Hummus wars at Gefiltefest

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Wow! What an honour to be asked to be part of Gefiltefest this weekend, the biggest Jewish food festival in Europe. It was a great opportunity to showcase what I do, to work in a professional kitchen with talented chefs, to connect with some of the leading names in the Jewish food industry and to meet with lots and lots of food lovers.

I was invited to participate in ‘Hummus Wars’ (a battle to be crowned Queen of the Chickpea!) and to run an ‘Israeli Pastry Workshop’ demonstrating how to cook your own home made bourekas. Hey, I wanted that crown so I started researching all about hummus.

Growing up in Israel we had hummus with nearly everything for breakfast, lunch and dinner, hot or cold as a dip or a meal, so I wasn’t intimidated by the thought of making a hummus but I wanted to make something a bit different, something green and fresh like the season, something that would leave a modern taste on your tongue. So that is why I decided to make guacamole hummus. Once I had my recipe ready to go I decided to look for an authentic dish to serve it in, time was running short so I headed to Edgware Road in central London, where the Muslim community proudly serves their dishes on every corner, from Lebanese to Turkish, Iranian food and more.

Due to it being Ramadan Edgware Road was as quiet as I have ever seen it, with hardly anyone about.  It was short on people and short on options for authentic Middle Eastern homeware too, although there were plenty of mobile phone shops, pharmacies (that sell mobile phones) and some small uninspiring grocers.  The one shop I did find was selling really, how can I put it politely, old fashion Arab style sets with lots of fake gold deco – not what I was looking for really, what a disappointment!

But, my eyes lit up as I found a health grocery shop, As Nature Intended, what a gem! So I bought some purple aubergine, chickpeas sprouts and black sesame crackers, all to go with my dishes at the festival! I didn’t have my serving plate but at least I had my ingredients.

I headed up to the Gefiltefest ready and armed with some great recipes and lots of motivation for the day ahead and what a day it was… in the chef’s kitchen getting ready and doing my prep, I worked side by side with no other than Nof Atamna, the winner of MasterChef Israel, an amazing woman with so much talent and of course I had to ask her for some tips on hummus-making… (“don’t use tinned ones…”)

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So I took part in the #hummuswars. As one of the biggest arguments in the Middle East is between the Israelis and Lebanese both claiming the best hummus dish I was expecting to face a Lebanese chef with his knives out, instead I met the lovely Sarah, a French cook who did an amazing job and cooked a traditional hummus served with spiced cauliflower, really delicious.

The show was presented by the fantastic Daniel Young from the blog: young and foodish who I met for the first time and it was a pleasure to work with him. Daniel asked us about our dishes, the ideas behind them, the ingredients and our background. I explained how hummus is a great healthy option for us.


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So let me talk to you about hummus.  The main ingredients are chickpeas, tahini, lemon and spices. These ingredients are protein-rich, fibre-rich legumes and a source of iron that have been linked to health benefits.

I treat hummus as a blank canvas and whizz it up with roasted vegetables (like roasted cumin carrots or roasted peppers), with caramelized onion and balsamic vinegar, even better with minced meat or lamb on top and of course with some fresh ingredients like avocado & coriander, which is what I used to create my guacamole hummus dish.

There are so many things to do with hummus, but as the name, both in Hebrew and Arabic, means chickpeas, anything without the chickpeas is not a hummus, it’s just a dip!

So here is my hummus recipe, let me know if you enjoyed it and which is your favourite one.

Guacamole Hummus


1 x 400gr tin chickpeas, slightly drained (reserve about ¼ -1/2 cup liquid)

1 green chilli

5 cloves garlic, skin on

1 ripe avocado

1/3 cup coriander, chopped

1 tsp cumin

3/4 tsp sea salt

½-1 lemon + 1 lime, juiced

1/3 cup tahini

For Garnish:

2-3 TBS pine nuts

OR 2-3 TBS pumpkin seeds

1 tsp olive oil

Pinch of ground cumin


  1. Preheat oven to 200C.
  2. Place garlic cloves with skin still on and whole chilli on a baking sheet, with a small amount of olive oil and roast for 15-20 minutes.
  3. Once done, remove from oven and set aside.
  4. Peel away the skin and remove seeds from the chilli, peel the skin from the roasted garlic cloves.
  5. To a food processor, add chickpeas, coriander, avocado, salt, cumin, lime, lemon, roasted chilli, tahini and garlic cloves.
  6. Blend until creamy and smooth, adding the reserved liquid as needed.
  7. Taste and adjust seasonings as desired.
  8. To prepare toasted pine nuts or pumpkin seeds, toss the seeds in 1 tsp olive oil and a pinch each of salt and cumin. Fry in a frying pan or roast in the oven until slightly golden.
  9. Add to top of hummus, along with a drizzle of olive oil, slices of avocado and fresh coriander.


Lots of Love






My First Book Review: The Reboot with Joe

Those who know me will know how much I love reading, any kind of reading whether it is magazines, newspapers, novels or, of course, cookery books.  There is always a pile of cookery books next to my bed and a virtual pile waiting to be read on my kindle. So I’ve decided to put this passion of mine to good use and start reviewing some cookery books here on my blog, mainly to do with healthy cooking and techniques but maybe other types that I like as well (the odd cake now and then never hurt anyone!)

My first review is of Reboot with Joe, Juice Diet by Joe Cross published by Greenleaf Book Group.

Reboot Joe Cross

The publishers sent me an electronic copy of the book which I must say right at the beginning made it really hard to read, going backwards and forwards between the theories to the recipes etc, and there were no pictures…?? I don’t like cookery books with no pictures in them, the glory of the food, the fresh ingredients, the view of his journey is all lost without some beautiful photos.  So that was a big shame.

The book is written in a very professional kind of medical way and it tells the story of Joe Cross, subject of the 2010 film documentary “Fat, Sick, & Nearly Dead”.

“Joe is an advocate for the power of juicing and in his book he brings up the plan that allowed him to overcome obesity and his poor health.”

The first four chapters in the book contain lots of information and non-stop encouragements – as much as I love knowledge I found it too long and it stretched on and on for too many chapters.

Having said that you can tell how passionate Joe is about his subject which I admire him for and it encouraged me to read the book from beginning to end.  I also tried his 5 day juicing plan and lost 2 kg in the process!

So if you are not interested in reading about Joe’s life then I suggest you go straight to Chapter 5 which is where the different plans start and where you will find all the info and shopping list for each plan:

3-day quick start

5 day, 10 day, 15 day classic reboot

15 day 5-5-5 reboot

The recipes are really simple to follow: wash, cut and juice. There are some soup and salads recipes for those who need to chew some food and can’t live on juices alone. There is also a juicing guide that takes you step by step from preparation to juicing and storing.

There are more chapters after that: essential, after reboot, conclusion… which again I found to be too long.

As I mentioned before I took it on and did the 5 day plan.  I must say I did enjoy the juices but I was starving!  As juicing takes the fibre away from the fruit and vegetables there isn’t much substance to fill you up. I also didn’t like that Joe uses lots of fruit and mainly starchy vegetables in his recipes, which are full of sugar… I would have preferred to use a blender to retain the fibre and to use some healthier vegetables like green leaves, herbs, healthy fats (like avocado) and spices (like turmeric).

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To summarise: yes, include juices and smoothies as part of your healthy diet as there is no doubt you will get more vitamins and minerals from the fruit and vegetables that way (as you need such a large amount of them to make one juice/smoothie).

I give the book 3 stars out of 5 stars for the effort and the personal story, but as you can get much healthier and more interesting juices and smoothie recipes in other books and on the internet I wouldn’t recommend buying this one…

Happy Juicing if you give it a go…

Karin xx