Book review: Hummus Bros

In August 2005, friends Ronen Givon and Christian Mouysset – both lovers of hummus – opened their first restaurant dedicated to the chickpea dip in Soho, London. It was called Hummus Bros, and in the past nine years has enjoyed remarkable success with numerous other branches opening across the capital. And in July this year (2014) they released their first book, “Hummus Bros. Levantine Kitchen: Delicious, Healthy Recipes Inspired by the Ancient Mediterranean”.

As the title suggests, the book does have a rather heavy focus on hummus. It begins with an excellent base recipe and then continues with a number of suggestions for toppings. Some are expected (whole chickpeas and mincemeat with pine nuts) while others are much more interesting and unconventional, especially the Rogan Josh curry and guacamole. There are also recipes for other mainstays of the Levantine kitchen like shakshuka, pita bread and salads.

I liked the book a lot. It has a chatty, homely feel to it and manages to avoid dryness and aloofness throughout. It was is if Ronen and Christian wanted to share the love, nothing more and nothing less. This was done particularly well through their use of the first person throughout. The book was also replete with exquisite pictures.

But most importantly, what about the hummus? I thought it was exquisite. The Hummus Bros’ base recipe doesn’t include any of the stronger flavourings such as garlic: it’s just chickpeas, tehina and lemon. The end product is delicious, but as the authors do mention it is an art not a science. It will take many attempts before you master the perfect hummus recipe…

About the Author
Daniel J. Levy is a graduate of the University of Leeds and Oxford, where his academic research primarily focused on Iranian proxies in Iraq, Lebanon, Syria, and Palestine. He is the Founding Director and Lead Consultant of the Ortakoy Security Group, and has contributed editorial pieces to The Times of Israel, Jerusalem Post, Haaretz, and Israel Policy Exchange. In his free time, he enjoys reading, running, and cooking. He can be followed on Twitter @danielhalevy.