How about some hummus, but only better? Everyone’s favourite dip just got a makeover and the results are a quick and hearty Musabaha. It’s even better than the classic hummus! Creamy hummus folks, are you ready for some texture topped with a delicious secret sauce?
So, why is it called Musabaha?
Musabaha is basically a deconstructed hummus that dates back to recipe books in the 13th century😮. That’s right, since the 13th century people have been making this dish, and amazingly the recipe hasn’t changed much since then.
So if this recipe is deconstructed chickpeas (a.k.a. hummus), why is this recipe called Musabaha?
Well, some believe it’s derived from the Arabic word misbahah (Arabic: مِسْبَحَة), which is the name of the string of beads often used by Muslims to keep track of counting in tasbih, a form of prayer. Like the rosary beads used in Christianity, a misbaḥah is a tool which is used as an aid to perform remembrance of God (dhikr).
Arabs have a habit of naming recipes in three ways: The main ingredients, the sounds heard during the preparation of the dish, or by the look of the meal. The final method may very well be the case for Musabaha, a whole chickpea looks like a bead.
So, what is Musabaha exactly?
Musabaha’s sauce is pretty much hummus ⏤ it’s made of chickpeas, tahini (sesame paste), olive oil, and garlic, but it also has a bit of yogurt. The sauce is a lot thinner than traditional hummus and is served warm over a bed of cooked chickpeas. Traditionally it’s served for breakfast, but it also likes to make appearances in meze spreads. I love to bring it to potlucks, it’s a huge hit!
This is THE BEST Musabaha you’ll ever have.
This is the BEST Musabaha recipe out there. (I know this is a bold statement!). But bare with me here, thanks to the help of the tasty cooked version of the Palestinian herb sauce called Telkai , things are different! Telkai is just garlic sautéed in olive oil, then diced red jalapeño peppers, cilantro, and lemon juice are added. OMG! It’s so delicious. It’s the secret sauce that takes this dish to the next level!
Here are a few things you’re going to love about it:
- Creamy—chickpeas are so soft and creamy!
- Rich—tahini (and secret sauce)!
- Smooth—blend, blend and blend some more!
- Tangy—lemon juice and yogurt!
- Healthy—good fats, probiotics and lots of fibre!
How do I make Musabaha?
Don’t you love it when something is impressive yet super simple? I sure do, and this recipe is just that.
Here’s the “how-to” on the creamiest, dreamiest Musabaha you’ve ever had:
- Place your rinsed chickpeas into a pot. Add water, ground cumin, and salt. Simmer
- Fill your beaker or blender with the chickpeas and some of their reserved water, and the rest of the ingredients.
- Blend until smooth—really, really smooth. (you may need to add a bit of extra lemon or water)
- Pour Musabaha sauce onto your chickpeas, garnish to your heart’s delight. A favourite is my delicious garlicky herb topping or you can make it basic and just drizzle some olive oil on top.
- That’s it!
Best practices for making Musabaha:
- Use a high powered stick blender or use your regular blender. If you don’t have either, a food processor will work.
- Each brand of canned chickpeas has a different amount of salt. For this reason, I rinse the chickpeas and add salt a little at a time, tasting as I go. If you taste your finished Musabaha sauce and it’s “flat,” that means it definitely needs more salt!
- Make a big batch of the Magic Garlicky Green Sauce! This healthy sauce lasts up to one month in the fridge and is perfect for topping on soups, grilled meats, and as a hummus topper.
What should I serve with Musabaha?
I’m so glad you asked! This simple and hearty recipe is so versatile and perfect for:
- Carbs, of course! Pita is the preferred choice, but Naan and tandoori bread are great options too!
- Make a meze platter: serve with a simple crudities platter with fresh veggies, pickles, and olives for an impressive spread.
- Magic Garlicky Green Sauce to finish off the flavour of this dish.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I use dried chickpeas?
Yes. But it will take a longer time to prepare. Soak 1 and 1/3 cup of chickpeas overnight, this should yield about 2 and 1/2 cups of chickpeas. Once the chickpeas have been soaked, rinse them and add them to a pot and cover with 3 inches of water and 1 tsp of cumin. Simmer until the chickpeas are soft. Once the chickpeas are soft, add the salt and proceed with the recipe as usual.
The sauce is too thick; it doesn’t pour!
Just add a few tbsp of water at a time and mix until the mixture is thick, yet pourable.
The sauce is too runny!
Simply add 1 tbsp more of tahini and mix.
- 2 cans of chickpeas drained and rinsed
- 1 1/2 cup of water
- 1 1/2 tsp of ground cumin note: amount divided
- 1/4 tsp ground coriander seeds
- 1 large garlic clove roughly chopped
- 1/4 cup greek yogurt
- 1/8 cup fresh lemon juice 1 1/2 fresh lemons juiced
- 2 tbsp tahini
- 1 batch of Magic Garlicky Green Sauce
- Boil the chickpeas. In a medium-sized pot, add the canned chickpeas, 1 1/2 cup of water, 1 tsp of cumin and 1/2 tsp salt. Bring to a boil on medium-high heat, then reduce heat and continue cooking for 5 minutes or until the chickpeas are just starting to break up. You want them soft, but not mush!
- Transfer to beaker or blender. With a ladle, remove 1 cup of chickpeas together with some water and place into a beaker (or blender), add lemon juice, garlic, yogurt, and tahini. Blend until smooth and creamy: If you need more water because the mixture is too thick, add 1 tbsp at a time of chickpea water or use more lemon juice. It's a good idea to taste it as you blend to ensure you're happy with the flavours.
- Add the spices. Once the chickpeas are nice and creamy, add the cumin and coriander to the sauce and give it one last whirl.
- Prepare your bowl! Drain the cooked chickpeas and place them in a shallow bowl. Lightly break up some of the whole chickpeas by mashing with a fork, but don't go overboard with the mashing; you want most chickpeas to stay whole. Pour the chickpea sauce over top of the whole chickpeas and mix. Now it is ready for toppings.
- Toppings. There is no shortage of topping ideas for Musabaha; you can use the magic garlicky green sauce or fresh parsley, olive oil, ground cumin or paprika. You can also Add pine nuts or almonds fried in ghee.
Regardless of how you top this recipe, I'm sure it will be delicious!
Dried Chickpeas;Soak 1 and 1/3 cup of chickpeas overnight: this should yield about 2 and 1/2 cups of chickpeas. Once the chickpeas have been soaked, rinse them and add them to a pot and cover with 3 inches of water, add 1 tsp of cumin. Simmer until the chickpeas are soft. Once the chickpeas are soft, add the salt and proceed with the rest of the recipe.
To make a small batch Magic Garlicky Green Sauce:
- 1/8 cup olive oil, 6 garlic cloves crushed, 1/4 tsp ground coriander seeds, 1/2 tsp ground cumin, 1/2 bunch of fresh cilantro, washed and finely chopped, 1 tsp red jalapeño finely chopped, 1/2 fresh lemon juice, 1 pinch of salt. (see the Magic garlicky green sauce for directions)