Saturday, 22 August 2009

Making My Own Houmous

I eat a lot of houmous these days and I think generally everybody does. You probably don't even realise how much you eat. It's a multi-purpose food stuff that can be used as a condiment or as a small meal on it's own with some suitable bread. You could easily whack some in a burger or sandwich or have it on the side of your plate with some posh olives and meat.

It's also suppose to be healthy. It's suppose to be something good you can eat loads of and not feel guilty. You can actually be a bit of a prick about it and gloat over people who snack on bacon sandwiches and sausage rolls while you stick to you houmous and pitta. The bottom line is it tastes good and you can eat loads of it without feeling sick and it tastes goes with a lot of other flavours easily.

I've been eating so much of it for so long now I thought it time to make it myself and it's actually really easy to make.

is made from chickpeas blended with tahini (sesame seed pulp) which is then flavoured with garlic and lemon juice.

I decided to choose dried chickpeas and cook them myself instead of using tinned ones. You have to soak them overnight before you cook them. I took this picture to illustrate why as they need to swell up with the water before they can be cooked. For the same price as a tin of ready cooked chickpeas you can by a bag of dried ones which will make as much as ten cans when cooked. They do take a bit of time to cooked. They have to go in a pan with plenty of water and need to be boiled rapidly first for ten minutes and then need boiling gently for about two hours until they are nice and soft . Make sure the pan does not boil dry or you will burn the chickpeas. Once cooked they need to be cooled before they can transcend into houmous.

I used a blender to process the chickpeas which wasn't ideal. Everything got caked round the edges and I had to scrape the houmous out with spoons after. When it was going a bit cloggy a added olive oil to grease it up. If you've got on of those magimix things it's going to be a lot easier to make.

I've made this a few times and I think a good ratio of houmous to tahini is when just under a third is tahini but your going to want to experiment and taste as you blend them together. I try to get the tahini/ chickpea mix right before adding anything else. Tahini can taste a bit foul and bitter on it's own but if the houmous doesn't have enough it doesn't really have any depth of flavour. I add a load of decent olive oil, three good size crushed garlic cloves and the juice of a medium sized lemon and then it's done.

The first thing I noticed about home made houmous is the consistency. It much chunkier and drier than store bought stuff. I'm sure they bulk it out with water to to make it go further. The second thing I noticed is that homemade houmous tastes much better. Most bought houmous uses powdered garlic instead of real garlic and citric acid instead of lemon juice where my homemade uses real ingredients and is proper lush.

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