By Val, the Cookie Queen
Having mastered our vegetable cutting skills and had some dessert, let’s move onto some delicious creamy hummus. There are so many pages, both virtual and paper, dedicated to hummus I cannot possibly compete, indeed that is not my goal.
What I hope to encourage you to do is to make your own. Yes, yes, I know you can buy it everywhere, but you can’t top hummus you have made yourself. Those who make their own anyway can go back to their Sunday brunch now.
If you are planning to make hummus then you can soak about half a kilo of dried chickpeas (US – garbanzo beans) for a few hours, and then cook them for about 50 minutes in a pressure cooker. Using a saucepan will take considerably longer but you can do that too. They should be soft. Add salt after they have finished cooking, and then leave to cool down. (Adding salt before cooking will prevent the chickpeas from going soft, always add after. It will be absorbed because the water is hot!)
If making hummus spontaneously, use the canned chickpeas that I know you have in your cupboard.
Whether cooked, or canned, peel them. Don’t laugh. It makes a huge difference. I swirl them around in the water, running and rubbing them through my fingers. Keep pouring the skins and water away, until you’ve got nearly all the skins off. I took photos.
- about 4 cups of cooked chickpeas
- about 1 cup of tahini (sesame paste, I prefer the light paste)
- Juice of, hmmm, I use a lot, maybe 5 lemons (Ialso like to add some of the zest)
- a good whack of finely chopped fresh garlic, to taste
- Salt – and lots of it- it needs it.
- around 6 or 7 tablespoons of iced water
Put all of the chickpeas into a food processor.
Process until they are mushed up.
Add the tahini, lemon juice, garlic, and salt. Process some more.
Then drizzle in the iced water and process for about 4 minutes.
You can of course add little more if it is too thick, and taste it of course. More than once!
Don’t worry if you don’t have a processor. Spend some time doing all of the above, but with a fork. It takes a while, but it is just as good. It will not be as smooth, that’s all.
Put it into a serving bowl. Decorate it with whatever you have. Chilies, onions, lemon slices, parsley… Drizzle with olive oil.
Adding oil to hummus is a western practice. DON’T DO IT.
Serve your hummus with the vegetable platter you have been perfecting since last month, and some good bread.
Or just eat it by the spoonful like my kids do. Yum.
As a footnote – some people soak their chickpeas along with a little baking soda, which then helps to speed up the cooking process and makes them softer. I have never found this necessary. Some also add it to the cooking water, but this gives a soapy taste. IMHO. 😉