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International Hummus Day: Six things you should know about the superfood

May 13 is International Hummus Day, and today is as good a time as any to learn new stuff about this nutritious global favourite.

By: Team Express FoodIE | Mumbai |
Updated: May 13, 2016 11:01:53 am
hummus1_759_James_Flickr People in the Middle East have been eating hummus for centuries. (Source: James/Flickr)

People fight over hummus. They make movies about it. They sing songs about it. And, not only is it delicious, but it is also healthy as hell. Here are some fun facts about this Middle Eastern dish.

Even if you haven’t had hummus, you’d be aware that this chickpea spread originated in the Middle East. And, since the Middle East is a rather intense places, countries often rattle sabres when it comes to ownership of the hummus. In 2010, Lebanon and Israel constantly one-upped each other as they set about making immense quantities of hummus in the hope of setting a Guinness World Record.

1. The number of countries who claim the hummus as theirs — Arabic for chickpea — is huge: Jordan, Syria, Egypt, Palestine, Turkey, and, of course, Israel and Lebanon. And, each of these countries make the hummus in their own distinctive ways (for instance, the Turks replace olive oil with butter). While hummus is an integral part of the cuisine of these countries, Israel probably takes it to the next level. While the hummus is mostly part of a mezze platter, Israelis often have it as the main dish.

hummus3_759_James_Flickr In 2010, Israel made some 4,000kg of hummus (left) in a bid to set a Guinness World Record. A few months later, the Lebanese made 10,000 kg and gave a befitting reply. (Source:

2. Hummus is super healthy, no two ways about it, especially if it is made at home. Not surprisingly, how can a dish that is made up of chickpeas, sesame paste (tahini), garlic, and olive oil not be healthy? According to, it can lower cholesterol, reduce blood sugar, and, among other, things, it is also a fantastic source of iron.

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3. A bowl of hummus is packed with Vitamins C and B6; protein, carbs, iron, zinc and manganese.

4. You probably — and mostly — have hummus with pita bread. But, hummus can also be a great substitute for unhealthy food. Use it as a spread in your sandwich, dilute it with water and it becomes a salad dressing, or just spread it on fish before you bake it.

hummus2-movie_759 A still from Hummus! The Movie.

5. If you like hummus, you are not alone. Lady Gaga, Katy Perry and Justin Timberlake, among others, are fans of the chickpea spread. Outside of the Middle East, hummus is most popular in the United States. According to, consumer spending on hummus in the US touched $1 billion in 2014. A report by food and restaurant consulting firm Baum and Whiteman says that varieties of hummus in the US include “Thai chilli, spinach artichoke,edamame, cilantro chimichurri, lemongrass chili.”

6. There have even been movies about hummus, among them, Make Hummus Not War, and The Hummus Enforcement Agency. The latest film, Hummus! The Movie is geopolitics, identity and love of food, and tracks the journeys of three restaurateurs in Israel: Suheila Al Hindi, Jalil Dabit, a Christian Arab; and Eliyahu Shmueli. a Jew. It also features Olivier, a French Benedictine monk, who is on a quest to find the perfect hummus, and musician Aluf Abir, who “has an original take on hummus”. The movie is slated to hit the festival circuit this year.

Watch the trailer of Hummus! The Movie


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