|A pool of hummus photolibrary|
This is actually a homage to Rose, who is an old and dear family friend. She asked me recently if I had a good hummus recipe. She often makes it, but it doesn’t turn out quite like the ones she used to eat when she was young. I remember as a child going around to her house to have cooking play dates with her daughter Ryvane. We both had this small little toy oven that used to bake, for real, mini-cakes. That was to me the quintessence of a cooking device.
I also have another friend, Roy, who is a hummus lover, and he finds it quite tricky to get the right consistency, texture and flavour when making hummus at home.
I hope this recipe works for Rose, for Roy and for you.
|The ingredients for the hummus|
|The ingredients for the spicy pitta chips|
|My hummus served with olive oil, paprika, sumac and chickpeas|
Serves 6 ( as a starter)
Hummus is the type of dip that is always handy to have in your fridge. You can eat it with some vegetable crudités, use it as spread on your bread/toast, serve it in a mezze or simply lick it from your finger. It is packed with protein and dietary fibre. This method of cooking the chickpeas is a bit time consuming but is worth it! It is a very easy recipe, though. The result: a very smooth hummus.
Chickpeas (and beans, other legumes and grains), contain a substance called phytic acid, which binds with minerals preventing your body to fully absorb them in the intestinal tract, inhibiting digestion. The traditional methods of cooking these foods are either soaking, sprouting or fermenting them, as these processes "pre-digest" them (neutralizing phytates and enzyme inhibitors) so all their nutrients are better absorbed by the body. Adding whey to the water when soaking chickpeas helps to neutralize these inhibitors. Whey also has the benefit of providing friendly bacteria, which help to start the pre-digestion process for you.
500g dried chickpeas or organic pre-cooked cans of chickpeas
4 Tablespoons whey liquid (or juice of a lemon)
250g tahini paste (or to your taste)
Juice of a big lemon (or to your taste)
3-4 cloves of garlic (or more, if you like very garlicky food)
Extra virgin olive oil
Sumac (optional) this is a purple-red spice powder, made from the berries of a bush that grows wild in the mediterranean area, which is widely used in Lebanese cuisine. You can find them in major Lebanese shops or in here
Fine sea salt to taste
Soak the chickpeas with water and whey for 24 hours (keep it in a warmish room temperature). Cover them. Drain and rinse and pick off the skins.
Place the chickpeas in a saucepan and cover with double volume of water. Bring to a boil and skim. Simmer on a low heat for about 5-6 hours or until they’re so soft that you can mash them easily. Add more water when necessary. Drain but retain the liquid.
Put the chickpeas in a food processor; add the tahini, lemon juice, garlic and salt. Blitz it until very smooth. Add the liquid and blitz again.(If using the canned ones, warm them with its liquid first then put it in the food processor and carry on with the process). The mixture should be almost runny but with a good consistency. Taste, and season if you like.
Spread the hummus in a plate making a circle in the centre and drizzle the olive oil. Sprinkle some paprika or sumac. Serve with warm pitta chips (see below)
Spicy Pitta chips
4 pitta breads
2 tbsp Olive oil
½ tsp Cayenne pepper
¼ cumin powder
Preheat oven to 180°C.
Cut the bread in halves (in a horizontal way). Mix olive oil with spices brush it on the bread. Cut it in triangles and bake it for 10 mins.
The main ingredients and their functional properties
Chickpeas or garbanzo (Cicer arietinum): it is the most nutritious of all the legumes. It is very good for your pancreas, stomach and heart. It is high in protein, fat and carbohydrate. Contains very good levels of iron (more than other legumes), calcium, magnesium, potassium, zinc and B vitamins, and especially folic acid (B9). Sprouted chickpea contains vitamin C and enzymes.
Tahini/sesame seed (Sesamum indicum): lubricates the intestine, heart, stomach, pancreas, liver and lungs. Helps to relieve cough, tinnitus, low backache and headache. It is a good aid for mothers who have insufficient breast milk. It is high in iron, magnesium, calcium, vit B1 and vit E. The most nutritious type of sesame seeds is the un-hulled one! Caution: avoid it if you are having diarrhoea or loose stools.
Till Next week!