Khliff – Mountain Khummus

Long before any nations, borders or governments formed, there were mountains and cliffs and chickpeas.

People always wanted to climb the mountains, only to discover that they need to find a way to come down.

Those who succeeded to climb the mountains and lived to tell the tale, left a legacy.

The philosopher and martial arts guru David Silvio argued that:

“You either win, or you learn”

Mountaineers have adopted this motto with a slight change:

“You either win, or you’re dead”

Those winning mountaineers, proceeded to discover that by boiling dry chickpeas they can be made into a smooth, nutritious and delicious paste.

They made it, and rejoiced by the mountain, protected by cliffs, stuffing their bearded faces full of khummus.

Those who didn’t have a beard, in those times, rarely made it into the history books. But today, many believe that Khummus was shared by all.

Time went by, and inventions (like sanitation, the engine, the internet, and exercise technology that gives you a six pack while you sit on the couch and watch telli), contributed to what we today, some say naively believe, is civilised society

In civilised society, people like to own things. Even food. Even ideas.

But many still believe that the practice of making and sharing Khummus is an example of true friendship, love, care, generosity and empathy, which are the pillars of functioning civilised society.

Therefore, recipes, methods and impressions ought to be available to all, so Khummus can be shared and enjoyed beyond borders and nations, on the mountain, by the beach or in the laundromat.

“Make Khummus Not War”


Ingredients for 2kg

  • Dry Chickpeas (500g)
  • Cooking water (as required)
  • Hulled Tahini (300g-500g)
  • Lemon (300ml)
  • Garlic (1 large head)
  • Salt (2 table spoons)
  • Zaatar (2 tea spoons)
  • Amba (1/2 tea spoons)
  • Olive oil (100ml) but the more the merrier.


Play some beautiful music to keep you moving through the process. Nothing beats good live radio. Or a record.

Wash chickpeas thoroughly under cold water and and soak overnight in a bowl (12hrs)

Go to sleep.

Wake up, have a nice coffee and greet your neighbour. Play some great music and get into it.

Drain and rinse the chickpeas

Place chickpeas in large pot, fill with water and bring to boil.

Lower the heat, drain water and replace with freshly boiled water from a kettle.(Some khummus purists argue that draining the cooking water take away some of the flavour. I’m not really sure why I’m doing it other than habit, and the fact clear water help me see the floating jackets more easily and remove them, and watch that the garlic is not disintegrating).

Peel the garlic and chuck it in the pot.

Remove any floating jackets (skins)

After about 2 hours of cooking check to see if chickpeas are soft by gently squeezing a chickpea between your thumb and index finger. (depending on the type of chickpeas used, time of cooking changes. Generally speaking, smaller chickpeas take longer to cook, sometimes up to 4 hours if not using a pressure cooker. I use a stainless steel pot and large chickpeas. It takes 2 hours.

Once softness achieved, drain water into a small pot, place chickpeas and garlic in a bowl and leave to cool on the bench for 10 minutes

Squeeze some lemons and do a little dance. It’s your favourite song.

Cover chickpeas with cooking water, lemon juice, oil and spices. Stir and use a stick mixer until reaching uniform consistency.

Add the tahini and stir enthusiastically. Using a whisker head on the stick mixer makes life easier. You can still use a whisk enthusiastically, however, you might end up with hummus all over your kitchen. Remember to wait until it stops spinning before taking it out of the bowl.

Whisk until desired consistency reached.

If too thick, add water. If too thin, add tahini. Check for flavour. Use your finger. (If it’s clean)

Congrats. You made it. Clean up your mess and take a short break before the Zkhug

Keep hummus refrigerated. Consume within a week.

Zkhug (500g approx) Chilli Paste

  • A healthy bunch of Parsley (200g-300g)
  • Chillies (10-12 red and green medium hot chillies. A comprehensive discussion on varieties is beyond the scope of this recipe). Just use the variety you like.
  • Garlic (4-5 cloves)
  • Lemon (juice from one lemon)
  • Olive oil (100ml)
  • Salt (2 teaspoons)
  • Amba powder (1 teaspoon)


Use a food processor to finely chop the parsley. Roughly chop the chillies, garlic, and spices and continue processing. Add olive oil and lemon and process until fine paste forms.

Cover with olive oil and Store in the fridge in a clean jar. Consume within 2 weeks or until it smells funny.

Invite your friends, and choose a warm topping that makes you happy. Fried Fava beans, mushrooms and eggs are just a few examples. Together with a kick from the zkhug and fresh bread, veggies and pickles, you’ll reach tranquility and inner peace*


The presenter is not a real celebrity chef, and cannot guarantee the hummus will cause tranquility. The content is general in nature and must not be taken as professional culinary advice. Before making any food, consult your personal influencer. All rights dessert.