To make the soup, start by heating the olive oil in a large pan, add the chopped onion and celery. Saute, on low heat, till the onions turn soft but not brown. Add the powdered cumin and the chilli flakes and cook for about a minute, stirring once or twice.
Now add the tomatoes, and saute for another couple of minutes. Add the vegetable stock, all the chickpeas except the 1/2 cup kept aside, the sugar and salt. Mix well, turn up the heat and bring the soup to a boil.
In the meanwhile, take the 1/2 cup of chickpeas which was kept aside and mash it using a masher or a hand blender till the chickpeas is mushy and a bit lumpy but not a purxe9e. Add this to the ingredients in the pan and mix till well blended.
Turn down the heat and allow the soup to simmer for about 20 minutes, till it is not so watery in consistency and the flavours have blended well. Add the lemon juice and the chopped coriander and adjust seasoning, if necessary.
Serve hot with the K'sra or flatbread of your choice. This recipe serves about 4.
To make the K'sra, put the water in a large bowl dissolve the yeast in it. Stir in the whole wheat flour and semolina until a smooth batter is obtained. Cover this and set aside for about 30 minutes or up to 3 hours, according to your convenience. I left mine for 1 1/2 hours.
The batter would have fermented. Sprinkle the aniseed and the salt on it and add 2 cups of all purpose flour, a little at a time, mixing/ kneading after each addition.
Turn the sticky dough onto a floured work surface and add more flour, as required, and knead well for 5 to 10 minutes until the dough is soft and elastic and just short of sticky. Resist the temptation to add too much flour or the bread will be tough.
Put the dough in a clean bowl, loosely cover and allow it to rise till almost double. This should take about 1 1/2 hours. Take the dough out and knead lightly for a minute or so. Then divide the dough into 3 equal portions. Shape each portion into a smooth ball.
Take each ball and place on a lightly floured surface. Using your palm, evenly flatten the ball of dough into a 6u201d circle. Using your fingers, further press out the circle evenly till it is about 8 or 9 inches or about 1/2 inch thick.
Dust your baking tray with coarse semolina and put the breads on it. Cover them loosely, and allow them to rise for 30 to 45 minutes. Prick the breads with a fork in about 10 places evenly across the surface of each of the breads.
Bake the Ku2019sra or flatbreads at 230C (450F) for about 15 to 20 minutes or till golden. You can either bake them all at once or in batches, without any problems. Tap the bottom of the bread after it is baked. If it sounds hollow it is done.
Slightly cool the K'sra on racks and then wrap them in towels so the crust softens. To serve, cut each K'sra or flatbread into 4 quarters/ pieces. This recipe makes 3 approximately 8 or 9 inch flatbreads.