Forty Thieves’ Shyr and Brent Godfrey share three ways to serve hummus

Traditional hummus is a staple for Shyr and Brent Godfrey. Here’s how they do it. 

Words and photos: Bronwyn Kan  Recipe: Extract from WHOLE Again

The first time I tried a lick of their tasty, award-winning nut butters was at the annual Go Green Expo – one of the many events where you’ll still find Shyr and Brent Godfrey proudly presenting their brand Forty Thieves in person.

After spending a handful of years residing and working in Sydney and then exploring the world, the couple returned home to New Zealand with a dream to venture into the food industry. They were equipped with little experience but a strong desire to develop an artisanal and nutritious product that complemented their passion for health and fitness. Their luxurious nut butters now feature in stores nationwide, boasting bright and bold ecofriendly packaging (designed by Shyr herself) and thoughtfully sourced, heart-healthy ingredients.

Their unique line-up of tahini and spreads feature mouthwatering flavours such as Salted Macadamia, Hazelnut Crunch and Scorched Almond. It is inspiring to learn that they also offer the supply of pails of their fresh nut butters to like-minded businesses such as wholefood cafés and caterers. Ensuring accessibility to all those who value incorporating delicious, nutritious, and wholesome ingredients in their everyday lives is an aspect Shyr highlights that they work hard towards fostering as a business.

Based on the Hibiscus Coast for both home and work, the pair particularly enjoy the supportive community in this region as well as the natural beauty of the coast on their doorstep. We take a break to enjoy the view and sit down to tuck into the hummus spread with warm pita bread in hand – a meal heavily inspired by Shyr’s Israeli background. With the name Forty Thieves itself inspired by an adventure packed tale (of Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves) – Shyr and Brent’s journey so far, I think, is also a fitting reflection of just that.

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Traditional Hummus – three ways

Crafting the perfect hummus comes down to 3 things: freshness of the chickpeas, quality of the tahini and the toppings to tie it all together. Keep the base simple and experiment with different toppings.


Hummus Base

150g dried chickpeas, soaked overnight, drained and rinsed
½ tsp baking soda
4 cups (1L) boiling water
4 tbsp Forty Thieves Hulled Tahini
1 ½ tbsp lemon juice
2 cloves garlic, chopped
¼ tsp salt
½ tsp cumin
3 tbsp ice water

Traditional Topping

½ cup (80g) cooked chickpeas, set aside from hummus base
1 egg, boiled and peeled
1 tbsp pine nuts
Fresh parsley, chopped
Olive oil, to serve
½ tsp sweet paprika

Beetroot + Mint Topping

1 cup (150g) beetroot, washed, peeled, and chopped into 3cm pieces
1 Tbsp olive oil
¼ tsp salt
¼ tsp white pepper
Fresh mint, chopped
1 tbsp sesame seeds
Olive oil, to serve

Garlic Mushroom Topping

2 tbsp olive oil
1 clove garlic, crushed
5 button mushrooms, quartered
½ tsp cumin
¼ tsp salt
Fresh parsley, chopped
Olive oil, to serve

Place chickpeas into a large pot and place on a low heat. Stir continuously with a wooden spoon for 2-3 minutes.

Add baking soda and continue mixing for another 2-3 minutes. You should see the chickpeas start to soften. Add in boiling water to the pot and let cook for 30-40 minutes or until soft. Scoop out any skins or scum that rises to the surface.

Once cooked, drain chickpeas (a cooked chickpea should squash easily between your thumb and forefinger). Add cooked chickpeas to high powered blender. (If you are making the traditional topping, set aside 1/2 cup of chickpeas before you do this, to be used as garnish.) Blend on high speed for about 5 minutes until a paste is formed.

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Add tahini, lemon juice, garlic, salt and cumin. Blend for another 3 minutes, slowly adding the ice water until desired texture is reached. Divide the hummus between three bowls.

Traditional Topping

Scoop the leftover 1/2 cup chickpeas onto the centre of a plate filled with a base of hummus.

Cut the boiled egg in half long ways. Place the egg on top of the hummus yolk side up. Sprinkle with pine nuts and parsley. Generously pour a swirl of olive oil over the hummus and dust with paprika.

Beetroot + Mint Topping

Preheat oven to 180°C and line a baking tray with baking paper. In a bowl, toss beetroot, olive oil, salt and pepper and mix with your hands until beetroot is coated evenly. Place onto the tray and bake for 30 minutes or until cooked.

Be sure to turn beetroot over half way through the cooking time. Gently pile the beetroot onto the centre of a plate filled with a base of hummus. Garnish with mint and sesame seeds and generously pour a swirl of olive oil over the hummus.

Garlic Mushroom Topping

Heat oil in a pan and fry the garlic. Add in mushrooms then cumin and salt and cook for another 5 minutes or until mushrooms are soft.

Pile the mushrooms onto the centre of a plate filled with a base of hummus. Garnish with parsley and generously pour a swirl of olive oil over the hummus.

This is an extract from WHOLE Again: A fresh collection of wholesome recipes by Bronwyn Kan, Beatnik Publishing, RRP $45.00.

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