My Moroccan Hummus - Zaalouk + Hummus Dip

I am back from Beirut with beautiful memories and fantastic culinary ones! My belly was so happy over there. It was my forth time in Beirut but this time was very special!

This time I made it my mission to discover as many new foods as I could, exclusively levantine foods, of course. I loved doing this! Actually, I should do it everywhere I go. Everyone should! There’s something very satisfying about going out of your comfort zone and trying new foods. Obviously, I was already pretty familiar with this type of cuisine thanks to my favourite human on earth whose family has taught me a lot about Levantine foods. 

My favourite finding during my trip is kibbet karras. It is a kind of individual-roundish-open kibbeh topped with berries. Looks very cute and tastes even better than it looks. Another interesting finding is, harissa, the pastry, not the hot sauce. Pronounced harissé over there, very important!. Interestingly, we make a very similar pastry in Morocco but we call it basboosa. And I have a great news for you; basboosa will be on the blog very soon!

So when I came back to my beloved London home, I felt I hadn't had my dose of hummus in Beirut and I needed some more (note to self: possible hummus addiction to investigate)! This is when I decided to make my own hummus for the first time! I will ashamedly admit that I had never made my own hummus before. So the first thing I did was to check recipes online and after reading a zillion ones I decided to trust the levantine food gurus’ recipe, Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi’s. I followed their recipe, added a bit more lemon juice and kept my hummus quite chunky because that’s how I like it as a dip.

Somehow I felt that something was missing and decided to top it up with one of my favourite Moroccan salady-dip: zaalouk. Hummus and zaalouk work beautifully together, you can mix both dip in the blender before serving it or top the hummus with zaalouk like I did. It doesn’t really matter! All I know is, it’s super tasty, fresh, aromatic and nutty! It's simply delicious. I know you can’t wait to try it! 

Hummus + Zaalouk  -4.jpg

My Moroccan Hummus – Hummus + Zaalouk dip

INGREDIENTS

Zaalouk

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 large aubergines
  • 4 medium tomatoes seeded and chopped
  • 2 garlic gloves, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh coriander

Hummus (recipe adapted from Yotam Ottolenghi & Sami Tamimi's Basic Hummus)

  • 240 gr canned chickpeas, drained or 120 gr dried chickpeas, soaked overnight and drained
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 120 gr tahini paste
  • Juice of a lemon or more to taste
  • ½ teaspoon finely chopped garlic (about 2 cloves)
  • 4 tablespoons cold water
  • Salt and pepper to taste

METHOD

Zaalouk

• Remove 3 vertical strips of skin from each aubergine. Discard the vertical strips and dice the aubergines in large cubes. Removing a few stripes allows to keep the zaalouk more soft (less skin) when prepared, however feel free to leave them if desired.

• In a medium sized pan, heat the olive oil and add all the ingredients. Cover over low medium heat until the vegetables are soft, about 25 minutes. Stir occasionally to make sure the vegetables don't stick to the pan.

• Uncover, mash the vegetables and leave over medium heat until all liquids evaporate.

• Refrigerate until needed, up to two days.

Hummus

• Place the drained chickpeas and the baking soda in a large deep skillet over medium heat. Cover the chickpeas with water. Leave until the chickpeas are soft and cooked, this will take about 30 to 40 minutes.

• Once cooked, drain the chickpeas, place in a food processor along with the rest of the ingredients and process until you obtain the desired smoothness. 

• Add more water to adjust the consistency if desired.

• Refrigerate until needed, up to two days.

To serve

• Spread a plate or bowl with hummus, top with a generous serving of zaalouk and a coating of olive oil. Enjoy with warm bread and/or carrot sticks!