Today is all about how to make hummus the traditional way. No shortcuts. We are talking the creamiest, most authentic hummus bite you will have!
I recently happened upon an amusing article in The Guardian posing the question Who Owns Hummus? As in who really came up with the idea of this delicious dip made of chickpeas and tahini (sesame paste)?! The Lebanese claim it as their own. But don’t you dare get the people of Jerusalem started on the subject! And according to Wikipedia, the first mention of a recipe resembling hummus, as we know it today, was recorded in an Egyptian cookbook in the 13th century. Huh!
Hummus has been the subject of pride and identity in the Middle East for generations. And not only are there “wars” over who invented hummus, but the debate continues over what makes the best, ceramist hummus?
3 Secrets to Achieving Creamy Homemade Hummus:
My father-in-law and I discussed this very question over Thanksgiving break; and I have done my own research since. Three main things make a big difference in the taste and texture of homemade traditional hummus:
- Cook your own chickpeas. You’ll do a little more work to soak the chickpeas overnight and then boil them until tender. That said, I am guilty of having taken shortcuts and using the canned stuff 🙂
- Skin the chickpeas to achieve a smoother hummus. There are two good ways to go about this, once you’ve soaked the chickpeas overnight, sprinkle a little bit of baking soda and rub chickpeas between your hands. Or–and this is the method I chose–place just cooked chickpeas in a colander and run cold water over them while rubbing the chickpeas lightly between your hands.
- Use Greek yogurt or soy yogurt for the vegan version. This does add a rich and creamy texture and flavor. It also gives hummus a brighter and more appealing color.
Hummus tales aside, this healthy dip packed with iron, vitamin C and protein became a part of America’s culinary choices in the latter part of the 20th century. Going mainstream, hummus is now found in most American grocery stores; and we have found ways to enjoy it in different fusions and flavors–from white bean hummus to edamame hummus; roasted beet hummus; roasted red pepper hummus; pumpkin hummus; salsa hummus…you name it!
This Huffington Post article gives 10 reasons we should eat more hummus. I don’t necessarily find reason #4: “Because Natalie Portman is totally obsessed with hummus,” compelling. But, wouldn’t you eat more hummus if you knew that it could help prevent certain cancers, or at the very least, help you manage your weight?
While many of the new hummus flavors are exciting; today, I have chosen to share a basic traditional hummus recipe.
Ready to learn how to make hummus?
(Print-friendly recipe to follow)
Soak chickpeas overnight in plenty of water (water needs to be at least double the volume of chickpeas).
When ready, drain chickpeas and place them in a medium-sized heavy cooking pot. Cover with plenty of water and boil for 1-2 hours. Once fully cooked, transfer chickpeas immediately to a large sieve or colander over your sink. Run cold water as you rub chickpeas by the handful to remove the skin.
Place tahini, lemon juice and garlic cloves in a food processor. Pulse for a few seconds to combine.
Now add the cooked chickpeas, salt and Greek yogurt (or soy yogurt). Puree until you achieve a smooth and creamy hummus dip.
Serve at room temperature, or cooler, topped with olive oil and a dash of sumac or paprika. Add your choice of veggies and warm pita bread.
Hummus is great as part of a mezze (appetizer) table. Consider serving hummus next to an antipasto platter and other dishes like fried eggplants and green peppers; warm bruschetta; or this brown lentil salad with pomegranates and Swiss chard. Feeling adventurous in the kitchen? Learn how to make your own pita bread here.
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How to Make Hummus
- Prep Time: 8 hours
- Cook Time: 2 hours 15 mins
- Total Time: 10 hours 15 minutes
- Yield: 4-6
- Cuisine: Middle Eastern
- 1 cup uncooked chickpeas/garbanzo beans (yields 1 1/2 cup cooked chickpeas)
- 4 tbsp tahini paste
- 1 lime, juice of
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 tbsp plain Greek yogurt or soy yogurt
- Olive oil
- Dash of sumac or paprika for garnish
- Soak chickpeas overnight in plenty of water (water needs to be at least double the volume of chickpeas).
- When ready, drain chickpeas and place them in a medium-sized heavy cooking pot. Cover with plenty of water and boil for 1-2 hours. Once fully cooked, transfer chickpeas immediately to a large sieve or colander over your sink. Run cold water as you rub chickpeas by the handful to remove the skin.
- Place tahini, lemon juice and garlic cloves in a food processor. Pulse for a few seconds to combine. Now add the cooked chickpeas, salt and Greek yogurt (or soy yogurt). Puree until you achieve a smooth and creamy hummus dip.
- Serve at room temperature, or cooler, topped with olive oil and a dash of sumac or paprika. Add your choice of veggies and warm pita bread.
1) If you don’t have the time and must take a short cut, you may use canned chickpeas. Make sure you rinse and drain them well. 2) Hummus is great as part of a mezza (appetizer) table with other small dishes. See suggestions above. 3)Storage: Generally speaking, if you refrigerate homemade hummus in a tight-lid container, it should last a good week. It usually helps to add a top thin layer of olive oil, it seals it nicely. You can also prepare some chickpeas in advance (soak and boil according to instructions). Refrigerate in a tight container, and when you are ready to make hummus, blend the appropriate amount of chickpeas with the remaining ingredients.