Every restaurant I visited in Dubai included hummus (chickpea paste), baba ghanoush (a Middle Eastern puree of eggplant), tzatziki (Greek dip of cucumber and yoghurt), tabbouleh (Lebanese salad of bulgur wheat and vegetables) and fattoush (Levantine salad with toasted pita bread) on the menu. All were served with pita bread and accompanied main courses of chicken, lamb and or fish. Dried limes and spices were the norm as were goat’s cheese, eggs, olives, honey, fruit, almonds and dates. A favourite of mine, the most popular dessert in the UAE, was UmAli which means “queen of puddings”. Scrumptious!
Yields : a small bowl size
1 tin Chickpeas (strain liquid off and discard it)
5 ml Durban Masala
30 ml Lemon Juice
Salt and pepper
5 g Garlic
120 ml Olive Oil
20 ml Tahini Paste (made from ground sesame seeds if not available add a few drops of sesame seed oil for flavour)
1) Place all the ingredients into a liquidiser and liquidise (on a high speed) until the desired consistency is reached
2) Garnish with Durban masala or paprika, extra chickpeas, olive oil and coriander. Serve with Pita bread and/or biscuits as a dip I love it with beef fillet slices. In addition, I often use it to accompany vegetarian dishes. Eaten on a freshly-baked Portuguese bread roll is delicious as well.
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