Lebanese Food in Sydney: 4 Tips for Making Hommos
Lebanese food in Sydney is quickly becoming one of the most popular cuisines. As we have a Lebanese restaurant in Sydney, it’s safe to say that Zahli is thrilled at the prospect of sharing our authentic Lebanese cuisine with our city. While many Lebanese dishes have been thrust into the spotlight, there’s no denying that one dish has remained on top for most Australians – creamy, delicious and flavourful hommos.
A brief overview of hommos
Hommos is a creamy, Middle Eastern, dip and spread that contains mainly chickpeas, olive oil, tahini, lemon juice, and garlic. There are regional variations of this dish, however, in Lebanon, hommos is considered an important part of national identity. In fact, Lebanon cans hommos for export to other countries!
We’re referring to hommos as Middle Eastern because it is popular in a number of countries across the Middle East. The precise location and time of the invention of this world-famous dish are debatable, however, it’s fair to say that the basic ingredients of hommos have been eaten together for years across the Levant, Middle East and part of Africa.
Fun fact: The full name of hommos in Arabic is actually hommos bi ṭaḥīna.
With the rise in popularity of consuming hommos, making it at home has become more popular as well. At Zahli, we have a few tips and tricks up our sleeves to create the creamiest and most decadent hommos.
4 tips to make the best hommos
Use fresh garlic and lemon
Like most dishes in Lebanese cuisine, fresh ingredients are best for hommos. Hommos is made from very few ingredients which highlight the beauty of each. The simplicity of a hommos recipe makes it imperative that the best quality ingredients are used.
When making hommos, many people like to take short-cuts by using granulated garlic and lemon juice from a bottle. These ingredients don’t represent the true beauty of garlic and lemon. Garlic and lemon are two of the most prominent flavours you’ll taste in hommos, making it imperative that you use fresh ingredients.
Always boil your chickpeas
Along the same vein as using fresh ingredients, you should always boil your own chickpeas. Ensure that you boil them until they are very soft – almost mushy – as this is what will make the hommos creamy.
If you are in a pinch and have to use canned chickpeas, boil your canned chickpeas as this will make them soft enough and remove the ‘canned’ taste.
Lebanese olive oil is key
To make Lebanese hommos, you must use Lebanese olive oil! Lebanese olive oil is extremely high-quality and provides a lovely fruity or nutty (depending on what region the olive oil is from) flavour profile to the hommos. It’s likely that your Lebanese olive oil will come from the North of Lebanon as they produce around 41% of the olive oil in the country.
If you can’t find Lebanese olive oil, then certainly opt for another high-quality olive oil, either from Italy or Spain. You cannot substitute another type of oil as you need the flavour profile of the olives to complement the hommos.
Tahini is another dominant flavour that you will taste in hommos. Tahini is a paste made out of sesame seeds. It has a robustly nutty flavour that gives hommos its signature taste. It also adds to the creaminess of the hommos.
Choose lighter-coloured tahini without excessive oil separation when searching for tahini. Too much oil separation could indicate that it is old.
Want to get creative with your hommos? Try these regional variations!
While we certainly believe that Lebanese hommos is the most authentic and delicious way of consuming the dish, we’ll admit that additions to hommos, particularly those found in other parts of the region are delicious as well.
Here are a few of our favourites:
- Egypt – Add cumin to give your hommos a smoky and earthy flavour.
- Palestine – Palestinians often add “nana” mint leaves, paprika, and parsley.
Other additions that have become popular with hommos but are not traditional include coriander, cayenne pepper, roasted red peppers and avocado.
Try hommos and other authentic Lebanese dishes at Zahli
If you are interested in trying hommos or any other authentic Lebanese food then Zahli, Modern Middle Eastern restaurant can gladly provide a memorable meal.
At Zahli, we take the traditions of our people seriously and aim to do every dish justice. Our restaurant is here to provide you with a culinary experience like no other. We look forward to welcoming you again.