HUMMUS or HOUMOUS
So much has been written about hummus that it’s hard to know where to begin and not sound as though I’ve plagiarised someone else’s write up of it.
Hummus (or houmous as it is more commonly spelt in the UK) originated from Egypt and Levant, where it then spread to become a popular Middle Eastern and North African dish (link). It is traditionally made with cooked chickpeas, tahini (sesame seed paste), lemon juice, and olive oil (link). Be sure to use a good quality extra virgin olive oil as it really does make a difference in the flavour.
The great thing about hummus is how it lends itself to experimentation. I have put up a basic recipe but I actually made mine with 1 can of chickpeas and 1 can of kidney beans. Pretty much any cooked bean will work especially if you’re trying to sneak beans into the kids diet. Substitute the tahini with any smooth nut butter. Use a pure nut butter, not one that has had anything added to it. Cashew is incredibly creamy but I love the taste of almonds so will be giving that a go soon. For an extra kick, try adding crushed cumin or coriander seeds or even a little bit of chilli. Either fresh or dried will work and for a little bit of green freshness, don’t just sprinkle the coriander leaves on top, add it to the mixture towards the end of processing it. Even the consistency is a personal thing. It’s generally processed until it is completely smooth but I like a bit of texture in my food so I leave it a little lumpy.
I generally prefer to make my hummus the day before I want it as this allows the flavours to develop, especially if adding spices and/or fresh herbs but it can just as easily be made minutes before it’s needed.
Serves 6-8 as a dip (if it lasts that long)
- 2 x 400g cans of chickpeas
- 2 tblsp tahini
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed
- 1 tsp salt
- 6 tbsp good quality extra virgin olive oil
- Juice of 1 freshly squeezed lemon (approximately 3 tablespoons)
- Coriander or parsley leaves (optional)
- Rinse the chickpeas but keep back some of the liquid. If the hummus is a bit thick at the end, add a few spoonfuls to loosen it up
- Chuck everything into a processor
- Turn it on
- Process until you have reached the required consistency. You may have to stop the processor a couple of times and scrape the ingredients back into the mixture.