Thursday, December 1, 2011


For those of you who are new to it, hummus is an Arabic dip which has been gaining popularity worldwide lately for its taste and nutrition. It is basically a paste of chickpeas and Tahini, which is sesame seed paste.

There are some foods that we never eat. We might have never tasted it,but the very sight of it tells you "There is no way you are going to eat it". For me, Humus was one such dish. No, there was nothing wrong with its presentation. Instead it was the way I used to see Nada eat it. Hummus is something that has been a regular on our dining table since my childhood. It was always served with Kubbus(Arabic bread), and sometimes, grilled chicken. And whenever it was served, Nada would plop a large blob of hummus onto her plate, dip her fingers into it and lick it like it were heaven. Ugh!! Disgusting. It was only about 4 years back, when Nada had learnt her table manners, that I decided to give this white paste a try. 
I remember that day very well. It was midnight. All my cousins were at home and we were awfully hungry. A raid in the fridge and Nada emerged with a packet of kubbus and a bowl of cold hummus. And man..was it good!! I couldn't believe what I had missed all those years. Though the dish is usually served at room temperature, I have always preferred it cold, just like how I had it that night.

Growing up in Qatar, Umma never prepared hummus. She never had to, since we get to buy it in every other restaurant there. It is said that we realize the value of something only when we lose it. And that is exactly what happened when we came down to India 11/2 years back. We began to crave for Arabic food, including hummus. Luckily, this recipe that I got from an extremely old Lipton cookbook(yeah..I know..I too am wondering as to why a tea company would publish such a recipe) came to my rescue.


2 cups cooked chickpeas* with 1/4 cup of the water it was cooked in
3-4 garlic cloves
5 tbsp olive oil and more for garnishing
2 tbsp tahini
juice of 1/2 lemon or to taste
salt to taste

Grind all the ingredients to a thick grainy paste. Add chickpea water if it gets too thick. Check the taste and add lime or tahini if required. Garnish with of a squirt of olive oil and chickpeas. Serve with any flat bread, preferably kubbus.

*To cook chickpeas, soak the chickpeas overnight and pressure cook till you get the smell of cooked chickpeas- usually 3-4 whistles.

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