For those who may not know, Brazil carries a huge Arabic tradition. We have large Syrian and Lebanese communities all across the country, and they have influenced Brazilian culture in several ways, including culinary.
My mother is from the Northern State of Para, where you will find social clubs that were originally made up exclusively for the Lebanese or for the Syrian communities. There are several restaurants in the capital, Belem, that serve some of the traditional Arabic cuisine.
I grew up with my mother making hummus, cured cheese, curd, falafel, kibbeh, and many other dishes that were commonly served at the local Arabic restaurants. We don’t have any Arabic background (not that we know of), but the food has been present in our lives ever since I can remember.
Except for kibbeh, which is made with mince (traditionally lamb), I learned how to make all of these dishes from watching my mom. She never uses anything that’s processed, such as canned chickpeas or bottled milk.
Here’s a quick way of making a delicious, homemade hummus. The longest process is probably having to soak the dry chickpeas overnight so they cook faster in a regular pot instead you having to use a pressure cook.
- 2 cups of dry chickpeas, soaked overnight. Then, cook the chickpeas (30-40 minutes in medium heat) in a pot with the same water that the chickpeas were left soaking in overnight.
- Drain the chickpeas and pour them in a food processor
- Add 2 table spoons of tahini (you can make your tahini! I’ll post a recipe later)
- About 50 ml of grape seed oil (can be olive oil too, your choice!)
- Juice of 1 lemon
- Salt and pepper (follow your taste)
- Garlic granules (follow your taste)
Four medium-sized mint leaves (I got them from my garden. They grow and spread very easily, and they survive through cold winter frost).
Puree everything for about 2- 3 minutes, stopping every minute to stir the mixture with a spoon just to make sure that all the ingredients are pureed uniformly, so there are no lumps or bits of whole chickpeas left.
Serve it with carrots, reddish, cucumber or zucchini, grape or cherry tomatoes, and broccoli or cauliflower florets.
You can also eat it in wraps, as a salad garnish, or to add an extra flavor to your vegan burger.
That’s the best thing about hummus! It’s so versatile it goes well with pretty much any food.
*** This recipe serves about 6 people. I make just enough for me and my fiance and it lasts about three days in the fridge. Make sure you keep the hummus in a container with a lid on or use some foil to protect it.