Tuesday, February 22, 2011


I heart hummus. It's fabulous in almost any form, but I reached a new level of love this weekend after making hummus from scratch for the first time. To my surprise (well, not really surprise- most things are better from scratch) and delight, it's infinitely better than your typical plastic-carton hummus. It's smooth and creamy, disappearing before your eyes as you snarf it down as fast as possible. Yum.
Hummus isn't difficult to make, but it does take a bit of time, waiting for the chickpeas to soak, then waiting for them to cook. Lots of waiting. You can shorten the process by using canned chickpeas, but I personally think it's worth the wait. Dried chickpeas retain their nutrients and flavor better than canned, and what's a bit of waiting when you know how good the result is going to be?

There's one key ingredient you must have before starting your own hummus: tahini paste. Tahini is ground sesame seeds, and is used in many Asian, Indian, and Middle Eastern dishes. It's usually not very expensive, but I can't guarantee that every grocery store will carry it. Be sure to check it out beforehand because there is no hummus without tahini.
Hummus is good with everything. Well, almost everything (possibly not as dessert). Serve it as an appetizer at a party or eat it as a midday snack with carrot or celery sticks or pieces of pita. Or use it as a spread to dress up a traditional meat-and-cheese sandwich.

Recipe by Kelly
Pictures by Kelly

1 pound dried chickpeas*
1 teaspoon baking soda
8 cups lightly salted water, with 1 cup reserved after draining chick peas
juice from 2-3 lemons (about 1/2 cup)
2 large cloves of garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon salt, or more to taste
1/2 cup tahini paste
1/2 cup olive oil + 1 tablespoon
paprika, for dusting
  1. Pour the chickpeas into a large bowl and cover with water a few inches above the top of the peas. Soak at least 6-8 hours. Drain.
  2. In a large pot, combine soaked chickpeas, baking soda, and salted water. Bring to a boil and simmer about 1 1/2 hours, or until chickpeas are tender. Drain, reserving 1 cup of cooking liquid.
  3. Rinse chickpeas and run your hand through, gently remove some of the skins (they will look kind of like contact lenses). 
  4. When you get sick of removing skins, place chickpeas in a food processor of blender (if your blender is small, you may want to do this in shifts).. Add garlic, 1/2 teaspoon salt, tahini, and lemon juice. Gradually add the cooking liquid a little at a time. Blend until smooth. Add more cooking liquid until desired consistency is achieved.  
  5. Serve immediately or chill (the flavor will become more pronounced the longer it sits). Sprinkle with paprika and drizzle with olive oil before serving. 
*If pinched for time, use 2 cans canned chick peas with the liquid reserved. Omit the baking soda and water.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...