Tag Archives: Middle Eastern cuisine

Things I love about Malta #1

Traditional Sweet (9889)

These past few weeks have flown by like nothing, and I barely stopped for a break. It has been go go go from the get-go from the week before Easter until now – more like until I don’t-know-when-it-will-stop day. I’ll inform you if it happens. Besides that I can say that it’s all been good. The weather’s now getting better too. Hurrah for that! I’m also having a bit of a clear-out for this month. A good friend of mine is visiting us in 30 days she says: she’s counting down and I must clear the guest bedroom for her. That, my friends will resemble something out of the Exodus. I don’t dare think about it, as that room *is* the jungle. My mum suggested taking before and after photos. I, on the other hand, will stay away from that space as much as humanly possible.

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Hummus is a mixture used as a dip mainly made out of chickpeas, tahini (sesame paste), olive oil, garlic and lemon. J is a big fan of all Middle Eastern food and is a huge fan of the stuff. It’s healthy and makes a nice snack. This is our version; it’s not authentic I know, primarily because we don’t use tahini. There are no speciality shops nearby, and when we did manage to find it once the quantity was too much for what we needed. And you know the drill here – the jar stayed in the fridge forever. What we do add is some sesame oil to give the spread a nutty flavour. If you omit the tahini, as in this recipe, you will undeniably end up with a drier mixture, but otherwise the taste is great. The depth of flavour comes from the cumin. To be honest I don’t like cumin too much, but in this recipe it seems to work pretty well. All you need here is a food processor, blitz everything together and you will end up with something tasty for yourself or for your guests.

An important note for this recipe: before you start bear in mind that dried chickpeas need to be covered with cold water in a bowl overnight, and boiled rapidly for 10 minutes and simmered for 30 minutes the next day. Then place in a colander or sieve and cool them down with cold water.

When you have completed the above step, place the cooked and cooled chickpeas into your food processor and add:

  • 4 garlic cloves, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 1 teaspoon coarse salt, crushed (you really need it here I’m afraid)
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • ¼ teaspoon cumin
  • ¼ teaspoon paprika (optional)
  • around 200ml cold water, and add as necessary

Blitz all the ingredients together and serve with pita bread, crackers or anything you like. You can serve in a big bowl and decorate with a little bit of lemon zest. Just enough zing for freshness. Enjoy!

Rob x