A nice tasting authentic hummus platter!
Sometimes traditional is best! Sumac berry spice is more authentic for garnishing hummus than paprika. Sumac berry has a nice beery wine lemon flavor. Less lemon juice can be added to the hummus, if sliced pickled lemon is used as a garnish. Virgin olive oil is nearly always poured over the hummus.
The choice of breads for this hummus platter are rustic. Small khubz arabi (pita) and tonir lavash are featured. Whole wheat tonir lavash was the very first lavash recipe!
When designing a hummus platter, it is best to go with a simple appealing design that is not overly complicated.
Even the harrows in the hummus for the olive oil should be part of the overall design. In a way, the harrows on this hummus resemble wet rain soaked harrows on a horse race track. The oval shape of the hummus resembles a horse track too. I can almost hear an Arabic horseman saying "Quickly Habib! Eat the hummus before a fool lays eyes upon our plans that we have carved in the hummus, for the racing strategy of our horses in the upcoming Kentucky Derby! Eat Habib! Eat quickly!" Ha ha ha!
Horse racing is serious business in Arabia. Horses are highly respected there. Breeding programs for thoroughbreds and Arabic horses are a top flight art in Arabia. Horses have always been part of Arabic life! Arabic breeders, owners and trainers usually have a few fine horses that are entered in the Kentucky Derby each year. The Kentucky Derby is a highly respected international event, just like the World Cup of Horse Racing that is held in Dubai each year. Both races attract billions of gambling dollars. Even though most Arabic people do not gamble, the pride of horse racing is in their blood!
Like oats for a horse, a good plate of hummus gives a jockey plenty of gas for a long day of racing. Literally too! Hummus does have some slight flatulent side effects! Traditionally, only caraway seed was eaten to reduce the flatulent side effects. Caraway seed works like Mexican epazote in the digestive tract.
Hummus with Tonir Lavash, Khubz Arabi, Sumac Berry Spice and Pickled Lemon Recipe:
Hummus can be made the old fashioned way by pressing the chickpeas through a fine mesh sieve, or it can be made in a food processor. Traditionally the hulls of the chickpeas are removed after cooking. The hulls of the chickpeas can be retained, when using a food processor.
Tahini is required. Tahini is sesame paste. Tahini can be found in middle eastern markets. Goats milk can be added instead of water for a sharper flavor. Olive oil is required and lemon is required.
Chile pepper was not a required ingredient, before the western world was discovered. I do add chile pepper like most modern middle easterners do. The spices are optional and they do add a delicate flavor if only small amounts are added.
Puree 20 ounces of rinsed cooked chickpeas or rinsed canned organic chickpeas, till the chickpeas become a coarse paste.
Add 4 tablespoons of virgin olive oil.
Add 3 ounces of tahini. (Tahini is available at middle eastern markets.)
Add the juice of 1 lemon.
Add 1/4 teaspoon of cayenne pepper.
Add 1/2 teaspoon of paprika.
Add 2 pinches of cumin. (optional)
Add 1/2 teaspoon of coriander. (optional)
Add 2 pinches of ground cardamom. (optional)
Add 2 pinches of powdered fenugreek. (optional)
Add sea salt and white pepper.
Add 4 teaspoons of garlic paste.
Puree the ingredients and add just enough water while pureeing to form a very smooth spreadable paste.
Spread the hummus on a serving platter.
Form the hummus into a presentable shape.
Use a spoon to carve harrows in the hummus for the virgin olive oil.
Sprinkle sumac berry spice over the hummus. (Sumac berry spice is available at middle eastern markets.)
Pour a generous amount of virgin olive into the harrows on the hummus.
Cut a pickled lemon into thin slices. (Pickled lemon is available in middle eastern markets.)
Cut the thin pickled lemon slices in half.
Mound the pickled lemon slices on the middle of the hummus.
Garnish with an Italian parsley sprig.
Arrange toasted triangle cut tonir lavash bread around the the hummus.
Arrange warm small khubz arabi (pita) quarter slices between the tonir lavash slices.
The sunburst presentation of hummus platter has a nice eye appeal. The flavor is old world tasty! Toasted caraway seeds or toasted fennel seeds are usually offered on the side. The spices add character to the hummus and they are not part of ancient traditional recipes. The spice flavors are far from overbearing. This is a very tasty and healthy hummus platter! Yum! ... Shawna