Friday, 6 July 2018

Medieval Hummus Or Himmas Kassa

I have always loved hummus - the more garlic and lemon juice the merrier.  Oh, and lots of paprika on top.  But here we have something a bit different - no garlic at all!  And still just amazingly delicious.  This is a 14th century Arabic recipe, which I discovered on the blog by Nawal Nasrallah - In My Iraqi Kitchen.  Nawal is an independent Iraqi scholar, who loves cooking and its history and culture.  Nawal calls this the mother of all hummus.  

Chickpeas are a legume like peanuts, and there can be much discussion about whether they are actually good for you, or not.  I err on the side of yes they are bloody good for you :=)  And so delicious.  People have been eating them for at least 7500 years, so there has to be something fabulous about them. 

gloopy, green and gorgeous


1 tin (400g.) of chickpeas, drained or 1½ cups of boiled chickpeas

2 tbs tahini - I used organic roasted, unhulled

2 tbs water

2 tbs white wine vinegar

1/4 cup walnuts, finely ground

2 tbs lemon juice

1 tbs white wine vinegar

1/2 cup parsley, chopped roughly or torn

1/4 cup mint leaves, chopped roughly or torn

3 tbs extra virgin olive oil

1/4 tsp of each of the following: caraway/ground coriander/black pepper/ground ginger/cinnamon

1/2 tsp sea salt 

2-3 wedges of preserved lemon, skin only, flesh chucked :=)

For garnish:

extra virgin olive oil, a generous amount 

pistachios, chopped

parsley, chopped finely

ground cinnamon

rose petals (optional)


Zap the walnuts in your processor till you have a fine meal, or buy walnut meal if you can get it

Mix the tahini with the water and vinegar

Stir the lemon juice and the other tablespoon of vinegar in with the ground walnuts

Chuck everything into the blender except the preserved lemon (and the garnish of course)

Blitz!  Well, I mean pulse till smooth and looking fairly green

Add more herbs if it's not green enough for you 

Add more salt or pepper or lemon juice if it takes your fancy

Stir in the preserved lemon which you have chopped into small pieces

Spoon out into a nice bowl and serve with Turkish bread

Pour on the olive oil (Nawal says to use a generous amount), and throw on the garnish(es)

This should be a thick dip, great for piling onto bread

here we go, gathering ingredients

everything goes into the processor

grab that Turkish bread and slather it on, baby! 

Our vego/vegan guest loved it, and had it spread on toast each morning for breakfast.  It melded and tasted better in the days after I made it.  This is such a winner, folks!  Definitely on the permanent playlist now :=)

chickpea plant artwork by sherryspickings


  1. I was the vegan guest and loved this dip so much I've been hanging out to get the recipe! One of the best dips I've tasted! :)

    1. yay! thanks martha. sorry - i could/should have emailed it to you before:) happy hummus making. cheers sherry

  2. This was an amazingly tasty dip. You must try!

  3. The mint must make this so flavoursome. I am going to try that the next time I make hummus :)

    1. Oh yes it adds great flavour. A great little recipe.

  4. Hi Sherry,
    what a beautiful blog!
    Many many thanks for spreading the word about this wonderful medieval hummus recipe. It has become my family's favorite, too. A testimonany to the universality and durability to deliciousness.

    1. thanks so much Nawal. lovely of you to drop by my blog. it is a fabulous dip isn't it? and gets better day by day. cheers sherry

  5. I didn't realise that there was any talk about chickpeas not being good for you. Hummus is like avocado-almost everyone loves it!

    1. yes, i read that they can stop your body absorbing some minerals, and that they can be difficult for the body to digest. So never eat raw ones:) And don't eat too much hummus....

  6. I'm so intrigued by this recipe Sherry! I might just have to make it!!

    1. please do Emma. i bet you would love it. cheers S

  7. Love the mint and walnuts in this, definitely plan to try it.

  8. I'm a fan of chickpeas, too. And hummus. This looks really tasty -- really creative. Thanks!

  9. Yes bloody good for you. I love chickpeas and I love homemade hummus, shop bought ones cannot compare. I have been cooking Iraqi cusine in my home recently, so I appreciate the link to the blog and will check it out.

    1. that's great shaheen. it is an interesting blog. and definitely try the hummus. it's fab! cheers S x

  10. I have finally found this recipe of yours Sherry and it sounds fantastic. Will definitely give it a go. Love all kinds of hummus. Pauline

    1. oh yes it is worth a go pauline. we kept eating it on toast for breakfast afterwards. cheers sherry

  11. After your comment on my blog, I had to come and find your recipe for Medieval hummus. It sounds absolutely wonderful and I can't wait to try it. Choclette x

    1. hi Choclette
      i'm so glad you looked up this recipe. i am just going to edit the amount of cooked chickpeas in the recipe as i think i underestimated it. should be 1.5 cups! Hope you enjoy it! x


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