Wednesday, 30 May 2012

ITTP Prague TEFL: Hummus

(Click on photo to enlarge)
After I left University, and after a year's hiatus by the sea in Bognor Regis with my guitar and chess set, I decided to head off and begin the real adventure of life. My travels initially took me from the Glastonbury Festival in England, to Athens and the Greek islands. From there, with just the money for a ferry ticket and a bit of food, I made it via Cyprus to the Israeli mainland where I 'bunked' the train from Haifa to Tel Aviv and headed for the then famous Dizengoff hostel - where I had heard that you could pick up paid temporary work quite easily. The temporary work turned out to be pretty much full days of hard labor, mainly either shoveling concrete or hauling concrete bags up immense flights of stairs. In the morning the truck would pull up outside of the building loaded with cement bags and at the end of the day they would be up the top of the building and my whole body would ache for rest. Of course though, back in my early twenties rest was rare and instead our evenings were often fueled with imported Ukrainian vodka which could run a car (and other things). If you are ever in Jerusalem and happen upon the Tabasco hostel then you might just see my photo on the wall still, my young face probably caked in dust and with a proud smile on my face knowing that I had contributed to the building of a section of Jerusalem. At lunchtimes we would always always have hummus and pita and to this day whenever I eat hummus it reminds me of those back-breaking jobs I worked at both in Tel Aviv and Holy Jerusalem. The word Hummus incidentally comes from the Turkish word 'humus'. I'm not going to explain how to make the perfect hummus. I can't do that. Only people who have been making hummus for years and years have the ability to do so. What I can do though is save you the money and protect your health (and waistline) by providing an alternative to the canned version which is available in most Prague supermarkets. Here is that recipe:


1 cup dried chickpeas (the smallest you can find)
1/2 cup tahini (optional)
juice from 1 squeezed lemon
1-2 garlic cloves
1/2 teaspoon cumin (optional)
olive oil


Go through the chickpeas and look for damaged grains.
Wash the chickpeas, until the water is transparent.
Soak them in clean water over night. The grains should absorb most of the water and almost double their volume.
Strain the water off and wash the chickpeas and put them in a large pot. Cover with water only. Cook until the grains are very easily mashed when pressed between two fingers. It should take around 2-3 hours. When done, sieve the grains and keep the cooking water.
Put the chickpeas into a food processor and grind well. Leave to chill a little before you continue.
Add the rest of the ingredients and continue with the food processor until you get the desired texture. If the Hummus is too thick, add some of the cooking water. It should be thinner than the actual desired texture.
Serve with some good olive oil, chopped parsley and preferably some good pita bread.

Preparation tip:

When boiling the chick peas, scoop of the foam which forms on the surface of the pot. This will improve the taste of the dish and help prevent gas :-)

Foam in pot during the cooking process (Click on photo to enlarge)

Pimp it up:

I don't think this dish really needs pimping up, except for the bread which you serve with it. Unfortunately all I had left over was the bread which I used with the Nakladany Hermelin recipe from last week and this worked ok. You can't beat some freshly baked pita bread though. As a consolation I did cook the peas on a wood oven, but this unlikely had any pimp effect impact on the dish, except for a feel good factor during the cooking process.

(Click on photo to enlarge)


Hope it helps!

Dobrou chut!/Bon appetit!

Neville :-)