Film. Food. Friendship

Posted by: Elizabeth Applebaum on Tuesday, February 28, 2017

"It takes a giant leap of faith, but we are happy to take it – what have we got to lose? – to imagine that hummus will eventually bring Jerusalemites together, if nothing else will."

- Yotam Ottolenghi, discussing his work with business partner and co-cookbook author, Sami Tamimi, a Palestinian

Among the movies showing at the Lenore Marwil Jewish Film Festival this May is “Hummus! The Movie,” a delicious story about the men, women and children dedicated to the superfood. You’ll meet the monk determined to finding the finest hummus anywhere and a hip-hop musician who has curious views on the power of chickpeas. You’ll also hear about the Guinness World Record for the Largest Serving of Hummus (more than 23,000 pounds!) and meet a Muslim, a Jew and a Christian who, despite different religious and cultural backgrounds, are united in their passion for hummus.

To celebrate this terrific movie, we’ll post hummus recipes from now through the end of Film Festival.

We begin with this from Yotam Ottolenghi.

Born in Jerusalem, Yotam Ottolenghi served in IDF Army Intelligence and studied literature at Tel Aviv University. Planning to continue graduate work he moved to England but instead began training at Le Cordon Blue, where he became a pastry chef and met Sami Tamimi, who would later help establish the first Ottolenghi deli.

Today, Ottolenghi is recognized as one of the most innovative chefs in the world, with a style that is bold and fresh, blending Middle Eastern cuisine with Mediterranean, Asian and Western flavors. 

In addition to his restaurants, Ottolenghi writes a column in The Guardian and is the author of four cookbooks: Plenty and Plenty More, plus Ottolenghi and Jerusalem (which includes a discussion about the many views on hummus.), co-written with Sami Tamimi.

Basic Hummus

Reprinted with permission from Jerusalem: A Cookbook by Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi, copyright © 2012. Published by Ten Speed Press, a division of Random House, Inc.

1¼ cups (250 grams) dried chickpeas

1 tsp. baking soda

6½ cups (1.5 liters) water

1 cup plus 2 Tbsp. (270 grams) light tahini paste

4 Tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice

4 cloves garlic, crushed

6½ Tbsp. (100 ml) ice-cold water


The night before, put the chickpeas in a large bowl and cover them with cold water at least twice their volume. Leave to soak overnight.

The next day, drain the chickpeas. Place a medium saucepan over high heat and add the drained chickpeas and baking soda. Cook for about 3 minutes, stirring constantly. Add the water and bring to a boil. Cook, skimming off any foam and any skins that float to the surface. The chickpeas will need to cook between 20 and 40 minutes, depending on the type and freshness, sometimes even longer. Once done, they should be very tender, breaking up easily when pressed between your thumb and finger, almost but not quite mushy.

Drain the chickpeas. You should have roughly 3 cups (600 grams) now. Place the chickpeas in a food processor and process until you get a stiff paste. Then, with the machine still running, add the tahini paste, lemon juice, garlic, and 1½ teaspoons salt. Finally, slowly drizzle in the iced water and allow it to mix for about 5 minutes, until you get a very smooth and creamy paste.

Transfer the hummus to a bowl, cover the surface with plastic wrap, and let it rest for at least 30 minutes. If not using straightaway, refrigerate until needed. Make sure to take it out of the fridge at least 30 minutes before serving.



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