Hummus Tahini – An Authentic Middle Eastern Side Dish Recipe
Hummus is very common in every Middle Eastern home. It’s part of the traditional Meze dish that is served as a side or an appetizer. Hummus bi tahini is an Arabic word, which means chickpeas with tahini. Tahini is crushed sesame seeds, that is turned into a paste after a process soaking and toasting the seeds. Many wonder where hummus really came from. Some claim from the Arabs, while others from Israel and then there are many other countries that say, that they have eaten hummus for hundreds of years. Chickpeas were first used in the Middle Eastern countries, but pretty quickly spread all over Africa, India and the countries around the Mediterranean sea. While hummus has been a staple in every home in some countries for Centuries, it has become wide spread in the West only the past few decades.
Chickpeas (Garbanzo Beans)
Is part of the legume family, and is grown second most of all legumes in the world. Chickpeas are exceptional, and provide some awesome benefits and nutrition. They contain the highest amount of protein then other beans, which makes it an ideal food for vegans and vegetarians. Chickpeas are rich in vitamins and minerals, especially iron and zinc, and have shown to help with digestion problems and controlling sugar levels in the blood. When chickpeas are turned into hummus, served with bread, it actually becomes a complete protein. A study done in 2012, shows that hummus may help with weight management, especially paired with vegetables.
Tahini is commonly used in variety of dishes in Middle East. Growing up my grandma would make a simple pita bread dough and spread the tahini over the rolled dough. She would add a little sugar and some cinnamon and then bake it in the oven. We loved it as kids. We thought it was the best treat ever! It was our very own Armenian tahini sweet bread. Sesame seeds have been used for thousands of years in Asia and Middle East for its health benefits. t contains high levels of unsaturated fatty acids such as Omega 3. This has shown to help with cardiovascular health problems, as it acts as a defender against the saturated fats, that exist plenty full in the Western diet. Unfortunately those who are allergic to nuts, may notice some symptoms, as sesame oil can induce allergic reactions.
I don’t think my husband, Robert fully understood the different type of foods he would be eating when he first married me. Hummus tahini was only one of many different foods that he was introduced to. Lucky for me (and him), he has never been a picky eater. Actually, he fell in love with the Mediterranean and Middle Eastern diet. He would tell you, definitely love at first taste. Today, hummus can be bought at ever grocery store. I have tried different brands, organic as well as non-organic. I guess I am just very particular, because I really want the authentic taste that I grew up enjoying. You may recognize this recipe to some degree, because authentic hummus should contain pretty much the same ingredients, with slight tweaks due to preference.
My hummus recipe has been around my family for decades. I have shared this recipe with many and only had one person say that they wished it was smoother. You’ll find, if you eat at Middle Eastern restaurants, that each place has their own preference. Some hummus are really creamed, while others are not completely smooth. If you prefer really smooth, then you need to remove the skin off the beans. It’s not too hard to do this, but I personally prefer with the skin on. By using baking soda and roasting, then washing your beans, you can easily remove the outer skin, before blending your hummus.
I do want to make one important note though, this is my preference. Using fresh lemon juice and fresh garlic will definitely make a huge positive difference in your final product. I’m all good with substitution for some things. But trying to replace fresh products with bottled, will not work very well. The taste will vary too much in this case. If you need to, you can easily use fresh 2 frozen lemon cubes as a substitute for freshly squeezed. All you have to do is, let it thaw in the refrigerator for an hour, and it’s ready.
Hummus – side dish
Yield: 2 1/2 Cups Prep Time: 15 Min.
1 Can (15 Oz. Drained and Rinsed)) Or 1 3/4 Cup Cooked Garbanzo Beans
2-3 Small Garlic Cloves (1 Additional if you Like the Extra Flavor)
1/4 Cup Fresh Lemon Juice
2 Teaspoon Cumin Powder
4 Tablespoon Olive oil
4 Tablespoon Tahini
2 Teaspoons Cold Water (optional – depending how creamy you like it)
1/2 tsp Salt (More or Less)
1-2 Tablespoon Olive Oil
1 Teaspoon Mint Flakes
Pinch Of Ground Cumin
Pinch Of Cayenne Pepper
Kalamata Olive (Optional)
Blend the ingredients in a food processor for about 1-2 minutes. Allow the machine to produce smooth Puree.
You may taste and adjust the flavor with additional salt or lemon.
Garnish with drizzled Olive Oil, and sprinkle with crushed mint flakes, cumin and cayenne pepper. Top with olive (if you’d like)
You can serve hummus with pita bread or your choice of cut veggies. Leftovers (if any) will store great in the refrigerator for couple of days. The next day the olive oil may be a little solid, allow the dish to sit in room temperature for 5 minutes and then top with fresh oil, if you’d like (I’m always in for extra).
Love to get some feedback with your experience with this recipe!