I was very lucky some years ago to make 4 films in Israel. The food, country and people were truly amazing. I Cooked all over from the Dead Sea to the Judean hills to Jaffa, home of the famous orange. In Jaffa we tasted 3 very different houmous offerings all delicious at the Ali Karavan restaurant, that’s all they sell. It was not until I tasted the real deal that I realised how far off the mark we are here in the UK. Here is my version of what I learnt in Israel, oh a serve warm, as they say taste the difference.
- 350g dried chickpeas
- 4 tsp baking soda
- 4-6 tbsp tahini
- 6 garlic cloves, finely pasted
- dash of olive oil
- salt and freshly milled black pepper
- lemon juice from 1 large lemon
- spring onions
- The day before you want to cook, wash the chickpeas well then cover with cold water and add 2 tsp baking soda and mix well.
- Pop into the fridge and leave overnight.
- Next day rinse well and place into a saucepan and add the remaining 2 tsp baking soda, mix well and cover with water by 2-3cm.
- Bring to the boil, skim well and reduce the heat, then simmer for 20-30 minutes or until the peas are cooked, soft but not falling apart.
- When cooked drain well but keep the cooking liquor.
- Place the tahini, ¾ of the cooked chickpeas and garlic into a food processor and blitz on full speed for 2 minutes. You may need to add a little cooking liquor to loosen the mix slightly.
- Spoon into a bowl and add salt, pepper and lemon juice and mix well.
- Taste and adjust if needed, this is all about personal taste, I like lots of garlic and tahini.
- Serve warm with a swirl or extra room temperature tahini, a few of the warm whole peas.
- I also like to sprinkle with lots of chopped fresh parsley or coriander, even and sprinkling of chopped spring onions and a few slices of green chilli. Sometimes a little thick yogurt also is a nice addition.