The humble but ever so tasty hummus is delicious, healthy and so easy to make. I wonder if you have ever tried hummus warm? In Turkey, especially in the South, hummus is served warm with red pepper flakes infused olive oil or with some sautéed pastirma (similar to pastrami; dried cured beef coated with spices) over the top. I’d very much encourage you to try hummus this way, as I feel you may be pleasantly surprised, and maybe converted to eat hummus warm as many of my friends have done.
Please adjust the hummus recipe according to your taste, as some like it garlicky, some with more tahini and others may prefer it more lemony. You can get tahini, the crushed sesame seeds in paste, in most supermarkets these days and Middle Eastern stores. This warm hummus would make a wonderful appetizer to share with friends and family. It also complements any grilled meat or vegetable beautifully.
Pita bread is the perfect accompaniment.
Preparation time – 15 minutes (add 1 hour if used dried chickpeas and soaking overnight)
225gr/8oz dried chickpeas, soaked in water overnight or for at least 6 hours or equivalent amount of precooked chickpeas in can
5ml /1 teaspoon salt – please adjust according to your taste-
60ml/4 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
30ml/2 tablespoons water
1-2 garlic cloves, crushed – optional-
Juice of 1 lemon
1-2 tablespoon tahini (sesame paste)
5ml/1 teaspoon (or a little more!) ground cumin
30ml/2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes or paprika
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
Slices of pita bread to serve
If using dried chickpeas, drain the chickpeas and transfer them to a pan with plenty of cold water. Bring to boil and boil for a few minutes. Then lower the heat and partially cover the pan, Simmer the chickpeas for 1 hour, until they are soft and easy to mash.
If precooked chickpeas are used, drain the juice and give them a little wash in a colander. Put the precooked (or cooked) chickpeas in a food processor and blitz them together with the extra virgin olive oil, water, lemon juice, garlic and tahini. If it appears thick and difficult to blend, add a little more olive oil or water. Season with salt and mix in the cumin. Process until you achieve a soft, smooth paste. Refrigerate until required.
If you would like to have the hummus warm as in the Turkish way, just before serving, warm this mixture in a pan for a couple of minutes. In a separate pan, heat the olive oil gently and stir in the red pepper flakes. Combine for a minute or two and let the red pepper flakes infuse to the olive oil. Put the warm hummus in a plate and drizzle the red pepper flakes infused olive oil over the top. You may sprinkle some extra ground cumin over the top, if you like. Serve with pita bread.
A little note:
There are many ways to show someone how much you care, and producing something homemade (be it food or drink), is one of the sweetest ways, at least for me. These stuffed cabbage leaves, made by my mother in Istanbul, travelled across thousands of miles and reached us last weekend- thanks to my husband kindly brought them to us! Special memories and thoughts came in the shape of stuffed cabbage leaves, one of my favorite, and brought a precious glimpse of home and happy smiles! Maybe a cup of tea, some hummus or anything you fancy; a little food/drink to share may go a long way