Hummus – so good!

“God bless the chickpea”

Dr.Michael Mitchell a.k.a George Clooney

Once you have made hummus yourself you may never go back to buying it. It is so easy, and delicious, and really good for you also. It’s a staple at our place, and we use it in lots of ways, especially as we love the food of the Mediterranean and North Africa. According to the Encyclopedia of Jewish Food, the earliest known recipes for a dish similar to hummus are recorded in cookbooks published in Cairo in the 13th century, so it is an ancient dish, with many regional differences, although the core ingredients are the same – chick peas, tahini, olive oil, lemon juice, garlic and salt. There are a host of recipes for hummus available, so I made a version that suits my palate best. I like it with not too much garlic, so my recipe only uses one clove. When I was researching I found some recipes that had 3 or 4 cloves! If you really love garlic then I would suggest you use 2 cloves – any more makes the garlic flavour a bit too overwhelming. You can also add more or less tahini for your taste, but I would always suggest using a good amount of lemon juice – it’s a nice foil to the richer ingredients.

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Makes about 2 cups

2 x 400 g  tins of chickpeas (try and get organic)
juice of 1 medium lemon
1 clove garlic
6 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons water
1 tablespoon tahini

Place all ingredients in a food processor and blitz until well combined. I like my hummus with a bit of texture, but some people like it really smooth. It’s up to you. Keep in the fridge until you are ready to use. I like to serve it with a selection of fresh crisp vegetables and some flat bread, or Turkish bread. You can drizzle a little extra olive oil on top as you serve, or top with paprika, chopped coriander, toasted pine nuts, a swirl of harissa, or finely chopped chilli.

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