I’ve always loved hummus, a specialty of Lebanon. Hummus is a mezze made of chick peas, lemon juice, garlic and Tahini (sesame paste which can be easily replaced by sesame oil).
Mezze is an assortment of appetisers, mostly dips, eaten with Lebanese flat bread.
I’ve never been to Lebanon and, don’t laugh but I tasted my first hummus in the UK.
The first time I made my own, I made it completely from scratch using dried chick peas.
I had to leave them overnight in cold water, cook them until tender (takes quite a long time) and then mix them with the other ingredients.
The result was pretty disappointing especially considering the time I spent : the hummus was much too dry and the taste not up to what I was hoping for.
It’s very good when you want to make everything by yourself, but sometimes it’s very time consuming for an average result.
Anyway, I wasn’t going to give up.
A couple of months later in a supermarket, as I was looking down at my shoes, I saw some tins of cooked chickpeas on the bottom shelf.
Yes! I've just saved 2 steps in the preparation of my hummus.
I chose a recipe in one of my books and then came a long series of home-made hummus. A lot of our friends were happy to have it and most of the time the bowl was empty when they left.
I began to have some doubts a couple of weeks ago when David told me that he enjoyed my hummus but that he liked the consistency of those already made in shops better.
What a shock! I even bought one in a supermarket to understand why he was saying that.
It seems that he was right. Even if the taste was a little bit too weak, the consistency was very creamy.
This time I was ready to give up.
I had to cross the Atlantic to find the solution.
When I arrived in Guadeloupe (French Caribbean), after 8 hours of flight and 6 hours of time difference, as I was looking around Francoise and Francois beautiful house, my eyes were caught by two tins of chickpea puree.
Here was my solution. No more chick peas to leave overnight in water, to cook or mash. It’s true that chickpeas aren’t all that easy to mash because of their skin and if you’re thinking of removing the skin on each chickpea? No way!
The following evening, without using a recipe, Francoise and I mixed the different ingredients I had in my memory. We tasted, added some more stuff, and tasted again until we liked the result. Francois was kind enough to be our guinea pig.
We enjoyed this hummus a lot. It had this nice taste of chickpeas, the little exotic taste of sesame paste and it was so creamy.
When I came back home with my boxes of chickpea puree in my suitcase, I made the same hummus again.
I can tell you that David enjoyed it !
For 6 people
1 tin of chickpea puree (380 g)
2 tsp of tahini (sesame paste) or ½ tsp of sesame oil
2 tsp of lemon juice
1 tbsp of olive oil
One garlic clove smashed
Mix all the ingredients together. Add some more lemon juice or tahini according to your taste.
Serve with carrots, cucumber or pita bread that you’ve re-heated in your toaster.