Hummus, Iraqi-style

A mere five years ago, you would have suggested I try a different spice or version of hummus and I would have certainly given you a very dirty look. Today,  any version that meets my taste buds is A-OK. (Heck, even Lebanese starred chefs are foregoing tradition and presenting hummus with different combos of flavors). 

This very simple variation uses turmeric; the idea came about  while I was researching Iraqi food and my friend Wafa’ who lives in Baghdad was telling me all about lablabi. Lablabi is a chickpea soup flavored with turmeric that Iraqis eat on cold winter nights from street vendors, squeezing some fresh lime or Seville oranges on the broth. 

Had to try hummus and turmeric. Besides turmeric got such a high rating from nutrition experts: It is a natural detox, inhibits cancer cells, aids in healing skin conditions, etc, etc. 

Delicious. 

INGREDIENTS: 6 servings

  • 1 cup of dried chickpeas
  • 1 1/2  tsp of turmeric
  • 2 cups of chicken broth or water
  • 4 cups of water
  • 1/2 cup of tahini
  • 2 garlic cloves, mashed in a mortar with a dash of salt
  • 1 lime, juiced (or more, to taste)
  • 1/2 tsp of baking soda

METHOD: 

  1. Place the chickpeas in a large bowl, add the baking soda and plenty of tap water; let them soak overnight. 
  2. Drain the chickpeas and rinse; place in a pot with 2 cups of chicken broth and 4 cups of water and bring to a simmer; add the turmeric. Simmer (skimming froth as it appears) for one hour or longer, until soft. Drain and reserve the cooking water. Place the chickpeas, tahini, one cup of cooking water, garlic, lime juice in the bowl of a food processor. Process until smooth, tasting to see if it needs more lime or garlic or tahini. If it is too thick, add some more cooking water. Serve at room temperature with pita bread. 
NOTE: You can recycle the cooking water for a soup or a pizza dough later on.

To all of my Muslim followers, I wish to extend a

Eid Mubarak

Related Posts with Thumbnails
Print This Post Print This Post

22 Comments

  1. Posted October 26, 2012 at 12:03 am | Permalink

    A delicious sounding/looking hummus. This version is interesting.

    Cheers,

    Rosa

  2. miriam
    Posted October 26, 2012 at 2:31 am | Permalink

    ummm;not sure about this version..cant imagine chicken broth in the flavor profile ,esp in a cold dish ,whereas the soup sounds great…

  3. Posted October 26, 2012 at 5:15 am | Permalink

    Quanto mi piace l’hummus, lo mangerei di continuo!!!!

  4. Posted October 26, 2012 at 6:09 am | Permalink

    I usually add half of a tsp of baking soda to the boiling water also. The turmeric is something I have to try!

  5. Michael Kplus
    Posted October 26, 2012 at 6:56 am | Permalink

    Thanks…I will try this version. Adding turmeric…I would have never gotten the idea.

    I have attended a cookery class of German chef Ingo Holland, who cooked the chickpeas with two bay leaves. A bit strong for my taste. One bay leaf is fine and adds an interesting flavour.
    Also, instead of tahini he added toasted sesame seeds to add a bit of crunch. He omitted tahini altogether!

  6. Joumana
    Posted October 26, 2012 at 7:21 am | Permalink

    @MichaelKplus: Interesting! Chefs the world over are freely experimenting with hummus; in Lebanon, though, the traditional version remains the most popular and widespread; when folks order it at a mezze table, they want the classic version! :)

    @Belinda @Zomppa: the baking soda is supposed to tenderize the chickpeas (I think); in any case, everybody uses it.

    @Trudy: The recipe is going to be in my upcoming Iraqi cookbook; since it is going to be in Arabic, I am planning to maybe sell it online via an e-book format in English.

  7. Posted October 26, 2012 at 8:26 am | Permalink

    I love the idea of tumeric in hummus. It looks lovely.

  8. Marie-Claire
    Posted October 26, 2012 at 8:57 am | Permalink

    I am like you, Joumana. I used to be so purist when it came to hummus. Until I added leftover fresh pesto one day because I didn’t want it to go to waste. My next one will be with turmeric. It is so high on the list of good things for health right now, what a wonderful way to use it. Besides, it gives great color to ANY dish!

  9. Posted October 26, 2012 at 3:58 pm | Permalink

    I love turmeric, but never thought to put it in hummus – wonderful. What’s the baking soda for?

  10. Posted October 26, 2012 at 4:02 pm | Permalink

    Turmeric adds such a lovely color as well. My favorite is plain, loaded with lemon and garlic, but I’ve also had a smoky chipotle pepper hummus that is fantastic!

  11. Posted October 26, 2012 at 8:05 pm | Permalink

    Looks fantastic! And I’d love to find out more about that soup your friend told you about as well.

    Turmeric is going to be my go to winter seasoning!

  12. Posted October 27, 2012 at 5:18 am | Permalink

    How glorious – I can’t wait to try this new version!!

  13. Banana Wonder
    Posted October 27, 2012 at 6:04 pm | Permalink

    Thanks for this post! Interesting version and I will have to try it with tumeric.

  14. Posted October 27, 2012 at 8:56 pm | Permalink

    I love the traditional hummus but I also love to experiment with different spices. I am a huge fan of turmeric because of its nutrional value so I will try this version for sure. Thank you!

  15. Posted October 28, 2012 at 7:20 pm | Permalink

    I will try adding some turmeric next time I make hummus! The health benefits sound well worth it.

  16. Posted October 29, 2012 at 8:26 am | Permalink

    I love your presentation! And I bet it tastes ah-mazing!

  17. Wade
    Posted October 30, 2012 at 11:02 am | Permalink

    We Lebanese in the West Indies crush a piece of fresh red habanero pepper with the garlic and salt, and lime juice. Then serve it sprinkled with a little cayenne pepper on top….Amazing!

  18. Joumana
    Posted October 30, 2012 at 11:12 am | Permalink

    @Wade: sounds fantastic!

  19. Posted October 31, 2012 at 12:40 pm | Permalink

    I’m still a purist when it comes to hummus and most of Lebanese mezze for that matter! I’ve tried different versions in restaurants and haven’t found one I really like. Maybe I’ll change my mind with turmeric as I am trying to incorporate it in as many dishes as possible for its anti-inflammatory/ anti-cancerous benefits. Fingers crossed :)

  20. Eric Burkett
    Posted November 1, 2012 at 5:24 pm | Permalink

    OK, my plan had been to try this recipe since reading it last week. I all ready had a batch of hummus in the refrigerator I’d made just a couple of days earlier so I waited until I was out. Today was the day. I put some chickpeas on to boil this morning since I wanted to, more or less, recreate a dish I had in Spain featuring chickpeas. I threw an extra cup of dried garbanzos in for the hummus and let them cook away.

    Around mid-day, I trekked down to my butcher to pick up the meat for tonight’s dinner, reminding myself to grab a few limes, as well, since your recipe called for them rather than lemons (It had never occurred to me to use limes rather lemons; I was intrigued).

    Shopping done, I got home, prepared the guiso for dinner tonight and popped it into a very low oven to braise for five or six hours. Then I turned my attention to the hummus. I pulled up your recipe online and realized, dammit, that I should have cooked the chickpeas with the turmeric called for in the recipe. Feeling lucky, I continued anyway and, reaching into the cupboard where I keep all my spices, I pulled out my bottle of turmeric only to realize after opening it, it was actually curry powder, not just plain turmeric.

    I would not be deterred. I began assembling the ingredients I had and combined them in my food processor. It tasted good. Quite nice, actually. I just had some on some toasted sourdough with olive oil.

    Next time, I’ll try your recipe instead.

  21. Joumana
    Posted November 2, 2012 at 12:13 am | Permalink

    @Eric: Thanks for the narrative I so enjoy your prose! :)

  22. Posted November 15, 2012 at 4:30 am | Permalink

    Will try this variation for sure. Never knew turmeric was so good for you.

Post a Comment

Your email is never published nor shared. Required fields are marked *

*
*

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>