Hearty, versatile and delicious, houmous is a favourite for everything from snacks to sandwiches, and mezze feasts to buddha bowls. Take your houmous to the next level with these tasty ideas for adding extra flavour and try some exciting new twists.
For a classic houmous drain and rinse a 400g tin of chickpeas and put in a food processor. Add 3 tsp tahini and a dash of cold water and blitz for 2-3 mins, until smooth. Add in 1 crushed garlic clove, 1 tsp salt, 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, the juice of ½ lemon, and a large pinch of paprika. Blitz again until the houmous is very smooth, adding more water if the mixture is too thick. Spoon into a bowl and serve with veg sticks or pitta breads, or cover and chill until ready to serve.
Give your houmous a little lift with the addition of herbs and spices. You can blitz fragrant fresh herbs through your homemade houmous for a green twist, try parsley, coriander, mint or even avocado. For more of a flavour punch, blitz in fresh peas, chillies for heat or go for more subtle, smoky spiced houmous with cumin or harissa paste. No time to make your own? These can easily be stirred through ready-made dips to give them a boost, too.
One very simple way to take your basic houmous recipe to the next level is to play around with different toppings. Spiced, roasted chickpeas and toasted pine nuts could be sprinkled on top to add texture, while fresh herbs provide colour and freshness. Try this pretty pink topping of pink pickled onions and pomegrate seeds for a sweet-and-sour combination or even a sundried tomato houmous with crispy chickpeas.
Add colouful veg to the basic chickpea mix to ring the changes. Try a herby pea houmous for a sweet and fragrant green dip, or go for sweet, roasted red pepper houmous for a smoky twist. We also love adding roasted beetroot, which makes a brilliant pink dip with an earthy tang to serve with veggie crisps.
No chickpeas in the pantry? Store cupboard staples such as cannellini beans, butter beans or frozen peas work well in place of chickpeas and will give your dip a completely new texture and flavour. One of our favourite recipes is this butternut squash houmous, where the veg is roasted until sweet and tender to make the base in place of chickpeas. Or why not try our curried houmous, served with grilled chicken and spinach.
The creamy texture and full-bodied flavour of houmous works really well with grilled meats. We love this basic falafel recipe for an exciting al desko lunch. For a Turkish-style supper, use houmous as a tasty base for lamb koftas or lamb steaks, or go vegan and use to top this veggie pizza.
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