Authenticate Your Humus

Authenticate Your Humus

Sabra Batel Ohana details her journey with five children and even more than five flavors of humus.

After 37 years with the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and now with the AJT, , Jaffe’s focus is lifestyle, art, dining, fashion, and community events with emphasis on Jewish movers and shakers.

Hard boiled eggs make for a fine blend.
Hard boiled eggs make for a fine blend.

Humus, to the Middle Eastern and Western Asian palette, is like good pasta is to Italians. It goes with basically anything as long as it goes “well.”

Some credit Syria in the 13th century for recording its early origins. Some ancient cookbooks trace humus descriptions back to Cairo, Egypt, also in the 13th century.

However, figuring out how to spell it (Houmous? Hummus? Humus?) is as numerous as the varieties themselves. Local humus chef, Batel Ohana, operating as Hahumusia, offers up her versions for sale to special clients and on social media.

Considered a savory dish, humus is generally made from cooked mashed chickpeas, tahini, lemon juice, garlic, and topped with olive oil, parsley, and paprika, alongside puffy pita and tasty falafel. But Ohana doesn’t stop there. She imagines the spread if “authentic” as, “The delight of a heavenly taste, leaving you with a sense of contentment and happiness.”

Batel Ohana channeled her background and love of Israeli cuisine to selling humus in many varieties.

Batel Ohana was raised in the “charming” town of Arad in the southern part of Israel. She explained, “Growing up, my parents were always busy working hard, leaving me as the responsible older sister. This is where my love for cooking blossomed. From the tender age of 12, I found myself spending countless hours in the kitchen, experimenting with flavors, and perfecting my culinary skills.”

As much as Israel lays claims to the popular spread, the Lebanese also tout their versions. As part of the Meze (appetizer course), humus was also claimed by Mizrachi Jews and, later, merged with European culture. In 2005, a film parody of “West Side Story” won an Academy Award, entitled, “West Bank Story,” about a fictional feud between the “Kosher King” and the “Palestinian Humus Hut,” cutely named, “Make Humus not War.” Unfortunately, this was over a decade ago.

At first, Batel embarked on an adventure as a waitress serving the diverse cuisines of Jewish Israelis. Working closely with talented chefs, she observed techniques and absorbed culinary wisdom. Then, relocating to Atlanta, she pursued her dreams and began working in the kitchen of a restaurant owned by Jewish Israelis.

When that closed, she pushed onward.

“I found myself pondering my next move, to find a job that aligned with my passion for the kitchen. This led me to stumble upon something intriguing on social media – fruit sushi, a sensation back in Israel. Eager to learn more, I took courses and mastered the art of creating this delightful treat.”

Now, blessed with five beautiful children and a blissful marriage, she went with fate’s plan.

Falafel is the most popular side kick for humus.

“I prepared a scrumptious lunch for my family, featuring homemade humus paired with falafel and freshly baked pitas. Not only did they adore it, but our friends couldn’t stop raving about it. They insisted that I share this culinary treasure with the world and open a food truck.”

Eschewing the labor-intensive demands of a food truck, she made the decision to sell her mouthwatering humus from home and invested countless hours researching and experimenting with different textures and flavors until “perfecting the ultimate humus experience.”

Hahumusia now offers a variety of flavors to lucky customers. From classic humus to unique combinations like humus with beans, hot mushrooms, ground meat, and even humus with shakshuka – there’s something for everyone’s taste buds.

She added, “Humus is a beloved Israeli dish that graces every household in that country. It’s the star of every supermarket shelf and the centerpiece of numerous dedicated humus eateries. This nutritious food is not only good for you, but also bursting with flavors that will leave you wanting more.”

Prices range from $11 to $17. Pickles and pita included with main order. 404-719-0877. To see the menu and place orders, visit Hahumusia Facebook at

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