• Yield : 500ml
  • Prep Time : 10m
  • Cook Time : 45m
  • Ready In : 60m

The recipe

Houmous is essentially a puree made from chickpeas and tahini and it is a popular recipe in the cuisines of North Africa and the Middle East.  It’s origins are a little hazy, but it seems to have been mentioned initially in historical sources dating back to 13th century Egypt.  The various houmous recipes are basically the same, but there are differences of opinion on the texture, with the Greeks preferring a slightly thicker less smooth mix, but a runnier, smoother texture is preferred further to the east.  Just experiment and decide for yourself, it’s delicious either way. It can be used as a dip for flatbread, raw vegetable sticks or biscuits such as Scottish Oatcakes. Dried chickpeas can be used, but I prefer chana dal, which is the chickpea split into lentils and with the skins removed.  It saves cooking time.  You can also use tinned chickpeas, not quite as tasty but a good substitute if time is an issue.


  • 200g chana dal (yellow split peas/lentils)
  • 1 litre water
  • 75g tahini (sesame paste)
  • Juice of one large lemon
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • ¼ - ½ tsp salt (to taste)
  • chopped parsley
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • paprika or cayenne pepper


Step 1

Soak the chana dal in cold water overnight or for at least 8 hours.

Step 2

Cook the lentils in 1 litre water for about 45 minutes until they are soft. Drain and reserve the liquid and a few of the lentils for garnish.

Step 3

Mash the cooked dal with a potato masher or the underside of a spoon, depending on how smooth you want it and slowly blend in the tahini and most of the lemon juice to make a puree.

Step 4

Crush the garlic with the salt in a mortar and add to the puree. Adjust the flavour and consistency with lemon juice, the drained liquid and salt as required. It should be thick and smooth, but how thick and smooth is up to you, but definitely not too runny.

Step 5

To serve, spread the puree into a shallow dish, swirling the mixture with the back of a spoon and make a little dip in the centre. Add a little olive oil to the centre and garnish with the reserved chickpeas, chopped parsley and a little sprinkling of paprika or cayenne pepper.

Recipe Type: Ingredients:
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