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 and serve warm, as they say, taste the difference.
- 350 g dried chickpeas
- 4 tsp baking soda
- 6 tbsp tahini
- 6 garlic cloves, finely pasted
- dash olive oil
- salt and freshly ground black pepper, freshly milled
- 1 large lemon, juice
- spring onions
- The day before you want to cook, wash the chickpeas well, then cover with cold water, add 2 tsp baking soda, and mix well.
- Pop into the fridge and leave overnight.
- Next day, rinse well and place into a saucepan, add the remaining 2 tsp baking soda, mix well, and cover with water by 2-3cm.
- Bring to the boil, skim well, 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, 3/4 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 seasoning. This is all about personal taste. I like lots of garlic and tahini.
- Serve warm with a swirl of extra room temperature tahini and a few of the warm whole peas.
- I also like to sprinkle with lots of chopped fresh parsley or coriander, even and a sprinkling of chopped spring onions and a few slices of green chilli. Sometimes a little thick yoghurt is a nice addition.
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