Fresh Homemade Humous
(and a reason not to buy it!)
I thought it was farcical a few years ago when I heard that there was a shortage of tubs of humous in the shops!
Did that mean there was a shortage of dried or tins of chickpeas? Because that it what this delicious dip basically is – mushed chickpeas. This conundrum found me googling the apparently elusive legume and how and where they are grown. Who knew? Turns out they are not that easy to grow and need lots of time, care and sunshine - so it could be that. But no – apparently the shortage was because of a ‘production issue’.
It sounded like a belated April’s fool’s joke especially when you see it was actually in the newspapers and headlining on the Internet. Even Twitter and Facebook had thousands of articles from devastated devotees unable to purchase their favourite dip.
Apparently, us Brits spend £60 million per year on bought houmos. Whoah! You would think with that budget the suppliers could get the recipe and ingredients right.
Turned out the normally delicious product had a problem in the manufacture itself and was actually fizzing and tasting metallic.,. some said tasted vile. And it was not just one supermarket but most of them!
It got me wondering what on earth the manufacturers put in it (and other foods) to taste and look like that?
This is surely a huge lesson for us all to learn – think and think again about just what is in your food – how many chemicals, E numbers, preservatives and un-necessary nasty unpronounceable ingredients are in the most basic and simplest of dishes?
If you make your food yourself not only do you know what is in it as you are in control, but it will be cheaper, healthier and far far tastier.
A traditional Mediterranean or Asian dip houmos (or hummus however you want to spell it!) is often on our Merrow Savouries’ lunchtime finger buffet and business lunch menus and it is always homemade – for all the above reasons! And ours does not bubble! Or perhaps that could be new novelty dish idea…bubbly houmos?
Simply, drain a tin of chickpeas. Put in a food mixer or use a hand blender. Now add 3 tablespoons of good olive oil, a generous squeeze of fresh lemon, a teaspoon of tahini which is a brilliant ingredient of simply pureed sesame seeds, plus a very finely chopped garlic clove – or more if you like. That’s it. Whizz up until you achieve the consistency you like – you may prefer really smooth or chunky. At this point to make the mixture wetter and more of a puree you can slowly add some water and always remember to scrape around the edge of the mixer. Salt to taste and a good grind of freshly ground pepper and hey presto you have made fresh Humous. All for a fraction of the cost and a million times more flavour.
Other ideas are to dry out some cherry tomatoes in the oven for a couple of hours with a splash of balsamic and olive oil - chop up and add to chickpea nectar. Or add some drained and chopped sundried tomatoes from a jar. Or griddle thin slices of red peppers and stir through. Or again, use some well drained chopped ones from a jar. Perhaps a sprinkling of smoked paprika for a little kick.
Now put it in a small dish, sprinkle over some toasted sesame seeds or even some spare unused chickpeas themselves. Serve on toast or with warm pitta bread slices to dip or crunchy colourful crudities of carrot batons, whole radishes, slices of red and yellow pepper and celery.
Now the final tip – make lots – double up or triple up - it is delicious! And I promise you with these simple store cupboard ingredients – no fizz or metallic taste!!!