A Short History of Houmous


Houmous can also be spelt: hummus, hamos, hummus, hommos, hommus, hummous and is the Arabic word for chickpea.

I ate lots in Cyprus and it got me thinking…where was it born? How was it born? And how could I make lots more of it at home?

The main ingredients for houmous are chickpeas, olive oil, tahini and lemon juice. It’s said to be Levantine …a cuisine from ‘Levant’ which covered Israel, Lebanon, Southern Turkey, Syria, North Iraq, Jordan and Palestine. Chickpeas have, however, been a staple of the Egyptian diet since ancient times and been around since prehistoric times. As far back as 400 B.C., Socrates and Plato were writing about the benefits of chickpeas in their diet!

Apparently, the chickpea is native to an area in Persia around the Caucasus Mountains. It was possibly first made in the 12th century by the Sultan of Egypt, Saladin – although some people believe that chickpeas originated in Turkey.

Chickpeas grow in tropical or subtropical climates and must have more than 400 centimeters per year (a lot)! Although it’s hard to track the exact birthplace of houmous, we do know that it has been a part of the Middle Eastern and Mediterranean diet for thousands of years.

If you’d like to make it yourself at home, here’s how:

1 16 oz can of chickpeas
1/4 cup liquid from can of chickpeas
4 tablespoons lemon juice
2 cloves of crushed garlic
2 tablespoons tahini
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons olive oil

Drain chickpeas and keep the liquid from the can. Mix the other ingredients in blender or food processor. Add 1/4 cup of liquid from the chickpeas. Blend for 3-4 minutes on low until thoroughly mixed and smooth. Place in serving bowl, and create a little well in the center of the hummus. Add a small dribble of olive oil in the well…one tablespoon should be enough.

I like to eat mine with bread, carrots, crisps or celery sticks (depending on how healthy I’m feeling).


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