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October 2012 Issue
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De-hy hummus

The humble chickpea isn’t really a particularly glamorous food in many people’s eyes. In fact, in most households it’s the sort of thing that ends up pushed to the back of the cupboard… just because no one really knows what to do with them.

However, chickpeas are actually quite an amazing food. They’re one of the oldest cultivated crops, having been grown by the Turks for more than 7000 years, the Roman army marched across Europe with chickpeas in their bellies and the seventh century Frankish emperor Charlemagne was known to be rather partial to them.

They’re also great tramping food being high in protein and carbohydrates and low in saturated fat. And when dehydrated they’re super lightweight. Given that sort of curriculum vitae, it’s hard to deny them a second look.

When you do, here’s a great way to prepare them.

Serves: Entree for two.
Weight: 150g (approx.)
Volume: 500ml
Kilojoules: 2970
Cost: $3.50
Prep time: 10 minutes

300g chickpeas (tinned)*
A dash of lemon juice
1 clove garlic, crushed
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon sesame oil
*If you use dried chickpeas you’ll need to soak them in water for four hours then cook on the stove for an hour until tender.


At home: Blend the ingredients together until smooth then spread thinly on baking paper and place in the oven at 80°C overnight (or use a purpose-built dehydrator). By morning the hummus should have dried to a crumbly consistency. Pour into an airtight container and store in the freezer until your next trip.

In the field: Spoon in water while stirring steadily. Be judicious, you can always add more, but you can’t take it out.

This is the most basic version of this recipe, but it definitely lends itself to customisation. Try adding kumara mash, pumpkin, lime juice and halapenos, garlic and chili; or feel free to experiment.