Subscribe to Mambo Magazine
Zenjiflava: Humble hummus
Humble hummus (made in Bwejuu)
"Hummus" is the Arabic word for chick pea and is one of the oldest foods dating back to ancient Egypt. The earliest visitors to Zanzibar were Arab traders who are said to have arrived in the 8th century. For centuries the Arabs sailed with the monsoon winds from Oman to trade primarily in ivory and spices. To date, this creamy chick pea dip/spread is a way of life in Arabic and Mediterranean regions.
Hummus is a very healthy source of plant protein, high in fibre, folic acid and can be eaten in so many different ways - in some households it's even eaten for breakfast! Serve this creamy dip as a starter with crispy bread, as part of a meze table or an accompaniment to grilled meats. This recipe is a humble yet flavourful version of Hummus. Tahini or sesame cream is used in most traditional recipes, however living in Zanzibar, we know that some ingredients are not always available - therefore the interesting rustic adaptation!
Ingredients: (Serves 6)
- 2 x 400 cans of chick peas
- 2 or 3 cloves of Garlic, crushed
- 3 tablespoons of sesame seeds
- 30ml of olive oil, plus dash for garnish
- 60ml water
- 2 tablespoons lime juice (freshly squeezed Zanzibari limes are the best!)
- Pinch of salt to taste
- Chilli powder for garnish
- Coriander for garnish (optional)
Dry roast the sesame seeds in a frying pan on a high heat. Toss the sesame seeds in the pan until they are fragrant and become golden in colour. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool.
Combine the drained chick peas, garlic, roasted sesame seeds, olive oil, water, lime and salt in a deep mixing bowl. Using a handheld blender, mix all the ingredients for about eight minutes, until super smooth and creamy.
The consistency of the hummus, should be similar to that of a dip. Hummus is all about personal taste, try it and if you wish, add salt or water for a more liquid texture, blend once again until smooth.
Divide the hummus into six side dishes, drizzle each dish with olive oil and a sprinkle of chilli powder. Place in the fridge to set.
Serve with slices of toast or pita bread or with grilled chicken.
Notes: Chick peas are readily available in Stone Town at most supermarkets. Sesame seeds can be bought at Darajani market or in some supermarkets and are used in this recipe as a tahini replacement, creating a boost of flavour and fabulous aroma. Handheld blenders are more versatile and work really well in this case. If you choose to use a more conventional blender, be sure to place your liquids in the blender first and use the "pulse" setting to prevent overheating and potential damage to the machine. Hummus should be eaten fresh or kept in the fridge.