Everybody is talking about how our world is getting smaller; clearly, I love how it all affects our culinary world. In my Mediterranean (Middle Eastern?) eyes, Hummus has already taken over the world and has quickly become common knowledge; it can be found everywhere, on stores’ shelves, in restaurants and on cooking shows.
When it comes to Hummus, I find that less is more- meaning; you have to keep the Hummus recipe simple in order to really enjoy its authentic flavor. After making Hummus many times in many different variations, I found myself always going back to the very basic recipe my father coined in our family a while ago.
Here is a recipe that works every time and that guarantees the most and absolutely perfect Hummus! There’s a warning that goes without saying which I feel obligated to share here: Once you make and try this Hummus, you will not be able to go back to the store and just buy one…
You will need:
3 cups Cooked Chickpeas
3 medium cloves of Garlic
1 cup (raw) Tahini/Tehina Paste
3 tbsp. freshly squeezed Lemon Juice
5 tbsp. ice-cold Water
Salt (about 1½ tsp.)
Let’s get to work:
If you cook your own Chickpeas (which I recommend), it requires a bit planning in advance and some “babysitting” while cooking:
You will need:
Dry Chickpeas (about 400 gr./2 cups), 1/2 tsp. Baking Soda, 1 Bay Leaf and Water.
The night before, soak chickpeas in a large bowl with generous amount of cold water (at least twice their volume) at room temperature.
The chickpeas need to soak for a minimum of 10 hours and can be left soaking for up to almost 48 hours; after that they start to sprout.
When soaking, the water will turn a little yellowish and I encourage you to change the soaking water every four hours or so. Usually good results can be achieved after an over night soak.
[In our home, there’s a common law that whoever pass by soaking chickpeas with yellowish water, switches it to clean water…and it is well known that hard work is rewarded with great food 🙂 ]
Drain the chickpeas and wash them well.
Put the chickpeas in a large pot add baking soda and cook over high heat. Stir constantly for three minutes or so. (This stage will help the skin to float to the top easily)
Give the chickpeas a quick wash in the pot to roughly remove the baking soda and any falling skins. Add cold water generously (twice to three times in volume) and one bay leaf and bring to a boil.
Continue cooking over medium heat stirring every so often and skimming off any foam and skins that float.
This stage requires a little “babysitting” cooking time, use a slotted spoon to skim of the foam and chickpeas skin. Depending on the freshness of the chickpeas, after about 35-50 minutes of cooking they will become very tender but not mushy. To check them, take out 3 chickpeas (Careful! They are hot!) One at a time press between your thumb and finger, they all should break up easily.
Drain the chickpeas lightly. They are now cooked and ready to be used.
Now, Let’s make some Hummus!
In the food processor, start with chickpeas and let them blend into a stiff paste.
Meanwhile chop the garlic. It will help it along when we add it to the food processor.
Blend well together. Add Tahini/Tehina paste while blending.
Add lemon juice and continue processing. The Hummus will become lighter in color…
Add salt and the ice-cold water. I like to use the actual water in which the chickpeas cooked in, so I reserve some aside and I add a few ice cubes to my it icy cold. Add the water one spoon at a time. Take a look to assure the Hummus gets the perfect smooth consistency.
Your Hummus is ready! Get some pita bread and go to town! 🙂
Hummus stores nicely in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to three weeks.
Serving options are endless and it’s hard to go wrong here … just allow the Hummus to get to room temperature before serving, all the rest is up to you: drizzled olive oil, roasted pine nuts or roasted garlic, whole spicy chickpeas, Harissa, Za’atar, Sumac, chopped parsley, Tehina sauce, or chopped Preserved Lemon… It is so much fun to plate Hummus and the options are endless…
[Cooking Chickpeas:]Soak the chickpeas over night. Cook the chickpeas first few minutes with baking soda over high heat then add water and boil while skimming off any foam and skin. Cook until chickpeas are tender 30-45 minutes.
In a food processor blend Cooked Chickpeas to a stiff rough paste.
Add chopped Garlic and Tehina/Tahini sauce and Lemon Juice while processing.
While food processor is still on, add Ice-Cold Water one spoon at a time to reach smooth consistency.
*Store in the refrigerator in a sealed container.
*When serving allow Hummus to reach room temperature.