Hummus (also spelled
hamos, houmous, hommos, hommus, hummos, hummous or humus) is a Levantine Arab dip or spread made from cooked, mashed chickpeas,
blended with tahini, olive oil, lemon juice, salt and garlic. It is a popular
food throughout the Middle East.
Left: Hummus with
olive oil, lemon juice, cumin and sumac.
The word comes from the Arabic
word for 'chickpeas'. Chickpeas and sesame, the crops from which hummus's main
ingredients are taken, were known and cultivated in the ancient Mediterranean
and Middle Eastern worlds. Chickpeas are hummus's principal ingredient, and have
been a human food item for over 10,000 years.
As an appetizer and dip, hummus is scooped with flatbread
pita). It is also served as part of a meze or as an accompaniment to
falafel, grilled chicken, fish or eggplant. Garnishes include chopped tomato,
cucumber, cilantro, parsley, caramelized onions, sautéed mushrooms, whole
chickpeas, olive oil, hard-boiled eggs, paprika, ful, olives and pickles.
Outside the Middle East, it is sometimes served with
tortilla chips or crackers.