As Middle Eastern cuisine becomes more and more popular around the globe, certain standby dishes are becoming increasingly well known. One such food is a cold dip known as hummus. It is considered an ancient food that has been served and eaten for many years, although there is no specific evidence to truly connect it with an ancient culture. During the 13th century, there was a dish similar to hummus published in various cookbooks in Cairo, but still differs from a more modern hummus dip recipes in many regards.
The word hummus derives itself from an Arabic word that means “chickpeas”, which is one of the main ingredients of the dip. Most Americans know it by just this one word, however the complete name is “Hummus bi tahini” which means “chickpeas with tahini”. Both of the main ingredients have high nutritional value, making hummus a staple health food as well as being fairly prominent in both vegetarian and vegan diets. The chickpeas that make up the bulk of the dip are a great source of both dietary fiber and protein. The tahini, a paste made primarily of ground sesame seeds is a fantastic source of yet again protein and the amino acid methionine. Additionally, hummus is high in the mineral iron and contains very respectable amounts of the vitamins C, B6 and folate.
Hummus recipes generally call for more ingredients than simply chickpeas and tahini. Other ingredients such as lemon, garlic, red peppers, olives and others can be added, but they are not at all required. From a traditional standpoint, a plate of hummus is also sprinkled with the spice paprika, chopped parsley or drizzled with olive oil but again, these ingredients can be added to taste and are not necessary for a hummus dip recipe. With all of the nutritional benefits hummus possesses due to it’s high vitamin and protein content, what it lacks also boosts this value. That is, hummus has no cholesterol which is notoriously bad for the heart nor does it contain saturated fat.