I eat humus all year round in large quantities. And nothing can beat a homemade version, especially made during the summer, when you can serve it outdoors on a hot day. Alongside carrot sticks, I like to serve homegrown beetroot sticks, they are fresh and crunchy and often much sweeter than carrots.
The best humus I ever tasted was lovingly prepared by my good friend Marie, who has spent a lot of time in Egypt and has come back with some great authentic recipes. She explained the importance of serving the humus correctly, flattened out on the serving dish then drizzled with olive oil and accompanied by big shiny olives.
150g dried organic chickpeas or one 400g tin of organic ready made
2 tbsp tahini paste
2 large cloves of garlic
½ tsp cumin seeds, lightly toasted
½ tsp chilli powder
half a lemon, squeezed
2 tbsp olive oil
A good pinch of salt
Rinse the chick peas in a colander and leave to soak in a bowl of fresh water overnight, or 8-10 hours.
Next day, rinse and put the chick peas in a large saucepan, cover with fresh water and simmer for 2 hours. Check if they are tender, then drain. Let the chick peas cool, then tip them and garlic in a food processor and blend together. Slowly pour the olive oil in whilst the blender is still spinning. I like a very smooth humus, so I whizz for quite a while (2-3 min) and sometimes have to add extra oil, or leftover cooking water. Add the tahini, lemon juice, and a good pinch of salt and blend again.
To serve, place in a pretty dish and flatten out the middle of the humus, pour in a little extra olive oil and sprinkle with the toasted cumin and chilli.
You will find that every batch of humus made, needs tweaking. Taste along the way, to ensure you are adding enough salt, tahini and lemon juice, and blend it until it has the consistency you like.