A taste of Sifnos
It is almost impossible to visit Sifnos and not taste its unforgettable “revithada”, a very simple chickpea soup that will simply amaze you! Traditionally, this plate was always part of the Sunday meal in every Sifnian home. It is prepared inside a characteristic clay pot that is called “skepastaria”. The women on the island would start preparations in the evening of Saturday in order to take their pot to the village’s bakery shop late in the evening to cook in the wood oven. They would leave their pots overnight to slowly get cooked. The oven was not lit but it remained warm. The women would receive their “revithada” ready to serve the following day on their way back from the church.
Nothing has changed in the way “revithada” is prepared until today. Baking it in a wood oven remains the best option, but it is possible to cook it in very low temperature in an electric oven as well.
What we need to make a “revithada”:
½ kg chickpeas
1 table spoon of baking soda
1 glass olive oil
2 large onions
4-6 garlic cloves
2 bay leaves
Lemons (for serving)
Preparation begins the previous day:
In the evening of the previous day, we soak the chickpeas in water.
The following morning we complete the preparation:
We add the baking soda and we leave chickpeas to soak for another half an hour. Then, we rinse them thoroughly. We place them in a clay pot with a lid and we add the onions, finely chopped, the garlic cloves, the oil, salt and pepper, and the bay leaves. We stir all ingredients and we add so much water, that the chickpeas are covered and when we carefully tilt the pot the water reaches its rim.
Time to put it in the oven:
We put the lid on the pot and we place the pot in the wood oven. We leave “revithada” cooking for approximately 6 hours. Many housewives prepare a dough with flour and water to seal the lid on the pot. If you don’t own a wood oven, you can slowly bake “revithada” in an electric oven at 150 degrees for approximately 6 hours.
Cooking time may vary depending on the chickpeas. If they are fresh, they need less time. If they have been sitting on a shelf for a long time, cooking will take longer.
Therefore, during cooking time, if we have not sealed our pot, we need to check on water every once in a while. We add some water, if needed, so that chickpeas don’t burn.
We take out the bay leaves and we serve the soup warm with some lemon.
Enjoy your meal!