When I was going to school in Israel, hummus became a mainstay in my diet. I always had a large container of it stored in my dorm, and it accompanied me to almost every meal. I am not exaggerating when I say I spread hummus on practically anything, taking this dip beyond bread, crackers, and carrot sticks. Chicken cutlets? Yes. French fries? Delicious. Fish? Check. Salad? Perfect. Pasta? Of course. The hummus tests were sometimes for more obscure food which resulted in me receiving some weird looks.
Before my friends became used to my food endeavors, I heard a lot of: “Is that hummus?” when they see my plate. What can I say, Israeli hummus is incredible! Some people came to my side and more individual hummus containers began appearing by mealtime.
“When you go home at the end of the year, you are going to be so sick of hummus,” I was told countless times. I agreed with them – until I came home and continued to eat it like before. That just shows the power of this Middle Eastern dip.
In Canada, we are not fortunate enough to have a neighborhood makolet, the Hebrew term for the small groceries that populate almost every corner in Israeli residential areas. So when I was in the mood for my favorite spread back in Canada, there was no short walk to a grocery store. There was one last option. I made my own.
The only difficulty was choosing a flavour. I have sampled a variety from olive to garlic to hot red peppers during my time in the Middle East, and I couldn’t decide which I liked best. Therefore, I began to add whatever spices I felt like, which can tread in a dangerous zone. However, when I tasted the result, my mouth exploded with happiness.
The reluctant and eager taste testers give this dip a thumbs up with their crackers and bread. As for me, I add it to everything just as I had before, except now I enjoy a richer flavour and a more profound taste.
If you have never tried hummus before, (shame on you!) you must try the recipe below and you will immediately become a big fan. Health-wise, chickpeas are full of fibre, protein, and are naturally vegan, gluten and dairy free. If you’ve got food intolerances in your family, hummus will become a must, just as it was for me living in a dormitory in Israel.
Fun fact: In Hebrew, the word chummus, is translated as chickpea. I would always get a kick when I was offered some hummus with my falafel. It literally means:“Would you like some chickpea with your chickpeas?” My answer was always yes.
Olive Garlic Hummus
- 2 cups chickpeas
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 24 olives (with pimentos)
- 1/4 tsp cayenne
- 1 tsp garlic powder (you can use crushed garlic cloves if you prefer a more garlicky flavour)
- 1 tsp basil flakes
- 1 tsp parsley flakes
Add all ingredients into a blender or food processor and blend. The mixture may form a ball, but keep mixing until the hummus smooths out.
Store in the refrigerator in a tightly sealed container.