“THE CHICKEN AND THE EGG
– A NOTE ABOUT THE ORIGINS OF HUMMUS
Is there a Middle Eastern country that does not have hummus as part of its repertoire of local foods?
Often, people debate who created hummus (who has real ownership over hummus?). While I for one went through the debate and researched this myself, I cannot yet tell for sure as I am still not 100% certain of the outcome – so many stories, and versions to the history of origins, all of which sound plausible but none of which is certain fact. With that said, after all the questioning and not at all offering a scientific fact, this is how I personally see it:
In all the questions of what came first, the chicken or the egg, what came first or came second really is quite insignificant and distracting! What really matters is that we have an egg-producing chicken living on our land. How others raise, care or sustain their chicken, egg or both is totally up to others. How we do that in Falasteen on the other hand is totally up to us and the method is therefore fully Palestinian. In hummus terms, chickpeas grew naturally in Palestinian plains, so did sesame seeds, lemon trees, garlic, olives (for oil)… and therefore none of the original ingredients were ever imported or brought into Falasteen. The journey of Neolithic development up until the step where the ingredients are mixed together in that bowl is long and vague at best. However, I assure you that the precise recipe described here, is my Palestinian family’s recipe passed on to me from great, great grandmothers and is therefore 100% Palestinian to me. While some recipes (hummus or any other) may vary slightly in a few details from village to another or city to another, even at times from one family cook to another, they are still all Palestinian recipes of produce and food grown, collected, prepared and eaten in Falasteen, the Palestinian way.
Therefore, I am rested in owning this recipe and its history without being distracted with theories about the origins and Neolithic development of hummus. As for the chickens and the eggs, the earliest ones once lived happily in their coop, but life happened and we lost them along with the answer to that question. What matters now is: so long as there is chicken, there will always be eggs. And vice versa…”
– Plated Heirlooms Chapter 3, p.164
An Excerpt From my Plated Heirlooms
- 2 cups boiled chickpeas till tender, then peeled.
- Reserve about 4 tbsp of boiling water
- 4 tbsp tahina
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 1- 2 cloves garlic, crushed
- Salt to taste
- DS Organic Green Shatta
- DS Premium Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil
For Hummus with Meat
- 1 Hummus Recipe above
- 200 g meat cut finely (almost like mince). It is most common to use lamb with bits of fat still on it, but you can also use veal if preferred.
- 2 tbsp DS Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 1 tsp DS Meat & Poultry Spice Mix
- Salt & Black pepper to taste
- 1/4 cup toasted pine nuts
Place the rest of the ingredients in a food processor and process until combined.
Place the hummus in a serving platter and top with whole chickpeas. Place 1 tsp DS organic Green Shtta in the middle over the whole chickpeas, then drizzle with the olive oil. you can garnish with paprika, cumin or chopped parsley.
For the hummus with meat
Prepare hummus as in the recipe above.
Place prepared hummus in the serving platter. Using a spoon, flatten the top of the hummus creating a wedge on the sides. Place 1 tsp DS Organic Green Shatta in the centre.
Make the meat.
In a small bowl, season the meat with the spices, salt and black pepper.
Pan fry the meat in olive oil until cooked through.
Add the fried meat to the hummus. garnish with whole chickpeas and toasted pine nuts and drizzle with fresh olive oil.
These recipes can be served as mezze or for breakfast. Both recipes are superb with BBQs and grills.
This recipe is from the repertoire of over 280 recipes in my book Plated Heirlooms. The book contains recipes from all sections of the Palestinian cuisine, starting with Mooneh (pantry recipes) to dessert and everything in between. Plated Heirlooms is a documentation of recipes and cuisine rationale as well as the compiled story of the cuisine.
All Plated Heirlooms recipes come with background information and thorough descriptions that in the end tie up with the rest of the book’s narrative to explain to you the formation and makings of Palestinian cuisine.