International Hummus Day – Dani Valent

Have you got an hour? Ask a Middle Eastern person about their favourite hummus and be ready to listen long and hard! Hummus is an everyday traditional food all the way from Yemen to Egypt, Israel, Lebanon and Turkey but there are as many variations as there are eaters! At its simplest, hummus combines chickpeas and tahini, then there’s the potential addition of salt, pepper, spices, garlic, lemon juice, olive oil and water. Plus, there’s the question of texture. Should it be smooth or sturdy?

No-one really knows where hummus originated but there’s a reference to hummus bi tahina in a text from 13th century Egypt. (In Arabic, ‘hummus’ means chickpeas, so the proper Arabic name for the combination of chickpeas and tahini is hummus bi tahina.)

Various countries and peoples have tried to claim hummus as their own, most recently Lebanon, which sparked the so-called Hummus Wars of 2009-10 between Lebanon and Israel. Lebanon sparked the dispute by making a world-record-breaking two-tonne bowl of hummus in 2009, and trying to have Lebanon declared the origin of hummus. That started a war of chickpea escalation with Israel, which answered with a four-tonne hummus served in a satellite dish. Lebanon brought out the big guns months later with a 10.5 tonne hummus.

For the conflict-wracked Middle East, the Hummus Wars were highly charged and symbolic but also something of a relief. “If we have to fight, let’s fight about hummus,” was a common sentiment. Read more about it.

In Australia, we usually think of hummus as a dip but in Israel hummus is a meal. There are even hummusiyas, restaurants that specialise in hummus topped with complementary elements like smoky eggplant, boiled eggs, beans or meat. In these places, the hummus is often served warm and there’s always pita bread, pickles and salad. Honestly, there are endless ways to go with hummus once you start making your own.

So, to get the party started, I have a basic Everyday Hummus recipe. There are some cheffy recipes and fun videos below. And when you want more dips and condiments, click through to my Dips & Condiments collection below.

I love hummus so much, I had to talk about it on the radio.

In the Middle East, hummus isn’t just a dip, it’s a meal. This version isn’t just a meal, it’s an event, luxed-up with shellfish and given complex layers of flavour with toum, a garlic paste. Even if you don’t want to make the whole dish, give Tom’s hummus recipe a go: it’s one of the best versions I’ve ever tried and for a hummus-obsessive like me, that is no easy statement!

You may have made hummus before. You’ve probably made it in your Thermomix. But you’ve never made hummus like Israeli celeb chef Eyal Shani makes hummus. And I 100-per-cent bet you haven’t served it like this!

Check out my hummus trailer with Eyal Shani below to see for yourself. And to watch the complete video head over here.

Chef Shane Delia brings the same cheeky energy to his food that he does to this video. He’s a big personality and his food is full of verve and spice. As he says in the video, he always has some flavoured hummus in the fridge at home – it’s just one way he brings a taste of the Middle East to Melbourne.

Check out this cheeky Cauliflower Hummus trailer I made with Shane and then watch the full recipe video here.

More dips and condiments

I have so many delicious dips and condiments in my extensive recipe library, so I decided to put them all together for you here.

Welcome to my super-charged plan for preparing a barbecue for 12 people in just 45 minutes. Yes, it can be done!

The idea with this Ballistic BBQ Buster is that when people arrive, you have a cake in the oven, a dip made, two salads on the way, and meat and veg prepared for the barbecue. All you need to do is say, “Welcome!”

  • 15-page eBook
  • Quick, easy and delicious recipes
  • Timeline so you can plan!
  • Includes a shopping list too

You know the Thermomix is actually a cocktail machine, don’t you? Yes, food is important but how about the drinks?!

With the cocktail recipes here your anytime party, hen’s night or New Year’s Eve is sorted.

  • 17-page eBook
  • 13 delicious cocktail recipes
  • 2 non-alcoholic cocktails
I love my Elk top & Obus pants

What’s this site all about?

My business card says ‘Writer. Eater. Traveller. Cook.’ I do all these things with equal passion, which is why I’m sometimes sitting at my laptop with an apron on! This is where I share all my best bits of writing, recipes and videos. There are free areas of the site where you can stay up to date with my journalism and get a taste of my cooking adventures. Sign up as a member and you’ll get access to my awesome and ever-growing library of cooking videos and recipes, focusing on Thermomix.

This is a place for inspiration, chefs’ secrets, practical tuition and happy creativity. If you like cooking and eating delicious food and basking in the compliments of family and friends, this site is for you. You’ll be amazed what you can create with my recipes and videos as your guide.

See what recipes are available here.

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