Day 2 of National Vegetarian Week…..

…..and it’s that perennial Middle Easters favourite, hummus, or no, that should be humous, no, spellcheck is telling me “humus” (actually, I’ve seen it spelt about 5 different ways so take your pick). Doesn’t really matter. If you’ve not had it before, it’s a great dip which is widely eaten in all countries round the Mediterranean and Middle East, Greece, Turkey, Lebannon, Israel, Palestine, and so on round north Africa. And it’s simple, tasty and easy to make. Years ago I even saw a television program that claimed that it can act as an anti-depressant and promotes long life (and if I can find a link I’ll post it).

The one that I like to make is based on a book I received a couple of years ago as a ‘Secret Santa’ present called The Greek Vegetarian by Diane Kochilas and which is well worth a read. Not many photos, but the ones that are there fill me with longing (and not just for the food – one of my best holidays was spent in the small town of Tolon on the Greek mainland. Bliss). She lists it as part of a stuffing for grape leaves, along with rice and parsley, but on it’s own, her humous is one of the most delicious things I’ve tasted.

Humous

  1. 2 tbsp tahini paste (available from mist major supermarkets or from heath food stores)
  2. 1 cup of water
  3. Strained juice of 2 lemons
  4. 2 x 400g tins of chickpeas
  5. 4 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped finely
  6. 0.5 tsp cayenne pepper
  7. 0.5 tsp paprika
  8. 1 tsp ground cumin
  9. salt to taste
  10. 1 tbsp olive oil

IMG_3684

Blend the tahini, water and lemon juice from one lemon in a food processor. Add the chickpeas, spices and garlic and pulse until you have a texture that you’re happy with. Some people like it smooth, some with a bit more texture. Check your seasoning and add more lemon juice if you like. Leave it for an hour or two for the flavours to amalgamate. Sprinkle a little good olive oil and a dusting of paprika on top before serving.

IMG_3687

It’s good with breadsticks, pitas, crisps…..anything to scoop it into your mouth.

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