Hummus has a reputation for being a kind of hippie dip, all wholesome and virtuous and good for you.
Whatever. I like hummus because it tastes great. The other stuff is a bonus.
I set about to make a batch last week. As I usually do, I read about the different methods for making this dip and found out what the typical ingredients are chickpeas, tahini, garlic and lemon juice. I decided to use dried chickpeas after being told by someone who claimed that she made the best hummus ever that it would produce a more flavourful version than using canned chickpeas. Let’s see if she knew what she was talking about.
First step: soak the chickpeas overnight.
Here are the dried chickpeas.
The next morning, the chickpeas are rejuvenated and I can get started on the second step in making hummus. While doing my research I read that the smoothest hummus is produced if the skins are removed from the chickpeas. I got this far with that madness before giving up on that idea.
Put all the chickpeas in a pot with baking soda.
Add the water and bring to a boil.
Remove all this foam and any other stuff which gets to the surface.
At this point, if I hadn’t overcooked the chickpeas, there would have been another opportunity to remove the skins, but I was over it. Instead, the final step of hummus creation!
Stir the tahini.
Get some garlic…
…and mince it.
Juice a lemon.
Chickpeas, garlic, tahini and lemon juice.
I used an immersion blender to combine the ingredients.
After a few hours in the refrigerator, hummus is ready to serve.
Using the dried chickpeas made a difference to the taste of the hummus – it was definitely better than when I make it with canned chickpeas. I’m not really sure that the taste is so much better that I’d spend the extra time and trouble to do it again, but now that I have all these dried chickpeas leftover, I’ll guess I’ll make it this way at least two more times, until those dried chickpeas are used up.
I used a combination of this recipe (for cooking dried chickpeas) from the cookbook Jerusalem by Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi…
Makes 6 servings
1 1/4 cup dried chickpeas
1 teaspoon baking soda
6 1/2 cups water
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons tahini, light roast if possible
4 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
4 cloves garlic, crushed
6 1/2 tablespoons ice cold water
The night before, put the chickpeas in a large bowl and cover them with cold water at least twice their volume. Leave to soak overnight.
The next day, drain the chickpeas. Place a medium saucepan over high heat and add the drained chickpeas and baking soda. Cook for about three minutes, stirring constantly. Add the water and bring to a boil. Cook, skimming off any foam and any skins that float to the surface. The chickpeas will need to cook for 20 to 40 minutes, depending on the type and freshness, sometimes even longer. Once done, they should be very tender, breaking up easily when pressed between your thumb and finger, almost but not quite mushy.
Drain the chickpeas. You should have roughly 3 2/3 cups now. Place the chickpeas in a food processor and process until you get a stiff paste. Then, with the machine sill running, add the tahini paste, lemon juice, garlic, and 1 1/2 teaspoons salt. Finally, slowly drizzle in the ice water and allow it to mix for about five minutes, until you get a very smooth and creamy paste.
Transfer the hummus to a bowl, cover the surface with plastic wrap, and let it rest for at least 30 minutes. If not using straightaway, refrigerate until needed. Make sure to take it out of the fridge at least 30 minutes before serving.
and this one from Around My French Table: More Than 300 Recipes from My Home to Yours, by Dorie Greenspan
Makes about 2 cups or 8 to 10 servings
Making hummus at home is easy and very quick, and once you’ve got a bowl of it, it’s an inspiration: you can make your own “house hummus” by adding chopped roasted peppers, sun-dried tomatoes, caramelized onions, garlic (raw or roasted, spices, herbs, or the same vegetables, chopped, that you might want to use as scoops.
1 can (about 16 ounces) chickpeas, drained (reserve the liquid), rinsed and patted dry
2 garlic cloves, split, germ removed, and chopped
1/3 cup well-stirred tahini
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, or to taste
about 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin (optional)
salt and freshly ground pepper
Put the chickpeas, garlic, tahini and lemon juice in a food processor and whir until smooth. With the machine running, add some of the reserved chickpea liquid a little at a time until the hummus is a nice thick, scoop able texture – you’ll probably need about 4 tablespoon of liquid. Add the cumin, if you’d like, tasting to get the amount you want, then season with salt and pepper and more lemon juice, if you think it needs it.
Scoop the hummus into a bowl or refrigerator container, press a piece of plastic wrap against the surface and chill until serving time. The hummus can be refrigerated for up to 3 days.
When you’re ready to serve, taste again for salt, pepper and lemon juice.