Dynamic Ageing Recipe: Fattet Hummus

Fattet Hummus, a dish popular throughout the Middle East, is one of my favourite relatively quick lunches - so long as I use chickpeas/garbanzos from a tin. I am a great believer in this kind of shortcut, but if you fancy cooking them from scratch, do. However, I have always found that the tinned/canned version has a better texture and saves a considerable amount of time and effort. Using a chermoula spice blend is another very valuable shortcut. I have occasionally made my own blend – a very rewarding experience with the whole kitchen wafting with robust Mediterranean aromas – but more often than not, I resort to the jar in my spice cupboard! The components – and the balance - can vary considerably, but cumin, coriander, paprika, crushed chillies and turmeric are fairly standard. Some kind of chermoula spice is available in most supermarkets, or Steenbergs of Yorkshire do a lovely organic version.


Fattet Hummus with Chermoula Spices


Serves 4 as a lunch dish or as part of a mezze selection


For the bread:-

75 g/3 oz wholemeal pita bread

1 garlic clove, peeled and crushed

Extra virgin olive oil, for brushing


For the yoghurt:-

250 g/9 oz natural coconut yoghurt

2 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed

30 ml/2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

15 g/1/2 oz fresh mint, leaves only, coarsely chopped

Fresh lemon juice as needed

Fine sea or Himalayan salt and freshly ground black pepper


For the chickpeas/garbanzos:-

60 ml/4 tbsp olive oil

2 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed

15 ml/1 tbsp chermoula spice blend, or to taste

1 x 400 g/14 oz tin/can chickpeas, rinsed and well drained

15 g/1/2 oz fresh coriander/cilantro, coarsely chopped

25 g/1 oz toasted, flaked almonds

1 pomegranate, seeds only

Fine sea or Himalayan salt and freshly ground black pepper


Heat the oven to 175oC.


Whisk the one crushed garlic clove with the olive oil and brush the pita bread generously with it on both sides. Tear or cut the bread into pieces about 2.5 cm/1 in square. Arrange on a baking tray and cook in the oven for about 15 minutes, turning them over half way through, until they are crisp and a light gold. Set aside to cool.


Mix all the ingredients for the yoghurt in a bowl and check the seasoning. If it is at all bland (which coconut yoghurt can be), add a bit of lemon juice to sharpen it.


Heat the four tablespoons of oil in a wide frying pan and add the garlic. Cook gently for a couple of minutes, just until it goes a very light gold. Sprinkle in the chermoula and some seasoning, and cook for one minute before adding the chickpeas, turning them over and over in the spicy oil. Turn the heat right down and leave it all to warm up.

Check the seasoning.


Spread the pita out on a plate and spoon the yoghurt over it. Pour over the hot chickpeas and their spicy oil and strew the mint, almonds and pomegranate over everything.


Serve immediately.


And what about this dish’s nutritional talent? Garlic? Plenty of it in this particular recipe: powerfully antibacterial, protects the cardiovascular system, lowers blood pressure, may guard against the common cold, provides cancer support, regulates blood sugar levels, and its antioxidant properties may help combat dementia. Wow! Extra virgin olive oil? Impressively anti-inflammatory, contains Vitamins A and K, lowers blood pressure and enhances blood vessel health. Mint? Anti-bacterial and anti-oxidant, may be helpful for colds due to its decongesting menthol content, good for indigestion, travel sickness and as a breath freshener, regulates muscle relaxation. Chickpeas? Protein, fibre, healthy carbohydrate, B vitamins, iron, potassium, selenium, magnesium and calcium, and even helps to lower cholesterol levels. And finally coriander: aids in the removal of toxic metals from the body, anti-inflammatory, anti-fungal, lowers cholesterol and improves memory. So eat and enjoy!

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