Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Feeling dippy

I have a confession: when it comes to hors d'oeuvres, I'm the scoffer who eats more than their share. Especially now I'm a breastfeeding mumma - although there's quite a few mums amongst my friends who are either pregnant or have babies younger than mine, so I'm rapidly losing my excuse.

Not only do I eat a lot, I also find nibbles rather expensive. I do love a delicious wedge of European cheese, but it's a treat kept fairly rare by my budget. What DOES fit in my budget are canned chickpeas. And what can you make from chickpeas? Hummus.

This is a recipe I've been making for nearly ten years. I'm really sure how authentic it is, but it's quick, easy and feeds a crowd. What's more, apparently it's quite low in fat.

3/4 cup (150g) dried chickpeas* or 450g canned chickpeas (I use canned)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 garlic clove, quartered
1/4 cup tahini (available from supermarkets)
1/4 cup lemon juice
Pinch cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon coarsely chopped flat leaf parsley

Drain cooked or canned chickpeas and reserve 1/3 cup of liquid. Using a stick blender (or food processor), blend chickpeas and liquid with salt, garlic, tahini and lemon juice. Top with cayenne pepper and parsley to serve.

*If using dried chickpeas, you'll need to soak them overnight and cook them.

I find the hummus tastes richer if it's prepared some time in advance, to allow the lemon and garlic flavours to develop.

You can use hummus on pides, with grilled kebabs or on roast lamb. However I serve it as a dip with lavish or Turkish bread, and carrot and celery if I have the time to chop. It forms part of my "holy trinity of easy dips to please a bbq crowd"' with Stephanie Alexander's guacamole (reproduced here: and her basil pesto (see

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