I think that most people have some kind of relationship with hummus – they’ve seen it, tasted it, or perhaps even made it at home. And it’s really not that hard to make.
At home we often use hummus in the lunch box, either for spreading on bread or as a form of dip for vegetable sticks or for a delicious quick afternoon snack for the kids. But it’s a delicious treat and a different sidedish along with your dinner. We usually make a fairly large portion as it always being eaten. Especially my mother in law loves to eat hummus, and when she finally comes to visit us, it happens, that she gets a large portion to take home.
Although hummus is not a Turkish dish – it origins from the Middle East somewhere – you can get it at many restaurants down here. And it completely understandable since the classic humus contains chickpeas – leblebi as they are called in Turkish, and they are a common crop in Turkey. In southern Turkey, where Antalya is located, it is not unusual to served warm humus. Yes you read right, warm humus! Usually they serve it with spicy pastirma on top (it tastes like a well seasoned pastrami) and top up with a little olive oil and chili flakes and it should be really tasty. However, I haven’t tasted it yet, but I’m looking forward to.
You have probably already tried to make humus, but here are my recipe – and one with a little twist. I often experiment with different flavors, and I’ve had the best success with hummus with parsley (for this portion, I use a good handful of flat-leaf parsley). It have the finest delicate green color and it tastes absolutely excellent (especially if you spice it up with extra garlic and red chili flakes). It only takes about 15 minutes to blend it all together (if you choose to soak the chickpeas, they must have min. 6 hours in water (but best overnight) and must then be boiled in fresh water at low heat for about an hour until soft and can be squeezed). You can also use them from a tin – they are just as fine and one can fortunately not taste the difference.
This recipe fit for 4-6 people
200g dried chickpeas (or 2 cans precooked)
about 1½ tsp salt
6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
4 tablespoons water
2 garlic cloves
Juice of 1 lemon
1-2 tablespoons tahini (sesame paste)
about 1 teaspoon ground cumin
Adjust all the ingredients to your taste – sometimes it requires a little extra lemon juice, a little extra salt, oil, garlic, cumin or something else. You can also easily use the same recipe and change the chickpeas with beans or even lentils (have not tried the latter, but it could certainly taste good). Carrots, beets, parsnips, etc. also works fine.
If you want to try it hot, you will need:
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon red pepper / chili flakes or paprika
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
After the chick peas are cooked, and all the liquid poured off, put them into a food processor with all the other ingredients. If you, as I only have a hand blender with associated machine, I can only recommend to blend it in small potions. Somehow it always gets fixed at the bottom and it is quite irritating, if you have a major portion. If it becomes too thick to mix, you get a little more licquid in eg. Water and oil to make it a little easier.
When you are finished you should have a soft, smooth paste, that is ready to eat. I often like to make the hummus a little “hard” , so it can more easily be “picked up” and stuck on eg. Vegetables. If you like it more smooth, you need to add extra liquid.
If you want your hummus warm, as in the Turkish way, it’s quite easy. Heat the olive oil and chili / pepper flakes up in a separate pan until the flakes give a little color. It only takes a few minutes. Pour the hot hummus on a platter or on plates, drizzle the oil and chili flakes over it and maybe sprinkle with a little cumin or chiliflakes, if you want. If you have Turkish pastirma you are lucky, but you can also easily do without. But remember to serve bread with it – preferable a little tough one as pita bread (or maybe make your own Turkish pide bread – rI’ll soon give you the recipe)