Recipe: Houmus and other mezze delights
Houmus is a Middle Eastern dish made from crushed chick peas, olive oil, lemon, tahini and garlic. We used to queue for bowls of houmus, served with warm pitta bread, chopped onions and small, green intense-tasting olives at a stand by the sea at Jaffa.
Houmus has a central place on the mezze table. Many tastes and colours can be added including red peppers, crushed nuts, tomato paste, pine kernels and chargrilled aubergine.
To learn the secrets of preparing mezze read :Three Top Tips for Magnificent Mezze.‘ Chick peas have a slightly earthy taste which is ideal for complementing with good, strong flavours. ( Garlic, everyone?) Their use in the classic ‘Couscous Royale’ is well known. Other mezze dishes with chick peas are:
- Baked hot chickpea puree ( a Turkish recipe with yoghurt, pine nuts and red pepper)
- Chick pea salad – whole chick peas with parsley, tomatoes and spring onion.
MoreSouth follows the mediterranean tradition of mezze. You can compose a feast from our locally sourced, freshly prepared dishes.
RECIPE for Houmus.
Soak chickpeas overnight. Cook them until soft, taking off the scum that appears when boiling.
Drain, retaining cooking liquid. Discard skins.
Mash chickpeas in some of their own liquid. (Using a mortar & pestle gives a better consistency than an electric device.)
Add salt, pepper and a touch of cumin and garlic.
Some of the best houmus is mixed with tahini, which has been gradually mixed with the cooking liquid and lemon juice.
Finally, drizzle with virgin olive oil and sprinkle lightly with sweet paprika.
Eat with pitta bread, olives, raw onions and tomatoes. Garnish with pomegranate seeds if you have a Pomegranate Tree in your garden.