Ten years ago I left Australia to explore the world. My ambition was to see it all, travel to exotic destinations and to get some life experience. My first stop on my very exotic trip was London. Now to you that may seem a bit weird, you may not think London is exotic. Firstly you must remember I grew up in country Queensland, people don’t travel across water, we only go by land. Australia is the safest place in the world and who know what could happen once you leave our fertile land. It was a risk worth taking. I had lived in Brisbane for three years and went to Uni/TAFE and worked my ass off to save a whopping $3000. That was a lot back then, 2K of it went to airfares return to Australia and the other got converted into pounds for spending money. Leaving me with a huge sum of 340 pounds.
Obviously my money did not last very long in London, I had only 50 quid left to my name after 3 days. Accommodation food, sights and travel were expensive. I made my way out to Somerset were I had organised to stay with a family for two weeks in exchange for looking after a few chores around the house. The family was vegetarian. I was not sure what the hell that word was until I got here, yep, no meat at all in the house. I come from the land of beef and would eat meat and three veg all the time. Anyways one of the meals we would all sit down to eat was breakfast we had freshly baked crusty white bread with a bit of nuttlex smeared on top, hummus, tomato and salt and pepper. YUM.
After I left this family and moved out to live on my own, the first place I lived did not have a stove. I had a fridge, toaster and a kettle. With only limited space and kitchen facilities. My breakfast ritual of a cup of tea, my baguette with butter, hummus and tomato became a permanent part of my life for six months. I sat on the windowsill each morning looking out over the town I lived in and watched the townsfolk pass me by while I ate my baguette. I remember the smell of fresh summery tomatoes and going on the hunt for the perfect specimens for my breakfast.
Has a place or a person ever got you hooked on a food, I would love to hear about it?
- 1 tbsp cumin seeds
- 2 tins chickpeas (400gm each)
- 1 clove garlic, finely diced
- ½ cup unhulled tahini
- ½ olive oil
- 1 lemon, juiced
- Pinch of salt
- Place a shallow heavy based fry pan over a medium to high heat. Pour the cumin seeds into the frypan stirring occasionally to stop them from burning. The cumin seeds will start to jump around and make a cracking noise while the smell becomes more pungent.
- Drain the chickpeas and rinse with tap water and place into a medium mixing bowl. Add the cumin seeds, garlic, tahini, olive oil, lemon and salt. Using a stick blender combine the ingredients. I like to leave a few whole or half mashed chickpeas for texture. Check the seasoning for extra salt or lemon juice.
- To make a fluffy dip, I like to add 3 tbps of water and mix that through at this stage. To serve place in your favourite bowl and drizzle a little extra olive oil over the top and sprinkle some paprika and cumin seeds over the top and serve with your choice of crackers and toasted bread.