Hummus is one of those addictive foods for everyone! The combination of chickpeas, tahini and garlic is to die for! Some love to have it as a dip with pita at parties, some love it as mezze with Turkish raki, some even have it at breakfast! Some restaurants in Turkey serve it free as an appetizer just before the main dish. There are also hummus restaurants in southern cities like Antakya, Mersin and Tarsus. They just serve hummus and people have it as lunch.
Hummus is known as a Middle Eastern dish, and as far as I know it’s originally from Syrian and Lebanese cuisines. It has become a very common dish in Turkey too thanks to Antakya, aka Antioch, a southern city of Turkey. It is located near the border with Syria, and there are lots of people from Syria settled down in this city, so Turkish cuisine is intermingled with Syrian cuisine in Antakya. This is a great advantage for us since we get familiar with new dishes from Antakya people.
Another ingredient a good hummus must have is cumin, both for its flavor and its relieving effect on stomach. You know chickpeas and garlic might cause trouble in stomach and cumin is the best remedy for it!
It is recommended to peel chickpeas before mashing, but I think it takes a lot of time and it’s not needed at all since it becomes really smooth when you puree it well.
We mostly have it topped with a sauce of olive oil, paprika, sumac and parsley as in this hummus, but I learnt from a friend that it is also topped with pastirma, Turkish dried meat. So we fried some slices of pastirma in a little butter and top our hummus with it this time. The result was AMAZING! How come we couldn’t think of it before! The spicy flavor of thinly sliced pastirma made a perfect touch on hummus! You might not find it abroad, so I think bacon makes a good substitute. I’d love to hear the result if you try it with bacon.