I can’t remember when I first tasted houmous but I do remember loving the garlicky chickpea dip. Once upon a time in the West it was an ethnic delicacy with a hippy following, now its available in every supermarket!
This ancient peasant dish – the authentic version contains chickpeas, mashed and flavoured with sesame seed paste (tahini), olive oil, garlic, lemon juice and served with unleavened bread, used for dipping.
Delicious in its simplest form the humble chickpea puree has, it seems had some flavour enhancements over the years, lending itself to infinite riffs and applications – as a dip, a spread or dinner in its own right. My version is seasoned with turmeric root (available to buy fresh) but you can of course use dried along with cumin, served with a lightly pickled beetroot salad.
The perfect partner to cruditee and flatbreads.
Turmeric Houmous with Lightly Pickled Beetroot & Spelt Flatbread
- 400 g Tin Chickpeas in water or 120g dried chickpeas
- 1 large Lemon
- 2 cm piece fresh Turmeric peeled and grated or 1 tsp Turmeric powder
- 50 ml Tahini stirred well
- 1 Clove Garlic crushed
- 50 g Olive oil
- 1 tsp Cumin
- 170 g Beetroot
- 40 ml White wine vinegar
- 40 ml Water
- 20 g Caster sugar
- a good pinch Sea salt
Spelt Flat Bread
- 200 g Stoneground wholemeal spelt
- 50 g Dark rye flour
- 130 ml Water, cold
- ¼ tsp Sea salt
- 2 tsp Olive oil
- 1 tbsp Pomegranate seeds and parsley, each
- 1 tsp Black sesame seeds
- 1 tsp White sesame seeds
- Begin by soaking the dried chickpeas in plenty cold water overnight. The next day cook according to the packet instructions.
- In a food processor pour the lemon juice and tahini, blend to emulsify, it will thicken, at this point add 2 tablespoons of boiling water and blend again. It will now be the thickness of single cream.
- Add the cumin, turmeric and garlic to the tahini mixture. If you’re using tinned chickpeas pour them into a saucepan with the water and bring to a slow boil, simmer for a minute and drain. Add to the food processor. (Blending whilst still warm will give you a smoother houmous). If you’re using fresh just pour the cooked warm and drained chickpeas into the processor. Blend for 30 seconds, then scrape down the sides and add the olive oil and season, blend again.
- Now put an ice cube into a small cup with 3 tablespoons of cold water, swirl the cup to chill the water. Now pour the water and ice into the food processor whilst the motor is still running. This gives the humous a lovely creamy texture.
Lightly Pickled Beetroot
- Peel the beetroot and cut into fine matchstick sized pieces or if you have a mandolin this will do the job nicely. Place in a non reactive bowl.
- Mix the the white wine vinegar, water, salt and sugar, stir with a spoon and pour over the beetroot. Cover and leave for at least 20 minutes before serving.
- Pour the flours into a bowl and add the salt and olive oil. Now add the water and mix with your hand to form a fairly stiff dough. Add a little more water if you feel the dough is too dry. Divide into 8 pieces. Roll each piece into a ball and then flatten, roll out with a rolling pin to approximately 15cm disc.
- Heat a frying pan on a medium to high heat, place a flatbread in the pan and cook for approximately 30-60 seconds and then flip it over and cook for the same amount of time and then remove. (You know you have the right heat when you have a few brown blisters on the surface of the bread) Continue with the remaining, wrap the bread in a clean tea towel while you cook.