Friday, 23 August 2013

Harissa Hummus

As with many of the best dishes, this recipe evolved by accident due to a deficiency in ingredients. I have been looking for a good hummus recipe for a while, and after a bit of online research I found that most traditional hummus contains tahini, a ground sesame seed paste. Needless to say I did not have any in stock, but what I did have in the fridge was half a jar of Harissa. This substitution turned out to work brilliantly, with the hummus maintaining its conventional base-flavours of chickpeas, lemon and garlic, but the smoky, spicy Harissa added a reddish tinge and delicious warm kick. Enjoy with lots of different dipping implements for maximum flavour and texture.

You Will Need...

- 1 can of chickpeas
- 2 garlic cloves (crushed)
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 1/2 tsp ground cumin
- A few splashes of extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tsp Harissa paste
- Hot paprika to serve
- Salt

- A selection of dipping implements to serve e.g batons of cucumber, carrot and celery, sliced toasted pitta breads, breadsticks etc.

You Will Need To...

- Tip the can of chickpeas including liquid into a saucepan, bring to the boil and simmer for about 5 minutes or until the chickpeas are softened but not mushy.

- For ultra-sooth hummus you will need to skin the chickpeas. I find the easiest way of doing this is to remove them from the hot water (this must be reserved) with a slotted spoon and place them on one half of a tea-towel. Fold the other half of the towel over the top and gently rub the chickpeas underneath. Most of the skins should have rubbed off and the rest can be removed by hand fairly easily. If you are short of time and/or like your hummus a little chunkier you can skip this step.

- Place the softened, skinned chickpeas in a food processor and blitz until sand-like in texture. Gradually add several splashes of the cooking liquid until your chickpea-paste comes together and forms a smooth paste. 

- Add a few glugs of olive oil, the lemon juice, cumin, Harissa paste and crushed garlic and blitz again. Add salt to taste and adjust to suit your preferences i.e. sharpen with more lemon juice or increase the heat with more Harissa paste.

- Spoon into a bowl and top with a drizzle of olive and a sprinkling of hot paprika. Arrange on a platter with some dipping tools and dig in.

Enjoy! C x

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