As someone who was incredibly wary of most foods until about the age of 16, houmous was not a food that featured much as I was growing up, much less something that I ever saw myself making.
In England, our houmous flavours are pretty basic. We’re happy to eat lemon & coriander, sweet chilli, and plain houmous, but haven’t yet been adventurous enough to try the flavours seen in other countries, like peanut butter houmous and wasabi houmous. But that doesn’t mean we don’t love it. Sadly, a lot of people don’t realise how easy – and cheap – it is to make.
Admittedly, one stage is a bit of a faff. As recommended by Smitten Kitchen, peeling the chickpeas gives you a nice smooth finish, but it does mean popping each chickpea out of its skin, leaving you with a pile of skins that look remarkably like disposable contact lenses. But if you do it on a Saturday afternoon while watching the Six Nations, you’ll be too mesmerised by the
thighs sport to notice the passing of the 10 or so minutes it takes.
The beauty of it is that you can dip your finger in and adapt the seasoning to your taste, to ramp up the paprika or lemon as your tastebuds tell you. It’s also super easy and yet is guaranteed to impress.
Roasted red pepper houmous
1 red pepper
1 tin chickpeas, drained (240g) (only costs about 70p!)
1/3 cup tahini
2 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
1/4 tsp smoked paprika
Juice of half a lemon
2tbsp olive oil
1) Preheat oven to 180C. Slice pepper into two or three pieces, removing the stalk and seeds, and place in a small baking tray. Roast for around 30 minutes, until soft.
2) While the pepper is roasting, peel the chickpeas by squeezing them between forefinger and thumb.
3) Remove the pepper from the oven and put the pieces into a food processor along with all the other ingredients. Pulse until smooth.