Hummus with tahini


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Drain the chickpeas, cover with cold water and boil.

When it is boiled, drain the water, but keep it to thin the paste obtained.

Put the chickpeas, tahini, lemon juice and crushed garlic in the food processor. Add a little boiling water and mix well.

Keep a few whole grains for garnish.

Season with salt and pepper, add more water if it is too thick.

To serve, make a hole in the middle, sprinkle with olive oil, sprinkle with cumin powder and hot paprika.

Serve with glue (Arabic pita bread).



Hummus with Tahini | Hummus w / Sesame Paste

This traditional Middle Eastern dip is made with chickpeas, garlic, lemon juice, and tahini. Hummus goes well with a variety of meals, it also makes for a delicious snack served with veggies.

This traditional Middle Eastern dip is made with chickpeas, garlic, lemon juice, and tahini. Hummus goes well with a variety of meals, it also makes for a delicious snack served with veggies.

Step 1: Soaking the Chickpeas

To soak the chickpeas, cover them with double their volume of water and add the baking soda - the baking soda helps the skins of the chickpeas to become soft, which in turn produces a much smoother hummus. Let the chickpeas re-hydrate overnight.

Note: For the chickpeas, it's BEST to cook your own, rather than using canned. If using canned chickpeas you will need 2 1/2 cups cooked chickpeas, which is about 2 cans - with that said, we highly recommend cooking your own chickpeas as it is an essential part of the final texture of this creamy hummus.

Step 2: Cooking the Chickpeas

To cook the chickpeas, drain them and then add them to a medium pot and cover with double their volume of water - add the baking soda and bring to a boil. At this point, turn down the heat and let the chickpeas cook over a very low simmer for about 20 minutes. As the chickpeas cook use a slotted spoon or small sieve to skim away any foam and loose skins that rise to the surface of the water and discard. This will ensure the hummus is extra creamy and smooth.

After 20 minutes or so, add the garlic to the pot and continue to cook for another 15 to 25 minutes, or until the chickpeas are very soft and easily fall apart. Note that the amount of time to cook the chickpeas will depend on their size, age, your stovetop, how long they were soaked, etc. They just need to be soft enough to mash, with no crunchiness - you also don't want them to become overcooked and mushy either. It typically takes us about 40 minutes to cook the chickpeas.

Once done, drain the chickpeas, but SAVE all of the cooking liquid. Let the chickpeas sit for a few minutes to ensure any extra moisture has drained off.

Step 3: Making the Hummus
  • 1/2 cup tahini
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin, or to taste
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 tsp sea salt, or to taste
  • 3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, optional

Before you start, reserve a couple of tablespoons of the chickpeas to garnish the hummus with afterward - this is not totally necessary but it does make for nice presentation.

To make the hummus, add the still WARM chickpeas, garlic, tahini, and cumin. Pulse a few times and then add the fresh lemon juice, salt, and puree again. With the machine running, slowly add either some of the cooking liquid and / or a bit of olive oil. The final consistency will depend on how you like your hummus, but typically it is served somewhat soft / runny while still firm enough to hold its shape. If making it the more traditional / runnier hummus, you may need to use quite a bit of the cooking liquid - just add it slowly and check the consistency from time to time, to ensure you don & # 8217t make it too runny. We typically use at least 1 cup of the cooking liquid. Note that the hummus will thicken up a bit once it cools.

Note: Raw garlic, roasted garlic, or even Garlic Confit can also be used to make the hummus. The amount of garlic is ultimately up to you but we prefer our hummus to not be too overpowering in terms of garlic, which is why we cook it with the chickpeas as this helps to tame the harsh raw garlic taste.

To serve the hummus, spoon it into a shallow bowl and then spread it out a bit using the back of the spoon to create a few pockets - then drizzle the surface with a bit of extra-virgin olive oil (if using) and sprinkle with a bit of paprika and garnish with the reserved chickpeas. Serve either warm or cold with some pita bread and / or vegetables.

Optionally, the hummus can be garnished with some finely diced onions and some roughly chopped parsley.

Chef & # 39s Notes

For EXTRA creamy hummus, do the following step after you do the initial soaking of the dried chickpeas but only use 1/2 tsp when soaking the chickpeas.

Next, drain the chickpeas (after soaking) and transfer them to a baking sheet. Sprinkle them with 2 teaspoons of baking soda and then evenly spread them out on the baking sheet. Bake the chickpeas for 10 minutes in a 400 ° F (200 ° C) oven.

Next, transfer the baked chickpeas to a colander and rinse them under cold water - massaging them a bit to remove the excess baking soda and also to help loosen the skins a bit.

Now proceed with the boiling of the chickpeas but only use 1/2 tsp of baking soda.

Hummus will keep for several days in the refrigerator. Besides being fantastic with Greek, or any other Mediterranean food, hummus is a healthy dip for vegetables, and even adds a nice kick to burgers and sandwiches. Try serving with warm pita brushed with garlic butter.


Sam & # 039s Kitchen

Hummus Bi Tahina, or simply Hummus, is one of the most known Middle Eastern dips throughout the world. It is largely made with chickpeas, olive oil, sesame seed paste and lemon juice. It has a lovely smooth texture and a tangy-zesty flavor.
Since no one knows the true origin of this delectable dip (but, according to historical information, hummus most likely originated in ancient Egypt) some countries, such as Israel, Greece, Turkey, Lebanon and others in the Middle East and Mediterranean have been claiming to be the home of its origin. I have even heard about scuffles breaking out in Jerusalem over who makes the best hummus! Apparently, it has been a very hot topic for debates among the local men there for a long time. I decided to undertake my own little research regarding the subject and have a good read about this centuries old hummus. I went as far as reading comments from the men on the internet-sphere, to find out what country in fact is responsible for making the best hummus. So far I have found no clear answer to that, but few of the comments gave me a good chuckle!

Another interesting fact about hummus is that the main ingredient in it, the chickpea, acts as an aphrodisiac.
I can see it becoming a real game changer for the newly coupled & # 8211 asking someone over for a cup of coffee will become a thing of the past, and youngsters, (or the slightly older) will be inviting each other over for a dip , ahem, the sexy hummus!

Words from Angela on the health benefits of the ingredients & # 8211

& # 8220Besides being an aphrodisiac hummus is very nutritious and nourishing too. The different ingredients all provide their own unique health benefits.

Chickpeas (also known as garbanzo beans) are dense with vitamins and minerals, such as iron, magnesium, zinc, calcium, manganese and are rich in protein and fiber. Oils in the tahini and olive oil provide us with good quality fats which are highly nourishing for cardiovascular, skin and hormonal health. Lignans from sesame seeds (tahini) also help to lower cholesterol and have anti-cancer properties. Garlic has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties and the spices, seeds and dry herbs often added in or sprinkled on top carry health boosting effects too. & # 8221

Recipes for hummus slightly vary from country to country, but the main ingredients & # 8211 chickpeas, tahini paste and olive oil remain the same. Chilli, roasted peppers and yogurt are often added to hummus.

The recipe I’m sharing here has been inspired by the Hummus Bi Tahina I had in Dubai many years back. It was the best hummus I have ever tried silky and incredibly smooth with delicious zesty flavor.
I have been making my version of this hummus for a few years and have been asked for the recipe numerous times.
I avoid adding water to my hummus at all costs, in fact, I think adding water is a crime!
Good quality extra virgin olive oil, organic hulled tahini paste and a lot of lemon juice are the key ingredients in this hummus.
For the best result, I suggest adding ingredients, such as garlic, olive oil, lemon juice and tahini gradually. Start with the full amount of the chickpeas, add half the amount of the rest of the ingredients and continue adding them gradually until your hummus tastes to your liking.

There are a few ways to serve hummus & # 8211 it can be served as a dip or as a spread. It goes well with any grilled meat and I love it served with middle eastern pulled lamb, tabbouleh salad and labneh all wrapped in a flatbread.

Ingredients

1 1/2 cup home cooked or 1 canned chickpeas (see note at the end)
4 tbsp sesame seed paste
1/4 tsp lemon zest (optional)
1 1/2 large lemon juice
3-5 tbsp good quality extra virgin olive oil
1 small garlic clove, peeled and sliced
1 / 2-1 tsp cumin powder
1/2 tsp sea salt or to taste

2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil for drizzling
Dukkah (optional)

  1. Drain the chickpeas and rinse well under running hot water.
  2. Place the chickpeas, half of the tahini paste, half of sliced ​​garlic, 3 tbsp olive oil, 1-2 tbsp lemon juice and a pinch of salt and cumin into a food processor.
  3. Processes until smooth, taste, keep adding tahini paste, lemon juice and olive until reaches desired taste.
  4. Move hummus into a shallow rimmed wide bowl.
  5. Make a swirl with the back of a tablespoon, drizzle with plenty of extra virgin olive oil and sprinkle with dukkah.

Serve with vegetable sticks or flatbread of your choice.

Prior to cooking chickpeas, pick over your peas to remove any discolored ones out. Rinse and soak in water for 6-8 hours or overnight. Drain and place in fresh water. Add 1 tsp of sea salt. Bring to the boil and simmer for 45 minutes to 1 hour or until tender.
For the smoother hummus, it is recommended to shell the chickpeas once they are cooked and cooled. I think the shelling of the peas is for the adventurous foodie folk and those with extra minutes on their hand.
If hummus appears to be too thick add extra olive oil and lemon juice.


Hummus with Flesh

When I & # 8217m being good I meal prep for the week ahead, and I nearly always make a large batch of hummus for the week. While hummus is good as a mezze, or to dip things in, it can also be the star of the meal & # 8211 add a little seasoned meat, sprinkle on some pine nuts, and voila! Your hummus is now a main course. This is the perfect weeknight dinner when I & # 8217m busy and don & # 8217t have time or energy to cook something elaborate. Serve this alongside some warm khubz / pita bread (store bought or homemade) and a salad and you have a complete meal. My husband would eat this every night of the week if I made it for him, honestly & # 8211 though he prefers his with rice, specifically riz bi sh & # 8217arieh (rice with vermicelli).

The meat is mixed with baharat, or Lebanese seven spice seasoning. This can either be purchased at the store, or ground at home (recipe here). This warm spice blend perfectly complements the meat, but it works just as well on meat analogues if you & # 8217re vegetarian or wishing to cut down on your meat consumption (I & # 8217ve actually made this with Beyond Meat & # 8217s meatless crumbles with good results! ) You can also absolutely use store-bought hummus if you & # 8217re in a pinch (no judgment from this similarly busy person!) But if you & # 8217re feeling adventurous I & # 8217ve also included my basic hummus recipe below.

We like a little spice, so we & # 8217ve sprinkled a touch of Aleppo pepper on at the end & # 8211 but you can also include a half teaspoon or so when cooking the meat if you want more heat.


What most people get wrong about making hummus

G rowing up downstate in Michigan, where so many people have Middle Eastern roots, a girl can eat a lot of good hummus. The best of those for me has always been in suburban Detroit’s authentic Lebanese restaurants, where I first came to know a style of classic “hummus bi tahini” that is thick and rich, ultra-smooth and luscious while still remarkably light.

The hummus most of us know and love, whether homemade or store-bought, is typically grainy, lackluster and disappointing by comparison. Of course, there’s a lot to love about hummus of any sort, grainy or no, and we’re eating plenty of it. Hummus is poised to reach Greek yogurt-esque popularity, crowding refrigerated grocery store shelves with its own explosively vast array of flavors and brands.

Trend-tracking group Baum + Whiteman predicted that 2015 would be the year when hummus would become America’s “it” food, going from a niche product “eaten primarily by Arab and Israeli immigrants” to an inescapable trend toward ubiquity. Hummus can now be found in 20 percent of American households, compared to 12 percent eight years ago.

One brand, Tribe, has even said its goal is to make hummus “the new salsa.” A tall order? Maybe not: Hummus seems to appeal to all ages, with a reputation as a healthful snack or even light meal high in protein, fiber and good carbs.

Clearly I’m far from alone in reaching for hummus more often than not: When I order a bagel at our local Big Apple bagel shop, I’m asked for my choice, “Cream cheese or hummus?” (You know my answer.) Subway is on its way to a hummus sandwich, the Baum + Whiteman report says. Of course, we Middle Easterners have always eaten hummus this way, not just as a dip but rolled up in pita or topped with meat or sauteed vegetables.

Until I started cooking and writing about Lebanese cuisine, I thought that hummus of the highest order, the way I'd eaten it in those select Michigan Lebanese restaurants, was unattainable at home, the result of some kind of restaurant-grade food processor that would never cross my kitchen threshold. My Lebanese American mother didn’t count conquering smooth hummus among her priorities while raising five children, so learning it the same way I had so many other Lebanese dishes - at her apron strings - wasn’t possible.

What I’ve discovered in my quest to perfect the purest form of hummus should have been obvious: It’s not the equipment it’s what you put in it that matters. There are so few ingredients in classic hummus that each one has to be at the top of its game if the result is to be what hummus dreams are made of: an ultra-smooth, thick, rich puree that spreads like a luscious buttercream, in glorious peaks and valleys.

Those few but important ingredients include:


A creamy-smooth hummus begins with removing the skins from soaked chickpeas a hit of baking soda helps the process. Water is added, and the chickpeas are cooked for at least 45 minutes and up to two hours. (Scott Suchman / For The Washington Post)

The chickpeas. Hummus means chickpeas in Arabic, so while the black bean or cannellini “hummus” we’re eating might taste just fine, if there isn’t a chickpea in there, it really isn’t hummus. The most important thing to note about chickpeas is that they have translucent skins. Those skins are the cause of grainy hummus, and they dampen flavor. They have to go.

Many methods are employed for that task, most of them labors of hummus-love involving time and patience. At La Shish Lebanese restaurant in Dearborn, Mich., The peeled chickpeas take three days to prepare: a day to soak (with baking soda, a critical ingredient in loosening the skins), a day to cook long and slow (adding cold water as needed) and a day to chill. Some other cooks who hate grainy hummus don’t go to quite the same lengths. Chef Michael Solomonov of Zahav in Philadelphia also uses baking soda to soften the chickpeas overnight it loosens the skins somewhat for his hummus, but he doesn’t focus on removing them altogether, especially given the quantity of hummus he’s serving. And in their book “Jerusalem,” Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi of London’s Ottolenghi rapidly boil chickpeas with baking soda, skim off any skins that float, and leave it at that.

I don’t go to all the trouble La Shish does, but I do try to get every last skin off, and the effort to peel via any method is still time- and labor-intensive, in a fava bean sort of way. At a certain point, I had to wonder about the availability of a pre-peeled chickpea. There is the Indian pulse chana dal, but when I tried it, I found it has a sweetness that doesn’t impart quite the right hummus flavor. Then a few years ago, I saw a random post from a food-writer friend on Facebook: She had used pre-peeled chickpeas to make “the best hummus of her life.” I feverishly went after finding those little beans and discovered that the game-changing, perfect skinless chickpeas do exist, imported from the Mediterranean (but not widely available). They are dried but par-cooked, so they require no long soak. After a couple of hours on the stove, they yield a remarkably smooth, delectable hummus. Very little pain, unbelievable gain.


The pot of cooked chickpeas is tilted to help with the removal of loosened chickpea skins. The cooking liquid is reserved. (Scott Suchman / For The Washington Post)

The tahini. Not all are created equally. Too often this sesame paste is sludgy, unpleasantly bitter and so separated that it’s difficult to stir the paste and its oil together. But tahini is a key flavor maker in excellent hummus. Solomonov, whose “hummusiya” (hummus restaurant) Dizengoff in Philadelphia has a cult following (and rightly so), makes some of the most delectable, smooth-and-thick hummus you can eat. His secret? Use lavish amounts of tahini to get there.

“I love hummus that’s rich, and that’s the role of the tahini,” he says. He notes that hummus from different regions might include far less tahini, or none at all. The Israeli-style hummus he makes is similar to Ottolenghi’s, which is like the hummus typical of southern Lebanon, where my own family is from: They all give tahini a starring role. (In fact, Solomonov's version uses tahini and lemon juice as the only liquids in the hummus.) My recipe includes a healthy hit of tahini but not quite as much as those others, mainly to keep the bitterness factor at bay and to allow the chickpeas. to have their moment in the sun, too.

The flavor of the tahini should be nutty and lightly, pleasantly bitter. I’m partial to imported Lebanese tahini (look for Al Wadi, Alkanater and Lebanon Valley) they go easy on the bitterness and are emulsified from the get-go. Joyva out of Brooklyn (in a can rather than a jar) and Soom from Philadelphia are terrific, too.

Tahini is made from roasted or raw sesame seeds when made from the former, it is darker and has a deep flavor. I generally favor anything toasted or roasted, but here both are delicious. Buy tahini as fresh as possible, then store it in a cool spot at room temperature (even after opening). It will keep for at least a year, but be sure to give it a good shake every now and then to prevent the paste from solidifying. It doesn’t get that treatment at the grocery store, which is why older tahini there becomes so unworkable.


First the garlic and chickpeas are processed the tahini, salt and lemon juice are added and finally, the chickpea cooking liquid goes in, bit by bit, until the right consistency is achieved. (Scott Suchman / For The Washington Post)

The garlic. Look for firm heads, and take a minute to slice the cloves in half lengthwise before tossing them into the mix. If there is a green sprout inside, remove it. The sprout is a signal that the garlic has some age on it: The clove is still fine to eat, but the sprout imparts unappealing, unacceptable raw-garlic heat.

The lemon juice. It’s so simple: There is no substitute for fresh to give hummus bright, citrusy flavor. Get a good lemon juicer or reamer and have at it, straining out the seeds. I have tried the alternative, lemon juice from a bottle, just to see (once, I confess, on a grand scale, on large-batch hummus for a big party) it may have been easier, but the results were sulfite-laden and downright dull. Never, ever again.

The chickpea cooking liquid. There has been some buzz lately about the virtues of this liquid (or even the liquid in canned chickpeas). It’s something akin to a well-made stock, which translates to liquid gold for terrific body and flavor in hummus. Water is a fine substitute just be sure either one is nice and cold, and used sparingly, or your hummus will be too thin.


There’s no olive oil in the hummus itself, just on top. Here’s where your best-quality extra-virgin stuff should come into play. (Scott Suchman / For The Washington Post)

The olive oil. Hummus gives finishing oil its purpose in life. This is the moment to pull out your bottle of very fine extra-virgin olive oil, drizzling it generously on top of the hummus rather than incorporating it into the mix, where it will just weigh things down.

Making exceptional hummus at home is one of those pleasures with a high payoff that is so worth fitting into your regular cooking program. Just like making your own yogurt, it’s satisfying and economical. And, as Solomonov says, "you can dispense with all of the citric acid and preservatives that are in the store-bought hummus."

My Aunt Hilda Abood Kelush was famous for noting, with culinary and cultural pride, how anyone eating one or another of her delectable Lebanese dishes “just raved about it, honey!” So I feel I come by it honestly when I say that virtually everyone who has eaten hummus this way, with each of its few ingredients just so, has spontaneously said, “This is the best hummus I’ve ever eaten!”


Hummus with Tahini, with a secret ingredient

A few years ago, I went to a luncheon of the Chicago Culinary Historians at Big Bowl Asian restaurant. The inspiration for the restaurant, along with the very popular Wow Bao restaurants in Chicago, is Bruce Cost, who was the speaker for the luncheon that day. Bruce has been a major force in bringing the flavors of China, Japan and Southwest Asia to the American palate through his restaurants and cookbooks. And yet, when he was asked during his talk where one could find authentic Chinese food in Chicago, his answer was jolting: nowhere. Don’t expect it to be authentic. Make it yourself or go to Asia.

OK, so he’s a purist, we all thought. The interlocutor rephrased the question: understanding that there is no truly authentic Chinese food here then, if you were just going out and wanted some decent Chinese, where would you go? Bruce didn’t waver: I wouldn’t, he said.

When it comes to hummus, I have something like Bruce’s attitude toward what can be had in restaurants or purchased in the grocery store. It can be bland at best, and grainy at worst. With one caveat—Sabra hummus always struck me as very good and very creamy. That is, until I OD'd on it when I was working in Chicago by eating it at my desk every day for a lot — and I mean a LOT — of days, days that morphed into months, and I've never been able to to eat it since.

My worst hummus experience was, actually, at the apartment of a friend. This was many years ago, so many that I was still in school. This friend was someone with whom I wanted to be more than friends. He asked me to stop over one evening, and when I got there he was making hummus. From a box. Which must have had an expiration date from the prior decade. My desire to date the dude abated on the spot. Yet my respect for social property ruled the day. I ate a bite or two of the hummus made from an amalgam of unreconstituted dried chickpeas and tahini while he talked on and about about some girl he had the hots for, who happened to be Lebanese too. Good thing there was the bad hummus to keep me from feeling down.

For me, hummus with tahini must carry the distinct flavor of tahini, not be too lemony or garlicky, and most importantly, hummus must be smooth and creamy. There’s some debate about peeling the chickpeas to achieve that smoothness. Even at my most insane kitchen exactitude I have no interest in peeling a pound of cooked chickpeas, or pressing that same amount through a tami (a huge drum sieve) so I’m going to count on you feeling the same.

Here’s what I’ve learned & # 8211from trial and error of my own and my sister’s because she has perfected her hummus & # 8211about how to make great hummus:

  1. Use a high-powered blender. If you don’t have one, consider it one of those purchases that is simply worth it. Ask Santa for it if you must, even if you’d prefer a new pair of shoes. I like Waring blenders, but got turned on to Vitamix blenders when I worked in a restaurant for a short time, so one of those may be on my hit list for the day when I have disposable income again. A good blender not only gives your hummus the right texture, it will do the same for your smoothies with ice cubes and a million other things.
  2. Don’t expect the blender to do all of the work. It’s a good friend, but not that good. You’ve got to stop it and stir numerous times throughout the blending process. Place the liquid ingredients in the blender first so that the mixture will blend and not get caught in the blades from being too dry.
  3. Blend for a longer duration than is comfortable. It takes a good 10 minutes of blending, stopping and stirring, tasting, adding more of this or that, and blending some more, to achieve good hummus.
  4. The addition of a little water assists in a creamy texture.
  5. The real secret to good hummus is not starting with canned or dried chickpeas and it’s not tahini. The secret to good hummus is… yogurt. Laban, or labne, to be precise — thin or thickened (I like using thickened, or labne). A healthy scoop, and then maybe a little more, will give your hummus the right body so that when you swirl it onto a plate, you’ve got a velvety whip of a hummus. It will taste that much better if you’ve made the labne yourself.

Hummus with Tahini
This hummus is also delicious topped with toasted pine nuts. If you are a heat hound, add cayenne pepper to the mix for some kick. And while the yogurt lends a smoothing element to the hummus, make it vegan by leaving the yogurt out and add about 1/4 cup of water instead.

2-4 T lemon juice
½ cup plain yogurt
2 T high quality olive oil, plus 1-2 T for garnish
1 small clove garlic, minced
½ cup tahini (stir before using)
1 lb. chickpeas (from a 16 oz. can, or from dried, then cooked, chickpeas)
2 t salt
½ t paprika

Place the lemon juice, yogurt, olive oil, garlic, tahini and chickpeas in a blender (the liquid is at the base of the blender). Blend on high, stopping to stir frequently, until the hummus is smooth, adding 1-2 tablespoons lukewarm water. Taste, and season with salt. More yogurt and olive oil can be added as desired, to smooth out the hummus.

Spread the hummus on a medium-sized plate, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with paprika.


Hummus (Hommous Bi Tahini)

1 (15 ounce) can chickpeas, drained
1/5 cup (1 1/2 ounces) tahini
1 clove garlic
1 / 2-1 teaspoon salt
1/2 medium lemon, juiced (about 1 ounce juice)
2 1/2 ounces cold water
2-4 tablespoons olive oil, optional
1-2 pinches dried or fresh parsley, optional
few sprinkles paprika, optional
3-6 rounds pita bread, warmed

1. Combine chickpeas, tahini, garlic, salt, and lemon juice in a food processor.
2. Process on high for 3 minutes, adding water as needed.
3. Spoon out into a large dinner plate and spread evenly. Chill, if desired.
4. Garnish with olive oil, parsley, and paprika. Serve with pita.
This is an incredible, authentic Lebonese recipe. Most hummus recipes have too much garlic, too much tahini, or use some of the strained off garbanzo bean juice. If you want a tasty, resturant-grade recipe, this is it. '


Hummus Bi Tahini

We & # 8217ve all had the homemade hummus at parties (or the stuff from the grocery store) that & # 8217s flavourless and thick or worse still: gritty. I used to struggle with making hummus that could compete with the stuff I & # 8217d ate in the Middle East, and Colorado (at the time I moved here) had very few good quality restaurants. After much trial and error, I discovered a few tricks to make your hummus superb.

CHICKPEAS

The first trick is really in the chickpeas themselves. In the US I only use Palouse Brand chickpeas (dried, soaked overnight, then cooked). I & # 8217ve found that these chickpeas offer the best texture and flavor. For tinned chickpeas I used to use Goya, though I don't anymore (the worst were Trader Joe & # 8217s which were mealy, hard, and flavorless & # 8211s sorry Trader Joe & # 8217s). If you & # 8217re cooking your chickpeas from dried, you & # 8217ll want to soak for 8-10 hours (or overnight) covered with water. Drain your water in the morning, and then add enough cool water to cover, a tablespoon of salt, and 2 teaspoons of baking soda. Bring to a boil, then simmer for an hour until the chickpeas are soft, skimming any skins that rise to the surface. Reserve about a cup of the aquafaba (or chickpea cooking water). Once fully cooked and cooled, you can rinse with water and rub them together to remove any remaining skins. If you & # 8217re using tinned chickpeas, you & # 8217ll still want to place in a pot with some water and a tsp of baking soda to help remove the skins & # 8211 the skins are what impart the gritty texture so you want to make sure you get rid of all of them.

GARLIC & LEMON

You & # 8217ll want to peel and finely chop your garlic, and place it in your food processor with your lemon juice for ten minutes or so before blending. This makes the garlic flavor more mellow and eliminates any & # 8216bite & # 8217 or harshness. Once the garlic has been exposed to the lemon, you can blend before adding your tahina. If you & # 8217re like me and you keep a giant jar of homemade toum in your refrigerator at all times you can omit the garlic entirely and replace with a heaping tablespoon of toum instead.

TAHINI

The next step is adding your tahini. Add this after the garlic lemon mixture, and if needed to make it smooth & # 8211 add some of the reserved aquafaba (chickpea cooking / can liquid). Once you have a sauce you can add your chickpeas and blend fully. Remember, your hummus is only as good as your tahini & # 8211 do not use the cheap Joyva stuff. I & # 8217d highly recommend procuring this from an Arab market or a specialty store, as good tahini isn & # 8217t bitter at all, unlike the stuff you & # 8217ll find in most American supermarkets these days. After you’ve made your tahini sauce you’ll add the rest of your ingredients – making sure your chickpeas are at room temperature or cool – you don’t want steamy chickpeas warming the rest of your ingredients!

SERVING

Serve hummus topped with a drizzle of olive oil, reserved whole chickpeas, harissa, cumin, sumac, za’atar, Aleppo pepper – whatever sounds good to you. Make a side of homemade khubz (pita) to dip in it!


Hummus bi Tahine

It’s writer’s block, I am quite convinced of it. I’ve had this recipe ready to go for a few weeks now, I’ve bragged it up and down to both sides of the family and yet it’s still stuck in my drafts folder. Tonight, that is all about to change.

I love chickpeas and I love hummus. Over the years, I’ve noticed that the best hummus I’ve eaten was always at a restaurant and I could never come close to replicating it at home. It was never light or creamy, but instead thick, grainy and tasting too heavily of tahini. That is, until now. I happened to be browsing through Pinch of Yum and came across their basic version of hummus. Upon a closer look, I noticed that the recipe called for peeling chickpeas and starting with a tablespoon of tahini. I could hardly believe it! It was like somebody had finally given me permission to do what I always knew should be done.

I have made hummus numerous times over the years and with every attempt I told myself it would be less tahini the next time. But every “next time” brought a new recipe to my attention and there I went again, following it to a “T” with the same verdict - less tahini! I feel like I was the only one with this dilemma. No matter. As I continued to read and compare, the ratio of chickpeas to tahini seemed to be the same everywhere. I kept thinking to myself “how’s it possible that all the recipe developers write one thing (heavy on the tahini) and restaurants serve another (balanced and light-tasting)?” Not anymore. Oh, and peeling the chickpeas? It seems to me I’ve fallen behind in keeping up on the latest cooking trends while most professional cooking sites omit the step completely for fear of overwhelming their readers. Pick your battle.

Seriously, the reduced tahini was a game changer and since I was on a roll, I took it to the next level and added yogurt. This is not actually my own idea (thank you Maureen Abood!) but something told me that I would like it. The yogurt adds an airiness and softness to the hummus that I absolutely love. With a cheesy grin, I also realized that this must be the secret behind our favorite hummus at a local restaurant in MO. A heavily accented “sorry, restaurant secret.” was all I got from him when I called to inquire about the recipe. It’s a very good secret, sir. You have my respect.

Here are some tips for success:

For canned chickpeas, check here and here for tips on removing the skins.

After soaking the chickpeas overnight, cooking times can vary greatly. I’ve cooked them for as little as 45 minutes and as long as 4 hours. Keep checking the chickpeas for doneness by simply tasting. A properly cooked chickpea should remind you of a mashed baked potato in texture. If you taste graininess, continue cooking until that is no longer the case.

If you have a a powerful blender such as a Vitamix, skip removing the skins and blend the chickpeas on high for 1-2 minutes. Be warned that you will need to scrape down the blender often to make sure all of the ingredients are incorporated. Also, you will likely need to use more of the reserved cooking liquid to help the blending process.

Do a quick soak in just an hour if you forget or prefer not to soak the chickpeas overnight. Simply bring the chickpeas to a boil in a pot of water, turn off the heat and allow to soak for an hour or longer before proceeding to step 1.

After everything is said and done, you will have a delicious bowl of hummus that is at room temperature or cooler. If you would like to serve it warm, bring the reserved cooking liquid to a simmer before adding it to the chickpeas in the food processor.