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  • Writer's pictureMai

Updated: Dec 31, 2020

An article as it appeared on

Growing up, hummus was a staple item in my home. My mom would spread hummus on a pita bread, drizzle it with olive oil, and cut it in two perfect wedges. This made the perfect school lunch; it was my peanut butter and jelly.

At home, hummus was always homemade. It is only a few ingredients that are often available on hand in any Middle Eastern home. My aunt Aida was the family hummus connoisseur. As a child, I loved fresh rolled up pitas with warm hummus that has just been creamed, with fresh slices of tomatoes, pickles and cucumbers. After my aunt would make the hummus my grandma known as Tita would make the sandwiches. She would wrap the pita rolls tightly and pass it to all of the grandchildren as we play in her beautiful garden after school.

Hummus is so smooth and creamy and the mild taste makes it perfect and appealing for kids. Kids love to play with their food and assemble it themselves. They are often attracted to things that are set up like an ice cream bar, a taco bar etc. this set up will encourage them to try new foods and cuisines. Therefore it's time to declare the hummus bar. One that's loaded with bowls of vegetables, meats, salads, pickles, and of course the luscious hummus.

To put together this hummus bar, first start by making a fresh batch of hummus, you'll find an awesome easy recipe here

In bowls, assemble toppings that would appeal to your kid's liking. A simple cucumber, tomatoes salad, fresh cut vegetables, assortment of pickles, grilled chicken, marinated chickpeas, falafel patties are a perfect friend to hummus and also feta cheese. The options are endless. A hummus bar with various toppings, and options will take this simple ingredient to a whole new level. I love to involve my kids in selecting the ingredients, chopping the vegetables, mixing the salads, and assembling the hummus bar. This will engage your kids in a cultural food experience and make for a beautiful memory.

  • Almond and Fig

Updated: Jun 19, 2020

Warm salad is a thing :) sautéed dandelion greens with caramelized onions, pomegranate-molasses, sprinkled with Lemon juice, olive oil and garnished with pomegranate seeds and crunchy pine nuts. In Arabic this dish is called hindbeh. Dandelions have lots of health benefits & are loaded with vitamin A and potassium. Making this a 15 minute super lunch in Palestine it’s often eaten with pita bread.


I bunch fresh green dandelion greens rinsed and chopped 1 onion chopped 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes 1 tbls pomegranate molasses 2 tbls extra virgin olive oil Juice of one lemon Pomegranate seeds 1 tbls toasted pine nuts


In a sauté pan. Add the olive oil, sauté the onion for 3-5 minutes until carmalized but not burnt. Add the chili flakes, salt, pepper and the chopped dandelion greens. In a 3-5 minutes the green will wilt down to almost nothing. Add the pomegranate molasses, sauté for an additional minute. Turn off the heat add the lemon juice. Scoop your warm salad in a bowl, garnish with pomegranate seeds, Pune nuts and a drizzle of olive oil. You can serve this with pita bread.

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  • Almond and Fig

Updated: Jun 18, 2020

When the humble rice goes Hollywood. Where are the paparazzi !!! This Rice should not just be a side dish but the star. Smoked basmati rice cooked with spiced ghee, fresh turmeric and crowned with loads of ghee sautéed nuts, fresh dill and ruby red pomegranate


3 Tbsp spiced ghee or plain ghee

1 inch peeled and diced fresh turmeric root

2 cups smoked basmati rice, rinsed well if you can’t find the smoked kind just use regular basmati.

3 cups of hot water, add enough to cover the rice by half an inch.

1 bay leaf

3 cloves of garlic

1/2 a cup fresh dill

1/4 cup fresh pomegranate seeds or dried cherries if poms are not in season

1/4 cup slivered almonds, toasted

1/4 cup pistachios, toasted

1/4 cup roughly chopped cashews

Salt and pepper


1. Melt 2 tbls of ghee in a pot

2. Add in the rice, turmeric and garlic and saute for a few minutes until translucent

3. Pour in the boiling water and add the bay leaf. Stir to combine, season with salt and fresh cracked black pepper.

4. Bring to boil, cover the pot and cook on low to medium heat for about 15 -20 minutes until water is absorbed and rice is tender. Turn off the heat and let the rice sit covered, for another 10 minutes.

5. When the rice is done, fluff it with a fork, remove the bay leaf , and the fresh turmeric. Add the fresh dill and fluff one more time. Plate the rice mountain high on a platter.

6. Toast the nuts in 1 tbls of ghee. Scatter the pomegranate seeds and nuts with the ghee on top of the rice to garnish. This rice is perfect on its own or as a side to any roasted or grilled meats.

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