Chef Simsum, a new homey atelier in Mazraat Yachouh, opened its door for us to see for ourselves how hummus and muhammara are made, the traditional way. Love and passion are felt all the way, reflected in their product taste.
- Hummus is a Levantine and Egyptian food dip or spread made from cooked, mashed chickpeas blended with tahini, olive oil, lemon juice, salt and garlic. Today, it is popular throughout the Middle East, North Africa, and in Middle Eastern cuisine around the globe.
- Muhammara is a hot pepper dip originally from Aleppo, Syria, found in Levantine and Turkish cuisines. In western Turkey, muhammara is referred to as acuka. The principal ingredients are usually fresh or dried peppers, usually Aleppo pepper, ground walnuts, breadcrumbs, and olive oil. It may also contain garlic, salt, lemon juice, pomegranate molasses, and sometimes spices like cumin. It may be garnished with mint leaves.
Intriguing… Although packed and sold at supermarkets, I was impressed… The Hummus comes in a rectangular professional looking box filled with a generous portion of hummus ready to be enjoyed with a line of olive oil. Freshly packed, there's an expiry date of 20 days on each box, as well as content details: Chickpeas, tahini, vegetable oil, salt, water and citric acid. The hummus looks good and is firm in consistency, yet not hard and most importantly it tastes really good. Yum! I could feel the tahini, an adequate quantity of it; lemon comes afterwards, a little hint of salt, a mix to make me smile. I was honestly happily impressed. It's fresh, the ingredients are tasty and rich...the smell is appetizing...Two thumbs up. But wait until you’ve tried them all.
Muhammara: Not only does it look great, decorated and generously topped with walnuts, this box is tasty and mouthwatering. Have I mentioned before that I judge a Lebanese restaurant by their Mouhammara? Honestly a few succeed in making it right. This one is excellent. Bread crumbs, walnuts, red chili paste, pomegranate, sugar, salt, spices, olive oil and water. No really! A muhammara rich in crunchy walnuts, olive oil felt in every bite, spices caress your lips and spicy chili pepper tickle your tongue while the mix of ingredients bust into flavor. I’m still in awe... positively surprised.
So now you know, how it's made.