So many ways to say it, so many ways to make it.
But today I'm going to share with you, my Dad's way.
My father, Takis, is a bit of a mad professor when it comes to experimenting with food. He will spend weeks, if not months, perfecting a particular creation in the kitchen. Even something as simple as hommus. No matter what he's making, he will go to whatever length it takes to make sure the flavour, the texture and the aroma is tweaked and refined to absolute perfection.
But only Takis knows when it's perfect. He may use other people as guinea pigs in the process, but like many proud Greeks, my dad doesn't want to hear your opinion unless it's a favourable one. Even if he asks you "Do you like it?", you mustn't answer. Takis is the only one that can criticise his own food and will make sure he immediately responds to his own question with "It needs more lemon doesn't it". Only then can you speak, and you have two choices: Reluctantly agree with him or tell him "It's great the way it is!"
The process of formulating the ultimate hommus recipe was (and still is!) an enjoyable one for Takis. Around ten years in the making, just about every time we were invited over for lunch there would be another version of hommus for us to try. My proud dad in his favourite I Love Limnos apron, bowl in one hand, spoon in the other (actually, spoon in our face) would encourage us to taste "Here, you must try. Please. This one is very good." As they all were.
There's nothing rocket-scientific about my dad's recipes. He just loves any excuse to spend time in the kitchen making food that makes people happy. And if perfecting a simple dish means another marathon session in the kitchen, then out comes the Limnos apron again. But once dad is finally happy with his creation, you'd better be sure you love it too, because if you don't love dad's food, there won't be a lot of love for you.
So when making hommus, the big tip from Takis is to use dried chickpeas soaked in water overnight, rather than canned. But one big problem comes with this big tip. If you are using dried chickpeas, you have to remove their skins which is a somewhat tedious process. It's worth it though because dried chickpeas give a much "fresher" flavour (in my dad's own words) to your hommus.
Hommus, Hummus, HomousRecipe by Takis (my dad)
- 200g dried chickpeas (soaked in water overnight)
- 1 clove of garlic, crushed
- 3 tablespoons tahini
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 3 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- Extra salt to taste
- Drain the soaked chickpeas, rinse and transfer to a large pot.
- Cover the chickpeas with plenty of water and bring to the boil.
- Allow to cook for 30 minutes, then drain and transfer chickpeas to a large bowl of cold water.
- Remove skins from the chickpeas by lightly squeezing them one by one between your fingers. The skins should come off easily. Discard skins and throw skinned chickpeas back into the saucepan you used earlier to cook them.
- Cover chickpeas with water again and boil for another 30–45 minutes, until very soft.
- Drain chickpeas and transfer to food processor, adding the garlic, tahini, olive oil, lemon juice, cumin and 1/4 teaspoon of salt.
- Blend until smooth then add extra salt to taste.
Serve in a fancy bowl or on a pretty plate, drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and lightly dust with paprika. I love my hommus with crusty, grain-filled bread. It's also lovely with fresh sticks of celery or carrot.