I am typing this blog post now while munching on some leftover Hummus from yesterday photo shoot. I wasn’t expecting to find any left in the fridge to be honest, because what normally happens is that we end up eating too much of it at dinner, and then the kids pack all the left overs in their school lunch boxes for the next day. Even though there is so little left, but I was lucky to have some for lunch today. Ramadan starts tomorrow folks, so this is my last lunch before fasting for a month. So long lunch 🙁
Hummus is a very popular mezze on middle eastern tables, as you all might already know. Hummus is the arabic word for chickpeas, the actual legume not the dip. I love making hummus dip from scratch, it might sound a bit intimidating but it’s actually not at all. You will be surprised how simple it is to make.
A few years ago I used to make this dip out of pre-cooked chickpeas in cans. Until I made it once in the old fashion way, starting with dried chickpeas. And since then, I couldn’t go back to using canned chickpeas in making my Hummus, because the difference in taste and texture is honestly worth starting from scratch. My recipe has changed a few times in the past year or so, to reach the perfect texture and taste with the least number of ingredients, because I strongly believe in simplicity being the key to brilliance.
There are so many ways of making this dip. I think the choices of ingredients to add are endless. The one common thing really in all different recipes; and it is what made this recipe exist in the first place, is mashing these cooked chickpeas, the rest is all yours.
I have written down a Hummus recipe here which I believe is like a blank canvas and one to call ” The Basic Hummus recipe”. This doesn’t mean that it’s the original recipe. no no and no. Because there is no such thing as one way of making Hummus. It’s just a simple recipe with minimal additions, but it still tastes unbelievably delicious!!
I personally like to eat this hummus with drizzling some good extra virgin olive oil on top and a bit of dukkah, that’s it. For me it’s heavenly delicious. But as I said the choices of ingredients to add are endless. Some like to add olives, Dukkah, cumin or even some fresh greens such as parsley and coriander. You can even add a beetroot or sweet potato puree while blending and adjust the seasoning to your taste.
The main idea is you can make it your own, using this recipe as a base for all your creations. In saying that, I really encourage you to try it without any additions first, only drizzle olive oil and some cumin or dukkah on serving. I trust you will LOVE it.
In this recipe the texture is smooth and fluffy. It’s also not too garlicy, I like a hint of garlic only. I don’t add too much tahini either, so that it’s not overpowering. It tastes and smells like chickpeas, but you would tell that there is a bit of tahini in there, which helps with smoothening the texture too.
*Note: Using very cold water (almost icy) is important when blending, it helps with reaching this creamy texture of hummus. Check the recipe for details.
When it comes to Hummus, you will find that there are so many serious discussions, more like arguments, regarding where it all started and how. Every region in the Middle East claims Hummus to be theirs, similar to Falafel and Shakshuka discussions, but more intense. It’s like it’s an important part of their identity. I find it very funny how arabs take their food recipes so seriously. I love it. LOL
- 2 cups dried chickpeas, soaked in water overnight.
- 1 teaspoon bicarbonate soda
- water, for boiling
- 3 medium size garlic cloves.
- 2 heaped tablespoons good quality tahini paste
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 4 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 50ml of very cold filtered water, more if needed to adjust the texture.
- good quality extra virgin olive oil
- dukkah spice mixture (optional)
- fresh flat bread, preferably wholemeal
- this recipe is to start it the night before, by soaking the chickpeas in plenty of water overnight.(8-12 hours),12 hours is ideal.
- drain the chickpeas (which should be doubled in size by now).
- transfer to a medium size pot, add water to cover the chickpeas completely and rise about 3 inches above their level.
- Add bicarbonate soda and stir once, then cook on high heat until it starts boiling.
- lower the heat to a simmer and skim off any foam forming at the top.
- leave to simmer for 30 mins, it can take up to 40 mins to cook.
- *they are ready when they are very tender and break up so easily when squeezed between your thumb and pointy. (This is how I test it).
- drain to get rid of the hot water, then transfer to the cooking pot again
- run the cold water from the tap into the pot until you fill it up almost all the way, the chickpea skins should be floating at the top.
- tip the water and the skin only into the sink, leaving the chickpeas in the pot (make sure your sink has a drainer to avoid blocking it), repeat 3 times to get rid of most of the chickpeas skins, which makes hummus much easier to digest.
- drain again.
- place chickpeas in the blender, blend for 20 seconds.
- add the rest of the ingredients except the water and blend for 30 seconds
- open blender lid and push down the sides
- blend again for another 30 seconds
- start adding the cold water gradually until you reach a smooth and creamy texture resembling a paste. at least an extra minute of blending.
- transfer to a serving bowl and cover, preferably wait for at least 15 mins before serving.
- serve with a good drizzle of olive oil and flat bread, add dukkah if you wish.