A typical dish from the Near East, hummus translates to chickpeas in Arabic and Hebrew. We find this word spelled in different ways in the world: hommos, hummus, hummus, oumos, hummus.
Hummus abounds in Arabian, Armenian, Jewish and Levantine cuisine in particular. But it is becoming more and more popular with us, too. Hummus consists of a base of mashed chickpeas and tahini, a sesame cream, to which we add olive oil, lemon juice and some sprinkle it with cumin or chilli pepper.
A good supply of vegetable proteins
Hummus is a good alternative to mayonnaise in sandwiches. Like all legumes, chickpeas are a significant source of vegetable protein, great allies for our health. Plant protein, compared to animal protein, protects the body against diabetes and bad cholesterol, and it does not increase blood pressure. Chickpeas are rich in iron, calcium, magnesium, potassium, vitamin A, E, and C and it improves gut health.
As for the sesame-based tahini, it adds a nice touch of methionine, one of the eight essential amino acids. It is also a good source of vitamin E. If you add garlic to the recipe, you know how beneficial this superfood is to your health. Contributor of minerals, antibacterial, antioxidant and guardian angel of the heart in particular! And olive oil provides good fatty acids that lower cholesterol and protect against cardiovascular disease. A little lemon juice with that and we have a good dose of vitamin C as a bonus!
Besides being an important source of fiber, thiamine, and riboflavin which preserve our nervous system, hummus helps to regulate glucose in the blood and even promotes the production of serotonin. No wonder it is said to be a healthy and natural antidepressant!
A multitude of varieties of hummus
A similar preparation of hummus made from eggplant also exists which is called baba ganoush. It is also possible to make a preparation based on red beans or white beans, lentils, cabbage, zucchini, green peas, carrots, spinach, avocado, peppers … You can also decorate the original recipe with different ingredients of your choice such as avocado, plain yogurt, sun dried tomatoes, grated cheese and why not diversify the spices, from dill to parsley, including Italian spices, coriander and various varieties of peppers. The traditional recipe also looks appetizing by its pretty red, green, orange, pink or even blue color, if we add either a touch of tomato paste, cooked broccoli, cooked sweet potato, beets, or even some blueberries!
A disputed origin
As for the history of this almost legendary preparation that is hummus, several countries are still battling to claim their authorship. At least eight countries claim to be the creator: Lebanon, Israel, Palestine, Greece, Turkey, Jordan, Syria and Egypt. Chickpeas were already growing 9,900 years ago if we can trust various archaeological excavations. As for the first mentions of a recipe based on chickpeas, they date from the 7th century BC in Mesopotamia. It was in the 15th century that the recipe known today would have appeared in the Ottoman Empire and finally conquered the entire planet!