Saturday, January 11, 2014

Basic houmous

Contrary to popular perceptions, houmous does not feature all that strongly Turkish cuisine, and you would have a much easier time finding houmous at a British supermarket than anywhere is Istanbul (although I am sure that Turkey's still growing middle class will eventually embrace it much like their British counterparts). This has been kind of a difficult adjustment for me since I moved to Istanbul, as I had previously basically been living on houmous during my student life. It was something cheap and that I didn't have to cook, but which was also not dripping in grease, so therefore the "healthy option". Tesco had several varieties (like roast pepper, Moroccan etc) so I felt I was getting a balanced diet. On top of that, the university newspaper where I worked for about a year had a deal with Hummus Bros at one point so we were getting free houmous in return for advertising. So really if I had to sum up my university experience in one word, that word would be "houmous". 
Yet somewhat surprisingly, I'd never attempted to make it before today. And I am surprised and delighted to discover that it is actually very easy to make, so hopefully this is only the first of many homemade houmouses!

425g canned chickpeas, plus a few more to serve
Juice of 1 large lemon
1/4 cup tahini
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons olive oil, plus a couple more to serve
1 tsp salt
1 tsp cumin
6 tbsp cold water
Ground paprika to serve
Flatbread to serve

1. Combine the tahini and lemon juice in a food processor, and process for about 2 minutes, stopping to scrape the sides.
2. Add the olive oil, salt, cumin and the minced garlic cloves, keep processing until fully mixed. 
3. Drain and wash the chickpeas, add to the food processor a cup at a time, processing in between. Add the water and keep processing until smooth.
4. Drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle the ground paprika and add some chickpeas to serve.

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