cookbook: hostel houmous

Twenty years ago, houmous in the U.K was a snack more associated with the soya-milk drinking, hemp-wearing and sandal-rocking gentrified hippy core. Fast forward a few decades and it is has become as commonplace in the British fridge as cheddar cheese, semi-skimmed milk and last night's leftovers. 41% of us have a pot of houmous waiting to be demolished, fuelled by 2-for-1 deals at supermarkets and its almost harmonious relationship with a good bottle of wine, fancy bread, the sofa and a Friday spent in front of the TV.

After two months away, with nary a tub in sight, we needed a fix.

Any good houmous recipe calls for lashings of tahini (sesame seed paste), but even on a budget and in the middle of nowhere, you can create a very tasty alternative version. A surprisingly large number of hostels that we've stayed in thus far have had a blender – a true luxury when you've spent the last week eating spaghetti. Take this simple kitchen appliance and you can turn a bulb of garlic and some chickpeas a snack worthy of a place in any deli.


What you need

  • A blender
  • 400 gram can of chickpeas
  • 2-3 large cloves of garlic
  • ¾ cup of olive oil
  • Juice of ¾ lemon or lime
  • Salt and pepper


What to do

#1 Roughly chop the garlic, throw in blender.


#2 Drain can of chickpeas, throw in blender.


#3 Measure out olive oil, throw in blender (notice a trend here...?)

#4 Squeeze lime, and.... can you guess?

#5 Blend


#6 Add salt and pepper to taste. If you find the houmous is a little thick, add water (slowly) until the desired consistency is reached.

#7 Dip a carrot, dunk some tortilla, smother on toast, cover a crisp or, for a more intimate experience, just use your fingers.

The more adventurous amongst you may like to add in to the mix some roasted red peppers, a few chillies or caramelised onion.

Tip: Blenders can be a real chore to clean. So, once you're done, rinse it out once then half-fill it water. Put it on to blend for a few seconds and most of the leftovers will be cleaned off.