The UN’s declaration of 2016 as the International Year of Pulses will focus a spotlight on Mediterranean cuisine and further elevate the humble hommos to superfood status, according to a leading Lebanese food expert.
Faysal Younes, CEO of eathos, the food & beverage platform which has brought Kababji – the authentic Lebanese food chain – to the UAE said the UN focus will bring heightened awareness of the health benefits of eating hommos– the highly popular Middle Eastern dip made with chickpeas, olive oil, garlic, lemon juice and tahini.
The UN initiative aims to heighten public awareness of the nutritional benefits of pulses as part of sustainable food production aimed towards food security and nutrition. The UN says pulses are a vital source of plant-based proteins and amino acids and as part of a healthy diet can address obesity and help prevent and manage diabetes, coronary conditions and cancer.
“Hommos is one of this region’s Top 10 favorite foods popular with residents, Middle Easterners and visitors and it is rapidly gaining a worldwide following,” said Faysal.
“Hollywood stars Anne Hathaway and Natalie Portman admit to being keen hommos consumers and they look pretty good on it. Hommos provides people with protein and a number of essential vitamin and minerals, and while it can be high in fat, it is mostly heart-healthy unsaturated fat. It is next year’s superfood being high in fiber, gluten-free, nut free, and dairy free.”
eathos has recently opened its first UAE Kababji restaurant, take-away and delivery service at Dubai Marina Promenade, a second is to open before the year end in Deira. The Kababji menu, which is based around healthy, authentic Lebanese food with a modern twist and hallmarked by quality ingredients, boasts three types of hommos -Balila, Hommos with Tahini and Fattet Hommos.
“It’s hard to say which is the most popular – but hommos can also hit the spot with vegans so its appeal is almost universal,” said Younes. “There is a knack to making it as it is served in Lebanon though and we hope we have it down to a fine art but our fouls dish will also fit the UN 2016 initiative – this is certainly a year where pulses come into their own.”