Hummusiah Away From Home

   Creamy Hummus-Tehinah

Creamy Hummus-Tehinah

Can food be political? Hummus is sure getting there...  Who does it belong to? where does it come from? Plates have been drawn and pita has been bandied about... But you know what? I am not going to join the hummus debate. At least, not the political one...

I'm doing something very Un-Israeli and staying a-political. I'll just confess this - I LOVE it!  The schmear ( or as we say in Israel niguv) of homemade hummus on freshly baked pita takes me right back to the Israeli sun on my face and the Mediterranean sand between my toes. SInce Israeli Independence Day, Yom Ha’atzmaut, is right around the corner, I am going to indulge in a large tub of  - yes, homemade - Hummus – dive in - the Israeli way. The hummus in Israel is not the pathetic, pale, flavorless dip that Americans are familiar with. Just sayin' - so you know how I really feel about it...

Israel is filled with small food joints called Hummusiot (plural), or Hummusiah (singular) that offer full meals with hummus as the star.

There, it is a creamy, lemony, fragrant and bold canvas to many toppings. From freshly cooked, spiced chickpeas, to fried eggplant, simmered fava beans, seasoned lamb and more – your hummus plate offers a satisfying meal to the vegetarian or the carnivore in you.

Since I can’t be in Israel this holiday, I travel with my taste buds by creating my own Hummusiah, right here in Minneapolis. I start out with Zahav’s hummus recipe, which is incredible and well worth the effort. Then, on to several toppings of delicious goodness! Use the recipes below to top your own hummus, drizzle some extra tehinah on top, sprinkle on some parsley or cilantro and experience your mouth bloom with flavors!

Serve this colorful array with tender, fresh pita, some zesty Israeli pickles and finish off with some cool and creamy Malabi.  This is as close as I will get to having a true taste of Israel - without the price of the airfare or the jetlag. Until my next trip in May!

 

   Hummus with Za'atar

Hummus with Za'atar

   My brother in law's, Jamie's, hot peppers are going to grace my hummus!

My brother in law's, Jamie's, hot peppers are going to grace my hummus!

   Voila!

Voila!

   This is what I call fresh! Eggplants at the market in my hometown, Givat Olga

This is what I call fresh! Eggplants at the market in my hometown, Givat Olga