen together for up to 1 month. Thaw in the refrigerator before reheating.
  2. Bread (Optional): Bread texture may change upon freezing. If freezing, consider freezing the stew without bread and add freshly toasted bread upon reheating.


  1. Stovetop: Reheat Lablabi gently on the stovetop over medium heat. If the stew thickens, add water to achieve the desired consistency.
  2. Bread: If you’ve stored bread separately, toast or warm it in the oven before adding it to the reheated stew.
  3. Eggs (Optional): If using hard-boiled eggs, add them just before serving or warm them slightly in hot water.

Make-Ahead Tips:

  1. Preparation: Lablabi can be prepared ahead of time and reheated when ready to serve. Adjust the consistency with water if needed.
  2. Freezing Components: Freeze components separately for more control over texture and flavor.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):

Can I freeze Lablabi with bread?

While the texture of the bread may change upon freezing, you can freeze Lablabi with bread if you don’t mind a softer texture. Alternatively, freeze the stew without bread and add freshly toasted bread upon reheating.

Can Lablabi be made spicy for children?

Adjust the spice level to suit children’s preferences. You can start with a small amount of cayenne pepper and let individuals add more spice according to their taste.

Can I use canned chickpeas?

Yes, you can use canned chickpeas for convenience. Rinse and drain them before adding to the stew.

Can Lablabi be made without bread?

Yes, you can omit the bread for a gluten-free or low-carb version. The stew itself is flavorful and satisfying.

Can I make Lablabi ahead for a crowd?

Yes, Lablabi reheats well, making it a great option for preparing in advance for a crowd. Adjust the consistency with water during reheating.

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