Traditional houmous & other dips
by Charlotte Watts
7 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
4 large garlic cloves, peeled
3 tbsp tahini
1 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
200 g chick peas – either pre-soaked and cooked as per label or tinned and rinsed
Firstly mix just the olive oil, garlic, tahini and lemon juice in a blender until smooth.
Add the chick peas slowly, blending as you add, until you get the consistency that you like; the houmous can be as rough or smooth as you fancy. If it becomes too thick, add a little more olive oil.
It can be refrigerated until ready to serve.
Traditionally it is presented on a plate drizzled with some olive oil, sprinkled with a little paprika and garnished with fresh coriander.
Extra ingredients can be added to houmous for variety, colour, health and taste, experiment with:
Any of these can also be substituted for chickpeas to make a variety of healthy dips. Olive oil, lemon juice and garlic are the basis of most dips in traditional Mediterranean and Middle Eastern cuisine. You can also make these into dressings by adding more olive oil.
Serve with pitta bread, rice cakes, crackers, in sandwiches with grated carrot, on salads or as a substitute for mayonnaise.