Are you sitting at home eating every cookie, pretzel, potato chip and gummy bear in sight? Maybe it’s just the time to get back to basics and what could be more basic than real Jerusalem hummus.
First – a couple of words about hummus. Seems like everyone everywhere claims that they invented Hummus – the Lebanese, the Syrians, the Turks, the Israelis, even the Nepalese. Although there is a long history of hummus throughout Asia and the Middle East, you may not know that hummus is actually mentioned in the Hebrew Bible!
The Book of Ruth (2:14) states: “Come hither, and eat of the bread, and dip thy morsel in the “hometz”.”
True, today in modern Hebrew, the word “hometz” can mean vinegar but, why would Ruth dip her pita in vinegar rather than hometz-hummus? Certainly makes more sense, and, yes, there are biblical scholars that interpret the verse as evidence that Jews were eating hummus as early as Biblical times.
Whether true or not, hummus has found its way from the Middle East to almost every corner of the world – it's an epidemic! And, the best hummus anywhere is found in Jerusalem! Whether at Lina or Abu Shukri in the Old City or Pinati or Rachmu in the New City, chunky or smooth, topped with broad beans or pine nuts, you can’t ever go wrong with ordering a plate of hummus in Jerusalem.
And, until you can come visit Jerusalem again, here’s a simple recipe for “almost-real” Jerusalem hummus. Make it with the kids. It’s fast, easy and a lot better for you than gummy bears!
2 cans of chickpeas – with no additives (drain and keep the liquid in a glass)
(You could use dry chickpeas, and soak them overnight and cook them again but, really, is that what you need right now?)
170 grams of tahini paste
Juice of half a lemon
2 small cloves of garlic
½ cup of olive oil (optional)
1 tsp salt
Pine nuts – optional
Put the tahini paste, lemon juice and about ½ cup of the reserved liquid in a food processor. Whisk. Then add the chickpeas, the salt and the garlic and mix again – if it’s too thick, add more reserved liquid. If you want a very rich hummus – add the olive oil to taste.
Dress it up by garnishing with olive oil, parsley and adding pine nuts, toasted in olive oil. Serve with pita or crackers. Enjoy!
Main Photo: Jeremy Keith, Brighton Hove, United Kingdom