Sunday, 19 July 2009

hoummous, easy recipe, vegan, vegetarian, tasty

Instead of the raw food mock hoummous on the previous post, you might prefer to try the real thing. I confess I love hoummous, either with crackers, or for dipping cruditees in, or drizzled over falafel and salad - I used to love this stuffed into a pitta bread when I could eat wheat, but have to forgo that pleasure now.

Years ago, in Paris, whilst on a family holiday, we spent virtually every lunchtime at a falafel stall, I think it was on the Rue de Hachette, or somehing very similar, where, for 2 francs you received a few falafel in a pitta, and could then stuff it with the various salads and pickles on the front of the stall. Wonderful value, and very tasty. However, I digress (most unlike me!)


1 tin of chick peas, drained, but reserve a couple of tablespoons of the liquid from the can
1 lemon, juice (and if it's an unwaxed lemon, the zest as well)
1 tablespoon of Tahini (if you don't have any in the cupboard, use peanut butter for a similar texture, but obviously slightly different flavour)
1 or 2 cloves of garlic - to taste (obviously cloves vary in size, and everyone's palate is different)
Olive oil - enough to give the consistency you like
pinch of salt

Put everything except the oil into a blender, then add the oil slowly until you reach the consistency you prefer. If you're watching calories, you can just add a drop of water, or extra lemon juice without any damage.

To serve it, place it in a bowl, drizzle with a little oil and sprinkle some paprika over. Or some lemon zest, or just a sprig of parsley, have fun :)

I sometimes add whole sesame or sunflower seeds and just give a quick blitz if I fancy a little extra texture. Or linseeds, or pumpkin seeds ...... you get the picture. Experiment, have fun with it.

In the shops you'll see "specialist" hoummous, with roasted peppers, aubergines etc etc. I've tried them and prefer the subtle flavour of the original. However, it's all about personal preference, so if you've seen these and wondered what they're like, have a go.

If you've got your oven on for chips, or a roast of some kind, pop a red pepper, or aubergine, or whatever you fancy, onto a baking sheet and put it in the oven at the same time. Take it out when the skin looks as if it's about to burn, really quite black, trust me. Put the pepper, or aubergine etc into a plastic bag, or tub with the lid on, and leave it until it gets cool. You'll then be able to peel the skin off very easily - sometimes it helps to run it under cold water to wash the charred skin away.

Then just blend some of the pepper, or whatever, in with the hoummous until you get a flavour you enjoy. You might find half a pepper will give you enough of a hit, or you may need the whole of it. Again, sizes differ, as do palates, and it's your hoummous, so make it so that you like it.

Then look at the price of a small pot in the supermarket or deli and see just how much money you've saved!!!!!

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