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Hummus: A blend of health and flavours

Every health conscious persons’ favourite, hummus is a rich and scrumptious mixture of chickpea, tahini, lemon juice and garlic. As hummus lovers recently celebrated the Middle Eastern dish on International Hummus Day (May 13), we take a look at the versatile dish, its various tried and tested flavours, and experts tips on how one blend a perfect hummus.

The origin of the dish, which is usually consumed as a dip or spread, has been oft debated, but according to the popular belief, it originated in the 13th century. Documented in an early cookbook from Cairo, Egypt, the original recipe doesn’t resemble the modern day hummus much. Instead, it was a cold chickpea puree containing herbs, oil, lemon and vinegar without garlic or tahini.

But for modern iterations of the dish, there are options galore. “One can prepare pesto, beetroot, spinach, kale, mint, red bell pepper, roasted garlic, roasted sweet potato, roasted red pumpkin, cilantro, avocado, even achari and several other flavours of hummus. One can add herbs for a refreshing spin. Adding beer also imparts a citrus, zesty flavour and gives a fuller volume, making it fluffier and creamy,” says chef Reetu Uday Kugaji.

Talking about the popularity of the dish in India, chef Nishant Choubey shares, “Hummus became popular here because its main ingredient, chickpeas, is a staple in Indian households. The fondness multiplied when health came into the forefront amid pandemic. Hummus is super healthy and doesn’t take much time to prepare.”

Tips to prepare perfect hummus:

If you prefer your hummus hand-prepared instead of using a blender, try adding chunky or crushed rose petals in avocado and cilantro hummus.

Apply lemon juice to the sliced avocados to avoid them from getting brown due to enzymatic browning.

Wash and soak the chickpeas overnight.

On the second day, that is the day of preparing hummus, drain and wash the chickpeas through a strainer. Bring it to a boil and simmer it. Cool and strain.

Reserve the liquid to adjust consistency or for blending the ingredients of the hummus. Place it in the refrigerator or freezer to make it ice cold. This is done to make the hummus much fluffier.

Do not add too much tahini, garlic and lemon Juice as it may impart bitter flavours.

Hummus should be fluffy and light, and not a heavy lump.

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