HOUMOUS WEEK: Houmous

HOUMOUS WEEK: Houmous!
HOUMOUS WEEK: Houmous!

Just when I thought I’d eaten enough houmous to keep me going for at least 10 years, I go and bloody make it from scratch (I’m foolish like that). When I was a student, I used to get drunk and make houmous and minted potatoes in the middle of the night, instead of staggering to KFC like everyone else. Although thinking back on it, perhaps KFC was the safer option, no one should operate a food processor after 4 white wine spritzers but what can I say, I’m a houmous wielding maverick.
Anyway, much like my baked falafel recipe, the type of canned chickpeas you use is really important. I like the big fat juicy ones that Napolina do, most supermarket own brands are too bullet like. Use a food processor if you prefer a smoother texture and a hand blender for a more rough pâté. I’ve used a food processor on this occasion but I’ve made this recipe many times with a hand blender to save on washing up.
Although making houmous is easy, it can go pretty wrong pretty quickly if too much liquid is added, so make sure you have an emergency can of chickpeas spare. Adding an extra can of chickpeas can save any sloppy houmous disaster (of which I have had several).

Houmous
Makes 2 pots / Takes 10 minutes / V Vn
2 cans chickpeas (plus an extra can just in case)
2 regular garlic cloves or one big one
4 tbs Tahini
Juice of one lemon
salt & pepper
Garnish:
Paprika, extra virgin olive oil, chilli flakes, chopped parsley or anything else you fancy

Method:
1. Drain and rinse your chickpeas before taking a small handful and putting them to one side (these are for your garnish). Pop the rest of the chickpeas in a food processor with your crushed garlic. Half fill one of the empty cans with water and spoon 4 tbs of it onto the chickpeas and blitz.

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2. Blend for a couple of minutes until smooth. Meanwhile scoop 4 tbs of tahini into the half filled can of water and mix until combined (it should look curdled but loose). Squeeze in the lemon juice, mix and pour half the can on top of the chickpeas. Blitz again.

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3. Once the houmous has come together it’s up to you how wet you want it so add a bit more of the tahini and lemon water if you want a more loose consistency, this is down to personal preference. If it’s too wet then drain your emergency can and add it to the mix and blitz again (trust me, it will help).
4. Season with half a teaspoon of salt and a good pinch or pepper and mix thoroughly with a spoon. Keep tasting and seasoning until you get it how you like it.

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5. Spoon into pots and top with the left over chickpeas. Sprinkle your chosen garnish and drizzle with extra virgin olive oil. Finish with a final dusting of salt and pepper. You can eat your homous straight away if you wish but I like to chill mine for a few hours to allow it to firm up a bit. Anyway, whenever you decide it’s ready, grab a spoon and eat it like a yogurt, I know, I’m a savage.

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If you’ve had a go at making my houmous or any of my other recipes I’d love to hear about it. @corrieheale corrie.heale@gmail.com

HOUMOUS WEEK: Houmous Olympics

This week is houmous week. And why is it houmous week? Because I said so, hooray! This Middle Eastern, middle class delight has exploded (not literally) in popularity over the past decade and it’s not hard to understand why. So, join me and a few friends in saying a big thank you to the humble chickpea by eating as much of it as humanly possible. Over the next week I’ll be testing the chickpea to it’s very limits, I’ll be spreading it, cooking it, buying it, making it and of course eating shit tons of it, all in the name of science… Well not really in the name of science but that sounded good. Anyway, without further ado, lets kick off the festivities with a little contest I like to call ‘The Houmous Olympics’…

The Houmous Olympics:
My housemate and I are obsessed with houmous, we go through at least three or four pots a week. Our staple buy is currently ‘Sainsbury’s So Organic’ but think it’s time for us to broaden our houmous horizons and test some of the other major players on the market. Unfortunately, Aldi, Asda, Budgens, Co-op, and Morrissons will not be participating in this compitition because those supermarkets aren’t in Camden (and I wasn’t willing to get the bus to Holloway).

Each houmous will be tested by houmous enthusiast and housemate Isabelle, her boyfriend John, my best friend Johnny and myself. We’ll be judging the contenders on texture, value, flavour, eatability (yes I know that’s not a word but whatever) and… Oh that will do. Now, the contenders are:

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1. M&S Houmous With Extra Virgin Olive Oil £1 (200g)

2. Lidl (Meadow fresh) £1 (300g)

3.  Sainsbury’s So Organic Houmous £1.20 (200g)

4. WholeFoods (San Amvrosia Health Foods) £1.69 (142g)

5. Tesco Organic Houmous £1.05 (200g)

6. Waitrose Organic Rich & Creamy Houmous £1.25 (200g)

LET BATTLE COMMENCE!!!

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(Also, I’m aware that I perhaps picked the wrong table to do this on)

In 6th place…
M&S Houmous With Extra Virgin Olive Oil
What a surprise, Isabelle and I thought this one tasted like dust and vomit. It had the texture of cake mixture and paste and it unpleasantly coated our mouthes leaving a lingering rapeseed flavour, not pleasant. But at £1 it’s very reasonable, so if you’re skint and don’t mind the taste of sick, this houmous might be the one for you. 1/5

5th
Tesco Organic Houmous £1.05
Not much better, a very mousey mayonaisey texture, which again left our mouths feeling unpleasantly caked. Not quite so flavoursome but had a bitter artificial aftertaste. Too much sesame seed paste and not enough citrus, pretty sickly. 1/5

4th
Lidl (Meadow fresh) £1
This one was easily the best value but the pot didn’t come properly sealed which bothered me. Made me think there was some kid out back with a bucket of houmous just slopping it into plastic pots. The texture was very loose and sickie but the flavour wasn’t bad, very nutty. I found the tahini flavour overpowering, John thought it tasted like dog food but Isabelle really liked it. Mixed feelings. 3/5

3rd
WholeFoods (San Amvrosia Health Foods)
I LOVED this one, I’ve been going out of my way to buy this houmous for years, however it doesn’t stand up as well as I thought it would. It had a very subtle flavour but a lovely firm but smooth buttery texture. However, at £1.69 for what can only be described as half a pot it doesn’t deliver on value. Mildly disappointing. 4/5

2nd
Sainsbury’s So Organic Houmous
Coming in at a very impressive second place is my household fave, trusted old Sainsbury’s. This houmous is moreish without being sickly, it’s subtle flavour make it an all rounder, a serious crowd pleaser. It has a smooth but firm texture, I could happily eat an entire tub like a yogurt. I know, I’m a monster. 4/5

1st
Waitrose Organic Rich & Creamy Houmous
Okay so this houmous is the clear winner and the king of everything. It’s perfection, it has a beautifully smooth texture but is ever so slightly loose. It’s rich and flavourful without being sickly and has a fresh citrus after taste. Well done Waitrose, best £1.25 I ever spent. 5/5

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HOUMOUS WEEK: Tomato & Houmous Bagel

HOUMOUS WEEK: Tomato & Houmous Bagel
HOUMOUS WEEK: Tomato & Houmous Bagel

Okay so this is pretty basic but we have a lot of old houmous hanging around in our house and that shit needs to get eaten (even if what I really want for breakfast is avocado’s on toast). Anyway, I actually made this for a guy after a successful date in the morning (wink wink, nudge nudge), he loved it so much he said he wanted to marry me… He didn’t. In fact he never called me again but I don’t think that had anything to do with the food.


Tomato & Houmous Bagel
Serves 1 / Takes 5-10 minutes / V Vn Df
1 tomato, sliced
2 Tbs of hummus bagel (I like a multi-seed from the bakery at Sainsbury’s)
1 garlic clove
Fresh basil
Extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper

Tip: Most bagels come in packs of four so what I tend to do is slice them all in half, put the ones I’m not eating, back in the bag and freeze them. By slicing them in half before freezing them you can pop them straight in the toaster from frozen.

Method:
1. I’m not going to tell you how to toast a bagel, I’m going to assume you know how to do that. However, I do scoop out my bagel, not because I’m carb conscious but because I find bagels very dense (and I want to fill the ‘moat’ I dig with delicious houmous. IMG_3986
2. Anyway, so hollow out your bagel and pop it in the toaster. Peel your garlic clove and quickly chop your basil. Actually I used parsley because I didn’t have any basil so go freestyle if you’re feeling frisky. (Can you tell I’m writing this post a bit pissed?)… FYI, I’m writing this post in the evening, calm down officer. Anyway… IMG_3989
3. Slice your tomato and cover in salt and pepper, I always salt and pepper my tomatoes separately no matter what recipe I’m doing. My brother loves it. Anyway, chuck on your chopped basil and fish your molten hot bagel out the toaster. (Why are bagels always hotter than any other baked good? Must be one of natures mysteries).
4. Remember the garlic you peeled? No? Me neither, so quickly peel it and rub it all over your hot bagel like a mad man/woman (I ain’t no sexist)… Okay now I’m starting to sound a bit pissed.  Fill that lovely hole with houmous (that’s what she said)… Oh dear, I sincerely apologise. IMG_3990
5.  Place your tomatoes on top, and drizzle with salt and pepper. DONE!… Let me know if your ‘love bagel’ was more successful than mine. IMG_3992

If you’ve had a go at making my bagel or any of my other recipes I’d love to hear about it. @corrieheale corrie.heale@gmail.com