Soan Papdi: the Indian halva made of hummus

This is not halva, but it is a close relative. It is tasty, even addictive, comes from India and can be found in Israel. It does not include Tahini, but does include hummus.

The product in the picture is called Soan Papdi. It is – are you sitting down? – an Indian halva that does not include Tahini, but does include… Hummus. Hummus flour, to be exact.

soan papdi, chickpea-halva

Maybe calling it halva is not exactly right, considering it doesn’t include anything that remotely resembles sesame. But it’s taste, look and feel is definitely very close to halva, somewhere between normal halva and “halva hairs” (Persian fairy floss), with a strong aroma of cardamon. It is also as addictive as halva. Read more

The machine that “wipes” the hummus for you

Take that: a robot that slices the pita bread and wipes the hummus for you. Completely useless, but pretty cool.

“More electricity, less work”, says an old commercial of Israel Electric Company, back in the days the company succeeded in producing more electricity than the national consumption (the government’s fault, now and then).

Those naïve days are over, but we still prefer to wash our clothes in the washing machine, boil our coffee water in the electric kettle, and yes, also mince our hummus in the electric mixer.

So how about a machine that will slice a piece of pita and “wipe” the hummus for you? This sounds a bit over the top, but someone thought he just had to build such a machine.

In the following video you can see Hummus Machine 2.0, a robot that wipes hummus, developed by Izik Meir and Yuri Klebanov. The robot was presented in recently held Geekcon 2013 convention. We are not sure about this, but it’s certainly cool.

The clip’s soundtrack, BTW, is from the song Hummus Metamtem (“hummus is fabulous”) by Jewish American Nigel Ha’Admor (“Nigel the rebbe”), which might get his own post.

Mr. Chickpea and his friends

To celebrate the renewal of Israel’s diplomatic relations with the land of the fez, we present an original hummus work by a very talented Turkish artist and designer. Mr. Chickpea & friends is an art project by Sadi Tekin, a product designer and animator, who specializes in designing figures.

Mr Chickpea & FriendsTekin was born in Istanbul and works in New York. The project includes, up to now, 26 pictures and 19 works. The figures starring in them are based on hummus grains (Tekin insists on mentioning their Turkish name, beyaz leblebi).

Some of the pieces are amusing, and some are gloomy.

Some of the hummus grains have only faces, drawn with a thin pen. Others have a body. They are all very human.
If you like Tekin’s original and witty work, do not miss his website. It is full of surprises.

Will Obama be pleased with Bibi's Hummus?

On his way to meet with Israeli PM Bibi Netanyahu, president Obama may find consolation in thinking about the great hummus he’s going to eat. Sadly enough, it looks like he may be disappointed.

During his official visit to Israel, president Obama will be served hummus and Falafel, says local reporter Erik Bender from Maariv (Hebrew).

hummus from acreI believe that most Israelis who read this story were eager to know, above all, whose Hummus Obama is going to eat?

Who will be making the Hummus and Falafel served to the leader of the free world?

The somewhat disappointing answer was Meggi & Tully, a renowed catering service named after the two chefs behind it.

Meggi & Tully were late PM Yitzhak Rabin’s favorite cooks, and in the past 15 years they fed many other VIPs from all over the world. The Hummus & Falafel plate they’re preparing for Obama will only be the entrée of a 3-course gourmet lunch, which must be superb.

But everybody who knows anything about hummus will tell you this: the best hummus is found in small, crappy looking hummus places (preferably owned by a Palestinian, some will add). Not in gourmet kitchens.

Israeli reporter Nir Yahav from walla.co.il, addressed this very issue in a video story aired earlier this week. He formed an alternative “checklist” – a better, more meaningful route for Obama’s tour, that includes Abu Hassan’s hummus place in Jaffa.

One may argue that Obama probably won’t know the difference, but this might not be true. After all, Hummus in standard dish at the White House (thanks to Obama’s chef Cris Comerford, who came to the U.S. from the Philippines in 1985).

We really like Obama, so we do hope that someone in his delegation has the right intel and will go fetch him a nice plate from Abu Hassan’s when he’s here.

Make Hummus Not War (trailer)

This might be the most important documentary ever made about hummus, and it seems like real fan. Make Hummus Not War is here.

Make Hummus Not War“, a 77 minute documentary by Trevor Grahm, premiered last week in the Melbourne Film Festival (MIFF).

This is, I believe, the longest, most important and potentially the best film ever made about hummus (except maybe “The Hummus Enforcement Agency“).

Grahm, an Australian hummus fan who’s also pretty much in love with the Middle-East, was triggered to make this film by the “hummus war” between Israel and Lebanon (which makes it, again, one of the nicest war we had in the region).

hummus-not-war movie

Who owns hummus? This may not be the most important question.

He went on a quest from Israel to Lebanon to Jordan and the Occupied Territories and back, during which he interviewed dozens of people, including myself, about the origins, history, politics and culture of hummus. Read more

OMG! There's Hummus Ice-Cream!

A hummus flavored ice-cream doesn’t necessarily sound like a good idea, but we had to check it out.

It seems like it’s going to be really hot this summer in Israel, and I’m not even talking about the weather.

Although, I do think frustration from the unbearable hit and humidity has at list some contribution the the severity of social rage, that is once again occupying the streets.

But on my way to witness the extreme police brutality on Tel-Aviv the last Friday, I managed to save a short moment of escapist pleasure in the local branch of Legenda, a chain of Italian ice-cream places.

hummus ice-cream

They have over 30 different flavors of ice-cream and sorbet, some of which look really great.

Being a serious ice-cream addict who have just got back from 10 sunny days in Berlin, where “EIS” is everywhere and costs a third, I was trying to eat more hummus and less ice-cream for a while.

In Berlin, the weather was fine and we had bicycles, so the woman and I were cycling all day like crazy, burning enough calories to escape the consequences of our gluttony.

In Tel-Aviv, June is already too hot for moving on a bike – unless of course you’re a professional biker, or one of them skinny girls doing the Tel-Aviv bike tour thing, which nobody told them was supposed to be so sweaty. Read more

The Hummus Enforcement Agency

One morning, we woke up to a horrible new reality: hummus was outlawed, and a new kind of viscous police force walked the streets. They called them “The Hummus Enforcement Agency”.

As you may have realized by now, we got some serious problems here in Israel. Many of which result from stupid and corrupt politicians.

One of the side effects of our disfunctioning  politics is a series of new laws that put the very existence of our democracy in danger.

Add this to the poor social situation, resulting from an extreme right-wing economical policy, and you might understand why over 80% of the population supported our 99%-style protest last summer.

That’s also the atmosphere in which “The Hummus Enforcement Agency” (official website) emerged. This 13min movie by activist producer Eran Vered, is the common creation of numerous contributors, distributed for free via YouTube in an open-source model (cc-by-nc-nd). Naturally, I play the hummus guy… ENJOY!

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