Rustic Turkish Style Hummus

Today I made hummus without a food processor or blender because I still don’t have one here in Turkey. I had been holding out making it even though I can easily get dried chickpeas anywhere and they’re super inexpensive.

I was just so hesitant to make it because I knew it wouldn’t come out perfectly smooth the way I’m used to it back in the States. Who would want to eat a lumpy hummus?

Over the summer I had it in a touristy restaurant nearby and it was so tasteless I couldn’t finish eating it (thinking it was due to the texture) but now I realize it was because they didn’t really add any flavor to it. 

Fast forward to yesterday when I was watching a few wonderful episodes of Rick Stein’s BBC travel shows in the Mediterranean where he visited Spain, Sicily, Sardinia, Corsica, Greece, Morocco, Turkey (not all in one episode)- basically circling the Mediterranean and all the places I just love so much.  When I really love food shows, I usually take something from the show and go into the kitchen and experiment with it because I almost always have the same ingredients around all the time. 

In one of the episodes (I can’t recall which one), he showed a restaurant chef making hummus without any sort of food processor or blender, just a mortar and large bowl. He started with the garlic, pressing all the cloves firmly with the pestle, then added in the chickpeas and tahini. When it was ready to be plated, the toppings were superbly generous- and that’s what really made it finished- at least to my eyes. 

Make no mistake, I love creamy, smooth hummus but I decided to go ahead and make it anyway with a potato masher and of course all the same ingredients: chickpeas, tahini, olive oil, salt and lemon, 2 cloves garlic. On top I added sumac, red pepper flakes, olive oil, and fresh parsley for all that color and flavor (*product suggestions listed at the end of this post)

The result was a really different but nice, rustic texture than what I’m used to, but definitely a dish I can now appreciate. The ingredients added are important, and the generous sprinkling of toppings are also equally important for aesthetics and taste. I can’t stress the generosity of olive oil and the other colorful stuff enough- that’s what makes it more appealing to those you serve it to, as well. 

Sometimes you’ve gotta just work with what you’ve got to achieve the end goal- something you crave, just maybe a slightly different style of it.

For the recipe, nothing was strictly measured, but here are some rough estimates (don’t worry, you will actually make this recipe more by taste than anything else). Afiyet Olsun…

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