Mad About Chickpeas-Hummus Balila

DS04 hummus balla Mad About Chickpeas Hummus Balila

Anyone that knows me, knows I’m mad about chickpeas.  I soak chickpeas, weekly. I always have home made hummus in my fridge and I love to donate it to friends and family with Dirty Kitchen Secrets and Lick Your Plate Clean written all over the tubs. I’ve always got a spoon in a tub of hummus. It’s my go-to snack.

When it comes to chickpeas I don’t like the canned option. I’m like my Italian friend who gets the quivers when Arabic bread is used as a Pizza crust base.

In any case, I’m a firm believer in “to each his own.” So, if you want to try making this from dry chickpeas, then follow the cooking directions here otherwise with all do respect go hug a can 🙂

Here’s a breakdown of how long it will take you to work with dry chickpeas; 10-15 minutes preparation and about 2 hours slow cooking while you’re watching X-Factor/American Idol or whatever is the popular show nowadays. This does require good strategical planning!

Because you’re worth it!

Hummus means chickpeas in Arabic. In Lebanon there are many versions of hummus. There is the famous hummus bi tahini, the following rustic hummus balila with cumin, hummus bi awarama or with preserved meat and the list goes on.

Hummus balila is a perfect winter’s dish because it is served warm.

P.S- I have a very big pot assigned only for chickpeas. I make a lot ahead, turn some into hummus bi tahini, some into balila and freeze the rest into individual ziplocs; each at 250g. When you need them just pop out of the freezer and let it defrost 1-2hrs.


Hummus Balila

Serves-4 as a generous side

Cook time– 15mn

Prep time– Anywhere from 5 minutes to 2hrs

Cast of Characters

  • 750g cooked chickpeas- They don’t need to be skinned as is the case with hummus bi tahini
  • 200ml olive oil
  • 3-4 garlic cloves, pounded or minced
  • 2 tablespoons cumin powder
  • 40g pine nuts
  • The Nitty-Gritty

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Pound the cumin to a fine powder or use cumin powder.

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Add a little olive oil to the chef pan (on medium flame) and then the minced/pounded garlic.

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Quickly add the cumin powder and cook for no more than 30 seconds. You don’t want the garlic to burn and develop a bitter taste.

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Add the cooked chickpeas.

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Now add 100ml of the olive oil.

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Mix well and cover. Let it cook on low heat for about 10-15 minutes, stirring often.

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In the mean time toast the pine nuts in a dry pan. Just heat the pan, add the pine nuts, lower the flame and make sure you keep shaking the pan & the pine nuts. This should take no longer than 1 minute. Keep your eyes on it, as they will burn quickly.

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Chickpeas should have softened completely now.

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Remove half the chickpeas and reserve for later.

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Mash up the chickpeas. This is supposed to be rustic. They don’t need to resemble mashed potatoes.

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Now add the chickpeas you removed earlier.

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Add the toasted pine nuts, finely chopped coriander, 100ml olive oil, salt and pepper.

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Mix well.

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Serve warm with Arabic bread.

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22 Responses to “Mad About Chickpeas-Hummus Balila”
  1. Joy Wright 13 October 2009 at 8:49 am #

    Chickpeas were such a revelation to me, I now love them…… go on try them!!

  2. Divina 13 October 2009 at 9:16 am #

    I love chickpeas too and always prefer using dried chickpeas instead of canned. This looks really delicious and the best part is I don’t have to puree these (for a change). Thanks for the wonderful recipe.

  3. S. 13 October 2009 at 11:47 am #

    I LOVE chickpeas too!
    I agree with you about not using chickpeas from a can–I’ve always soaked them overnight. The taste is sooo much better!
    great post 🙂

  4. D.D. 13 October 2009 at 3:53 pm #

    that looks delicious!

  5. jocy 13 October 2009 at 6:19 pm #

    This has been the simplest post for me to follow so far! So delicious! They came out perfect and just like the picture 🙂 Thank u DKS for posting such tasty recipes, I licked my plate clean!!

  6. VANESSA AND AMOULE 13 October 2009 at 10:57 pm #

    thank you so much for your delicious recipe. your hummus is to die for.We just made it for vanessa. she liked it to much.This is the best food ever.

  7. mela and monica 13 October 2009 at 11:01 pm #

    so simple and delicious and healthy thankyou

  8. chris bourne 14 October 2009 at 11:26 am #

    omg….i love my chickpeas…boy its windy here today!

  9. Cynthia 15 October 2009 at 1:27 am #

    I love the combination of textures.

    And, me too – I really don’t like canned chick peas and like you I am nuts (no pun intended) about chick peas. Actually, I have some soaking right now to cook tomorrow (lol)

  10. Bethany 15 October 2009 at 8:07 am #

    I’m glad that for the most part you all are in agreement that dry chickpeas are a more delicious option. The taste of tin really puts me off.

    Thanks for stopping by peeps xx

  11. deeba 16 October 2009 at 4:03 pm #

    I feel insanely mad about this too, now that I see it! It’s fab. From scratch is the only way for me.
    PS Love the new layout. COOL!!

  12. Sunita 17 October 2009 at 8:37 am #

    Dried chickpeas are the way to go for me; abhor the canned ones. Love this version of hummus. Thanks Beth.

  13. Carole 18 January 2010 at 8:00 pm #

    I like making my own Hummus. If you keep the hummus refrigerated, how long can it remain unspoiled? I am looking forward to trying Balila

    • Bethany 18 January 2010 at 8:02 pm #

      Hello Carole! You can keep it up to 5-7 days refrigerated. Hummus always tastes better the second day.

  14. Mona Jawad 18 April 2010 at 7:58 am #

    I do not like Balia but I have relatives who are crazy about it!
    So, thank you for your recipe, I will try to do it. I hope it comes out like the one they serve at Burg Al Hammam….

  15. Huda 28 November 2010 at 11:39 pm #

    This looks delicious! I never knew how to make it. Thanks Beth!

  16. maggiebb 6 May 2011 at 5:18 pm #

    I cant stop making this … i am addicted …help !!

  17. miriam 27 September 2012 at 4:04 am #

    we also skin the chickpeas for this dish as well as hummos bi tahineh and falafel making..this is the tradtional method..makes a big difference


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