Homus / Hummus / Hoummous – this DELICIOUS Middle Eastern dip has a lot of variations on the spelling of the name, though not nearly as many as there are variations on the recipe!
Homus has origin stories in most countries in the Middle East region and none of them are much more far-fetched than any other, but the fact is, nobody really knows who invented homus* first. What we do know it that homus is a glorious, wonderful gift given to the world from the Middle East and it’s so delicious and easy to make that anyone can make it taste FABULOUS in their own kitchen.
The word “homus” in Arabic literally means “chickpeas” and chickpeas are the base ingredient of homus. Where you take it from there, is very much up to you! Most common recipes pair the mashed or blended chickpeas with tahini (sesame paste), various spices, salt, & olive oil.
If you want to learn more about the history of homus/hummus/houmous, check out these links (spoiler alert: nobody really knows where it first came from):
*I use the spelling “homus” simply because this is how my local Turkish restaurant spelt the word & their homus remains one of the best I’ve tasted (and yes – I’ve been to Turkey!) Alas this local Turkish restaurant is closed right now after is was badly damaged by fire, but I live in hope that it will return!
With each tweak to my homus recipe, my aim is to get my homus as close to this local restaurant’s homus as possible (I am getting damned close & have even been told by friends that mine is better!)
This recipe can be made in a food processor, a mini-food processor (like the tub for your stick blender – this is how I usually make it), if your stick blender doesn’t have a tub, you can just use the stick blender, you can use a mortar & pestle, & even (if you have no other choice), a potato masher! I was forced to use a potato masher once when I was in isolation at an AirBnB (see pic above). It was still very tasty!
PREP TIME: 10 mins (if you’re chopping your own garlic); 5 minutes (if you’re using pre-chopped/minced garlic)
COOK TIME: None. No cooking needed, just a food processor.
THIS RECIPE MAKES: Approx. 500ml of dip. Perfect size for serving at a party. Enough to keep a family of 4 enjoying homus for around a week. Enough to keep a group of 3 or 4 boardgames players enjoying homus for around an hour (boardgames players are HUNGRY!)
- 1 can of chickpeas (drained – keep the liquid)
- 2 tbsp of the drained liquid
- ¼ cup of hulled tahini (2 tbsp if unhulled)
- 2 tsp cumin powder
- 1 tsp paprika (smoked or ground, your choice)
- 2-3 cloves of garlic
- Olive oil (see Method for amount)
- 1 tsp salt (add more to taste. I usually add quite a bit, but be careful not to overdo it)
- 2 tsp lemon juice (add more to taste. Lemon can balance salt, so if you overdo one, you can balance it with the other)
- Optional (see method): warm water
Add all of your ingredients to a food processor (start with 3 tbsp of olive oil & 2 tsp of salt)
Whiz it all together until it gets smooth.
Test the flavour & consistency with a cracker – if it’s too thick, add more olive oil or warm water (see note below) if you intend to consume the homus in one meal. If it’s not flavoursome enough, add some more salt.
Whiz again each time you add more ingredients to your taste.
Keep adjusting & whizzing until the consistency & flavour are just right for you!
**NOTE: Warm water, while great if you are going to consume all of the homus in one meal, will evaporate quickly in the fridge & your homus will end up being very thick. This is why I use more olive oil.
SERVE WITH SUGGESTIONS:
Homus goes GREAT with tomatoes, fresh or roasted. Homus is delicious by itself with bread, crackers, celery, or baby cucumbers (even carrots if you’re not allergic to them!) and can make a salad wrap or sandwich feel like a full meal. Homus doesn’t change its flavour if it’s heated, so you can easily spread it onto a sandwich or wrap you intend to toast.
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