This past September I visited Israel and had an experience of a lifetime. I had just graduated my masters program and I really needed to take a break. You know, the best (and worst) thing about being an immigrant is having family scattered all around the world. You can visit any time but sadly, I haven’t seen mine for over 20+ years. So when I got there, I was in total bliss. I remember when I was in the airport I didn’t even recall what my relatives looked like (keep in mind I was about 6 when I had seen them last). When we finally met there was such an instant connection and loving feeling in my heart. I can’t even describe it. Over the next weeks I truly felt a precious sense of kindred. I got a chance to discover where I came from and who I truly was. Site seeing in Israel gave me an additional sense of the historical, cultural and spiritual tie to who I was. The trip made me a stronger, happier, and more fulfilled then I have been in a long time.
Naturally, food was a huge part of my trip. From the amazing Rosh Hashanah (Jewish New Years) Dinner to the delicious fair well supper lots of love, laughter, and legends were shared over traditional Israeli/Russian meals. I also got to visit a few of the local restaurants and of course the famous food markets. Oh the food markets. What an experience. I am talking isles and isles of fresh vegetables, breads, dry fruit, and seasonings. I think I was drooling so much I could have started a puddle.
*** Notice the marinated veggies as appetizers and the mint lemonade. Just what I needed after a long day of touring with some amazing people.
**It’s lunch with my cousin and aunt. Notice the portion on the fresh baked bread!
***These are two of the gazillion food vendors in the Mahaneh Yehuda Market Jerusalem I am telling you, I almost bought the market out!
**** When you buy fresh juice in Israel, they really mean FRESH juice!
One of the most traditional foods in Israel is Hummus, an Arabic originated dish made of mashed chickpeas. Now, I knew about this dish since it is commonly offered in American supermarkets, but what I didn’t know was how much of a staple it is in Israel. It could be eaten every day for any meal and I had no objection to that! It’s packed with vitamins, smooth, and easily spreadable and edible with jus about anything. The funny thing is flash forward a few months and I move in with Ilya only to find out he has a crazy secret obsession – hummus. He literally cannot have a meal without it. Again, I have no objections. In this scenario I have no problem being his enabler. I quickly scoured for original Hummus recipes and Eurika seek and you shall find! Now, I am not suggesting you should have this at every meal (like we do) but do yourself a favor and give it a try.
- 2-3 Cans of chickpeas
- 1 tablespoon of Tahini
- 1 lemon
- 2 tablespoons of oil
- 3 cloves of garlic
- Salt and pepper to taste
1. Drain the chickpeas and put through food processor until smooth.
2. Mix the Tahini sauce in the jar to make sure it is very smooth with no clumps, add the sauce to the chickpeas.
3. Squeeze the lemon into the mixture.
4. Peal and grind 3 cloves of garlic. Add it to the mixture.
5. Add oil to make mixture while processing it until the humus is smooth and consistent.
6. Add salt and paper to taste.