Recently I took a foodie trip to Tel-Aviv and fell in love with the Israeli Humus. They eat it at breakfast, lunch, dinner and all those snaky times in-between.
They don’t just say ‘lets go out for humus’ they say ‘lets go out and scoop’. It’s so fluffy and smooth it makes the perfect dip, you gotta scoop though, breaking the pitta apart and dragging a mass amount on to the bread – it’s the only way.
Israeli humus has more Tahini and less lemon than its Persian sister.
The Recipe – Humus
1 x packet dried chick peas approx. 500g
2 heaped teaspoons bicarbonate of soda
4 – 5 generous tablespoons tahini paste***
1 lemon – juiced
reserved cooking liquid (approx. 1 cup)
seasoning to taste
- Soak the chickpeas overnight in cold water. (leave them somewhere cool, they don’t need to be refrigerated or seasoned – salt will make them hard)
- Rinse off and place in a large saucepan, cover with water a few inches above the chickpeas.
- Bring to the boil, then simmer for 45 minutes to an hour, until the chickpeas are really, overly tender. Make sure while simmering the chickpeas have enough water.
- Strain – – Keeping a good cup full of cooking liquid.
- While hot – – process in a processor (you may need to do several batches).
- Add the clove of garlic to the chickpeas.
- Process for at least 3 minutes to ensure the mix is pureed to smooth perfection.
- Add the tahini and lemon juice – process to incorporate.
- Add enough of the reserved liquid to form the consistency your happy with – Israeli humus should be loose, slightly runny, dip-able and smooth.
- Season to taste.
Best served fresh and warm with a sprinkle of ground cumin, paprika and a good drizzle of virgin olive oil.
Serve with soft bread to scoop and dip.
This humus will set a lot firmer in the fridge – if serving cold, give it a fork through before serving or for authenticity – pound in a pestal and morter, just before service to make it even more fluffy.
Yes, its gotta be dried chickpeas, the tinned one’s won’t do for this authentic recipe as they need to be cooked to soft perfection but still hold together and processed hot – plus the taste is far superior.
Tip – The balance between lemon and tahini is up to you – – taste as you go along, only adding 2/3 the amount on any recipe then adding more to your taste, sometimes more than the recipe, my batch could easily take another lemon juiced or 1 – 2 tablespoons tahini – your balance or mine above.
Tahini Paste– is a Middle Eastern ground toasted hulled sesame seed paste, with a distinct nutty rich flavour. High in calcium and protein with a good level of copper (1/4 of your rda), zinc, iron and selenium (10% rda each) plus good old omegas – perfect for the immune system.
I’m guessing the Arabic & Jewish kingdom have less colds than us, nothing to do with the weather it’s the humus.
***But be warned some comes really thick and some as a pouring paste, so go easy on the thick stuff and add a little more of the thin one.
You can make our own tahini by dry toasting sesame seeds in a frying pan until golden and processing with a little vegetable oil to form a smooth paste.
Recipe by Zena Leech-Calton ©
Cookery tutor and food writer
Picture – My pic of local Camel Market Hummus topped with Fav beans and raw chopped onions, it was so delicious.