For a world-famous snack, hummus is not as popular in South Africa as it is in some other parts of the world. But we think this versatile dip belongs in your treasure trove of super snacks!

With its origins in the Middle East, and enjoyed for centuries as a dip, a spread and an appetiser, hummus is a delicious blend of cooked, puréed chickpeas, sesame-seed paste, lemon juice, olive oil and garlic. It’s also a great choice for a healthy snack for children, because chickpeas – like other pulses – are packed with fibre, vitamins and minerals.

Hummus can be served as a dip with flatbreads, crackers and raw veggie sticks including carrots, cucumber and celery. It’s also tasty spread on toast or sandwiches, and as an accompaniment to a host of other ingredients including grilled brinjals, boiled eggs, fresh salads, grilled chicken, fish, olives and pickles.

What’s also great about hummus is that you can tweak and customise the recipe. As soon as you have mastered the basic formula (see below), try adding a few of your own special flavours to transform the classic dip into a delicious home-made treat for your friends and family.

A smart tip is to add a few tablespoons of NutriDay Low-Fat Plain Yoghurt to your hummus, which creates a lovely, creamy, light result. Other ingredients that can be added to hummus include cooked beetroot, avocado, feta, sun-dried tomatoes and a wide selection of aromatic spices.

TIP: You’ll find sesame-seed paste (tahini) in the health-foods aisle at your local supermarket.

Get this right and your kids will be clamouring for more as soon as the first batch is done! To get started on your life with hummus, see below for the perfect recipe:

CLASSIC HUMMUS

Preparation time: 10 minutes
Serves: 4-6 as a dip

  • 1 x 410 g tin chickpeas
  • 1 Tbsp (15 ml) tahini (sesame-seed paste)
  • the juice of a lemon
  • 3 Tbsp (45 ml) olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, peeled and chopped
  • ½ tsp (2.5 ml) ground cumin
  • salt and pepper to taste
  1. Drain the chickpeas and reserve the liquid.
  2. Put the chickpeas, tahini, lemon juice, olive oil, garlic and cumin into a food processer or the goblet of a liquidiser and blend until very smooth.
  3. If the mixture seems too thick, add the reserved chickpea liquid, a tablespoon at a time, until you have a fine paste. Alternatively, you can add a little more olive oil.
  4. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Tip the hummus into a plastic box, swirl a little olive oil over the surface, cover and refrigerate.
Are you a fan of hummus? Have you ever tried making it at home, and what’s your ‘special twist’ on this recipe? Leave a comment below, or share a pic of your hummus dish on our Facebook wall!