Tuesday, 24 March 2009

Pita with Humus

One of the pleasures moving to Australia has deprived me of is easy access to good humus and good pitas to rub the humus with. It sounds ridiculous that in a whole continent one cannot find such simple dishes, but the reality is that good pitas are extremely hard to find - what normally passes here for a pita is too thin to even come close to conforming with the ISO Moshe standard for pitas - and good humus that doesn't taste like an army combat ration does not exist at all.
Sometimes one has to work hard for life's simpler pleasures, so the obvious solution to the above problem is to do my own humus. And sometimes I do so; today was such a case, and to honor the occasion I have decided to document it.

How to make your own good humus:

It's easy, really. Just mix the following ingredients in a blender:
  1. The contents of 2 standard cans of chickpeas (roughly 400cm^3 each), drained.
  2. Half a cup of thina paste (here they refer to it as tahini). We buy our paste from a Lebanese shop.
  3. A quarter of a cup of the sesame oil from the top of the thina paste's can.
  4. The juice of 1 fresh lemon. Make sure seeds are not included, as they would render your humus bitter (speaks the voice of experience).
  5. 1 tablespoon of cumin.
  6. A bit of salt.
  7. A bit of pepper.
  8. 1 tablespoon of oil.
  9. One third of a cup of water. As you blend you may add a bit more water to acquire the desired level of density for your humus paste.
Now, everyone knows that in order to truly enjoy your humus you need to have some Harif mixed with it (Harif being the professional term to describe a hot, as in spicy, sauce).
One of the better types of Harif around is schug, popular with Yemenite circles. So here goes:

How to make your own schug Harif:
It's easy, really. Just mix the following ingredients in a blender:
  1. 1 bunch of fresh coriander.
  2. 8 cloves of garlic.
  3. 1 teaspoon of salt.
  4. 150-200 grams of chillies, either red or green, seeds included. It's probably better to stick to either red or green to achieve a more uniform look for the resulting paste, color wise.
  5. One quarter of a tablespoon of pepper.
  6. 2 tablespoons of cumin.
  7. Half a teaspoon of cardamon (known in Hebrew as "hell").
The resulting paste is very dry. I put it in a jar and fill it up with olive oil, which also helps for preservation. Do be careful with the mix, though: as the ingredients indicate, we're talking explosives grade material here.


Now that you have your humus and Harif ready, portion yourself some of the humus and drop a tiny bit of schug. Mix and enjoy; the result is best eaten by rubbing against a pita.


wile.e.coyote said...

sorry, but you missed one important element.
As you know, "Yossi" is adding a trivial and common part to the dish, this element makes all the change.
without it, it is just nothing.

Moshe Reuveni said...

Dear Doctor, I thought you'd mention another secret ingredient altogether. You know, that secret ingredient.

wile.e.coyote said...

that was my point, that was my point