Homs Elsham


Who doesn't love a little savory snack at the bottom of their drink?



You may have tried chickpeas in many dishes, but I bet you have never tried them in a drink! Thanks to Noor from Cairo, I have tasted the Egyptian Homs Elsham, and I can tell I have never experienced such tantalizing flavors in one sip. The beverage is easily prepared and, as Noor says, is very customizable. You can add as many spices and flavors as you want, and no one will hold it against you!

Egyptian Homs Elsham requires a few simple ingredients that you may never have imagined combining. You need tomato paste, chickpeas (canned or dried), onion, tomato, lime, garlic, and spices. But, as Noor recommended, you can make it according to your preferences. So, if you don’t like spices or lime, you can just leave them out. Or, you can simply make it several times in different versions and see which one you like best. 

In Cairo, this is considered a winter beverage; you can find it on small street stands. It’s a traditional drink that Egyptians love consuming, and they even learn about it in private cooking lessons. The ingredients make it so intriguing, so curious minds will love the final result.    

When I made the Egyptian Homs Elsham, I added a lot of cumin and chili, and my tongue practically went numb. Then, I found the sweet medium and learned to find my preferred flavors. I can say that I have never tasted something so delicious! Even during my many visits to Egypt, I have never had the chance to try it, and it made me think how I could have missed out on something so amazing. If I have to describe it in a few words, I would certainly say relaxing and calming. If you need a drink after a long, tiring day, you have just found the perfect one!

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  • 1 cup canned chickpeas
  • 1 medium tomato quartered
  • 1 medium yellow onion quartered
  • 2 cloves garlic whole
  • ½ cup tomato sauce or 2 Tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 tsp pink salt or regular, to taste
  • ½ tsp ground cumin
  • ¼ tsp chili powder
  • lime wedges for serving


  • Place onion, tomato, garlic and tomato sauce/paste, spices and salt in a pot with 4 cups of water. Bring to a simmer and let cook about 15 minutes. Remove chunks of onion and tomato.
  • Add chickpeas and more salt if needed. Reduce heat to medium, and simmer the chickpeas for 10-15 more minutes.
  • Serve hot in a glass with lime wedges on the side. Sip all the liquid first then eat the chickpeas at the bottom with a small spoon.


Recipe inspired by Amira's Pantry
Course: Drink
Region: Africa
Diet: Vegan, Vegetarian


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