Pea and Mint Houmous

So it’s been a while. In fact it has been a lengthy 20 days since I last updated my blog. The neglect has been preying on my mind. The truth is that I’ve been away in places where life revolved around food, yet I was nowhere near a kitchen. Sad, yet happy times.

But I’m back and I bring you this. Pea and mint houmous. Continue reading

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Roasted Red Pepper Houmous with Moroccan Flatbreads

Roasted Red Pepper Houmous with Moroccan Flatbreads

I’ve got a double whammy for you guys!

So the other day I was casually relaxing at home and realised, as you do, that I had a massive red pepper in the fridge. Imagine 2 medium to large sized red peppers merged into one. I’m talking beast-like quality.

So, what do I do with a giant red pepper and a store cupboard containing tahini and chickpeas? I make houmous, that’s what I do. You should make houmous too. It’s good for the environment.

Roasting the ingredients is pretty much the best idea ever, the garlic tastes amazing, the chickpeas taste amazing, the pepper tastes amazing. Need I go on? Thought not.

And because I’m just feeling so full of love today, here’s a simple, scrummy Moroccan inspired flatbread recipe. It goes really well with the houmous, I know this because…I ate the majority.

Roasted Red Pepper Houmous

Ingredients:

  • 1 large red pepper (or 2 medium), kept whole
  • 300g pre-cooked chickpeas
  • 3 medium garlic cloves, kept whole
  • 3 tablespoons tahini
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • Salt, pepper
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Paprika, to garnish

Method:

Preheat oven to 200°c

In a roasting dish, bake the chickpeas, garlic and red pepper for 30 minutes. Once cooled slightly, peel the skin off the pepper and roughly chop, discarding the seeds inside. Set aside a few chickpeas for garnish, then throw the rest into a blender along with the pepper and garlic then purée for around 30 seconds until thick and creamy.

Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil, some salt and pepper, blend again.

Add half of the tahini and half of the lemon juice, blend, then repeat. The final result should be a thick and creamy consistency. If you find the mixture is a little thick, or you’d prefer it lighter, just add a bit of water, a tablespoon as a time and mix in.

Garnish with paprika, scattered chickpeas and a drizzle of olive oil.

Get your houmous on!

Makes a big tub of the good stuff.

Moroccan Flatbreads

Ingredients:

  • 300g all-purpose flour
  • 1 sachet fast-action yeast (7g)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 175ml warm water
  • 1 heaped teaspoon cumin
  • ½ teaspoon ground coriander
  • Pepper
  • Sesame seeds
  • Milk, for brushing

Method:

In a large bowl combine the flour, yeast, salt, sugar and spices and mix well. Then, slowly pour in the water, bringing it together first with a spoon, then with your hands.

Once dough has formed, tip it out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 10 minutes until it’s smooth and elastic.

Place the dough into a lightly oiled bowl, cover with cling film then leave to rise in a warm place for around an hour. By a radiator perhaps.

Preheat the oven to 220°c

After the dough has proved, split it into two balls then roughly roll each out flat, about half an inch thick.

Transfer each piece of dough onto a prepared baking sheet, press in dents with your fingers and sprinkle with sesame seeds. Brush with milk, cover and leave to rest for 10-15 minutes.

Bake for 15-20 minutes until a golden brown, brushing with milk every 5 minutes or so.

Dip that in your houmous and eat it.

Makes two flatbread loaves.

Houmous

Houmous

Houmous for me is an extremely personal thing. Everyone has their own style of houmous, whether it be thick and chunky, smooth and whipped or with/without garlic.

The first houmous I remember trying was in Cyprus where my father is from. I have no recollection of what exact age I was when the holy dip was first introduced into my diet, but let’s just say I don’t remember life without it – and I have a scarily excellent memory. Houmous in Cyprus always had a lot more tahini in it than most, which effected the consistency making it smoother and thinner. When I taste that houmous I know I’m home!

However, although that little trip down memory lane was lovely, my houmous is not that houmous at all. I prefer a balance of ingredients and flavours, a thick yet smooth consistency with an indulgent garnishing of chickpeas, smoked paprika and of course my beloved – olive oil.

Grab some khoubiz people, it’s houmous time.

Note: Unlike my other recipes I shall be displaying units of measurement in cups. This is purely because whenever I make houmous I whack out my measuring cups and forget about those uptight, precise scales.

Ingredients:

  • 1 ½ cups precooked chickpeas, plus a handful reserved for garnish (I recommend jarred instead of tinned)
  • ¾ cup tahini
  • ½ – ¾ cup lemon juice
  • 2 cloves of garlic, crushed with some salt
  • Salt and pepper (unorthodox – I know)
  • Olive oil
  • Smoked paprika
  • Water

Method:

Drain and rinse chickpeas then purée in a blender. Add to the chickpeas around 3 tablespoons of olive oil, crushed garlic, a sprinkle of salt and pepper and blend.

Add half the tahini and half the lemon juice and blend, add the rest then blend again. Transfer the houmous to a bowl to finish the job by hand.

Taste the houmous, add more olive oil, lemon juice, tahini or salt as preferred. To thin the houmous add tiny splashes of cold water until the desired texture is achieved.

Serve by garnishing with the reserved chickpeas, a healthy drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkle of smoked paprika.