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Hummus is one of those things that people become proprietorial about. The Spanish have fixed ideas about what should be in a paella, in south-west France the “correct” recipe for a cassoulet varies from village to village and can cause heated tempers and raised voices; in the eastern Mediterranean, one of the things about which people cannot agree is hummus. We have seen a South African woman of Lebanese descent become very snooty about the hummus served in an upmarket restaurant in the UAE. It was too smooth.

It had clearly been ground by machine, and the lesson she had received from her Lebanese mother and grandmother was clear: hummus must be made by hand, and it must take so long to make that it hurts. Only in that way can the wife’s love for her family be demonstrated. (Isn’t it odd that this sort of rule never seems to apply to husbands?)

We don’t get worked up in that sort of way, because we know where to find the very best hummus: in Cyprus. Of course. Where else?

Hummus” is from an Arabic word that means chickpeas. If you see it written out in full on an Arabic menu, the dish will be called ummu bi aḥīna, which translates as “chickpeas with tahini.” It isn’t difficult, then, to know that the basis of hummus is chickpeas and tahini. They are ground together with olive oil – smoothly or with small chunks, according to taste; it isn’t necessary to destroy your wrist as that South African Lebanese lady suggested – and will usually have a number of things added including garlic and lemon juice. With such a large chickpea constituent, hummus provides a good part of the normal person’s daily need for dietary fibre and also provides vitamins B and a number of minerals.

The word meze is used many times on this website, and, if you are serving meze, you must have hummus. You must also have something to dip into it, and the most obvious thing is pitta bread, although it also makes a very good dip for raw vegetables and even for a nice spicy sausage. It’s particularly useful for Jewish people because the ingredients are such that it can be mixed with both meat and dairy meals and still comply with the dietary laws.

There are a number of regional variations on hummus that involve adding various things: paprika; cooked and chopped aubergine; nuts; sliced chilli; and extra garlic, but our view is that customers are the people to decide how they want their hummus to taste. Try adding whatever comes to mind, and see which combination you like best.

Company Info

Contact Person: Nikos Andrea
Mailing Address: Koniele Trading LTD,
Evagorou 6, Dromolaxia, Cyprus 7020
Call/Text: 00 357 97 884776
Company Reg. No: HE343968