Decent houmous is something I have spent many an hour in the supermarket trying to track down. And the best I have found is actually a Tesco’s low fat red pepper houmous. What makes a good houmous? Well, a good punch of garlic, a smooth but not gloopy texture (this is an issue I have had when it comes to shop bought and some homemade houmous), and some interesting variations on the basic recipe too- if possible. Please.
But, what better way to get the houmous I wanted than to make it myself? It turns out to be extremely easy. And I don’t mean easy in a health food wielding goddess way. We all know the instagramers and chefs I’m talking about. Whose “easy” recipes involve buying something from Wholefoods that it would actually be cheaper to fly to the Amazon rainforest and collect for yourself than purchase from a guy in one of those golfing hats at the tills. No, the basic recipe is ridiculously easy. So easy, that I decided to make a tasting board for a family meal recently, with five different houmouses on. FIVE. All but one is vegan friendly (avoid the feta vegans), all are delicious, all take no time to whip up.
Below I am giving you the instructions to make the dipping board that I created. If you only fancy one of the flavour variations then simply multiply the ingredients by five, and make this one flavour. So, here goes….
The Basic Houmous…
1 can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1tbsp extra virgin olive oil (if you only have normal that’s fine, but extra virgin has a better flavour if you aren’t using it in cooking- which is why chefs use it in salad dressings)
2tbsp lemon juice
2-3 garlic cloves (depending how strong you want it/ how much social interaction you have planned tomorrow)
1/3 cup tahini (this is a sesame paste- think peanut butter, but with sesame seeds. Pick it up on the world foods isle of your local supermarket)
Blend it all together. That’s it. Blend it until it has the desired consistency; I like a few chunks, so for me this was mostly smooth, with a few chunks.
Making Your Dipping Board….
Divide the houmous into five, each fifth weighs about 68g to the best of my recollection. Then, for each fifth blend in the following ingredients, scoop into a ramekin, and serve on a platter with some carrot sticks, celery, and pitta bread. Wipe your blender quickly in between each flavour to stop all of the different houmouses becoming muddled. To just make one of the flavours multiply the ingredients by five, and blend into the whole batch of houmous.
Add a sprinkle of smoked paprika to the top
Mint & Cucumber
1/3 cucumber (rind on is fine)
4-5 mint leaves
Beetroot & Basil
4-5 basil leaves
2 jarred baby beetroots (you don’t have to use fresh- avoids a lot of mess)
Olive & Oregano
10 olives (I used jarred, 5 black and 5 green)
The leaves of 2 sprigs of oregano
Feta & Chive
25g feta cheese
1 small handful chives
That’s it! Enjoy your houmous dipping board- it looks like you spent hours in the kitchen, when it really required minimal effort. You can now assume a smug smile, and dig in…