For the last 11 years I have been making this very same hummus. It was a recipe handed to me by a dear old indian friend in West London and it has been stuck to the side of my mum’s fridge in Wiltshire ever since. I get the call up almost every time I am back with the family to get a vat-load made, which never lasts more than a few hours despite the vast quantities produced.
2 tins chickpeas (or 800g soaked chickpeas)
1 onion finely chopped
2 garlic cloves finely chopped
2 teaspoons tahini
Juice of 1 lemon
1 teaspoon paprika
Good glug of olive oil
Add all the ingredients into a blender and give it a good whizz. If you like your hummus runny add some more olive oil a bit at a time until you reach your desired consistency. It will store in the fridge for around 3 days.
There are all sorts of ways to give this some variety and depending on what I have in the cupboard determines what goes in. But given my recent excursion to the Middle East for a few months I saw a completely different aspect to hummus, in its original environment. Ingredients that have been put together for centuries, since the age of Saladin fighting the crusaders, have kept generations of people fit and healthy across the furthest western tip of the asian continent. To me, olives and harissa always give that something extra, but the show stoppers that take bronze, silver and gold, in that order are sesame seeds, pine nuts and olympic champion za’atar.
If you don’t have za’atar in your cupboard already, or you haven’t even heard of it, please take my word for it and buy some as soon as you can. My Jordanian friends eat a teaspoon of this for breakfast every day, which is a far cry from the porridge I have most mornings, but they swear by its health benefits. Made from predominantly oregano and thyme, it has a beautiful citrusy tang that will liven any dish into middle eastern paradise.