Making your own hummus is easy and affordable. When you peel the chickpeas before blending, a light, silky texture emerges that is simply irresistible. Hummus has been a mainstay of the Middle Eastern diet for centuries. It is eaten as both an appetizer and a main course, usually served with hot baked pita bread and a bowl of olives. Hummus is often paired with fresh fried falafel and sometimes shared alongisde ful mudammas in a dish known as hummus ful. In Western countries, it tends to be served as an appetizer or snack dip alongside vegetable crudités, pita bread or chips.

Hummus is very nutritious… and if you make it yourself, it’s affordable too. You can make about three times the amount of hummus for the price of one store-bought tub, and it tastes so much better made fresh. As long as you have a food processor, nothing could be easier. Of course, you could mash it the old fashioned way with a mortar and pestle, but it will take some serious elbow grease. I highly recommend the processor if you have access to one.

INGREDIENTS

  • 3 1/2 cups canned OR soaked and cooked chickpeas/garbanzo beans
  • 1 tbsp baking soda (optional – to help skin the chickpeas, then rinsed away – see instructions below)
  • 1/3 cup tahini paste
  • 8 roasted garlic cloves , or more to taste (you may substitute 1-3 fresh garlic cloves if you prefer a stronger sharper flavor)
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice , or more to taste
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil , plus more for garnish
  • 3/4 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp salt , or more to taste
  • Pinch cayenne pepper
  • Paprika and fresh minced parsley for garnish optional

METHOD

To make this hummus ultra creamy, you should peel the cooked chickpeas. While this step is optional. To peel and remove the chickpea skins easily, place them in a skillet with 1 tbsp baking soda and stir, coating all the beans thoroughly with baking soda. Heat up the skillet over medium, stirring the beans constantly, for 2-3 minutes until the beans are completely heated throughout and the skins begin to separate from the beans.

Pour the hot beans into a large mixing bowl, then immerse them in 3-4 changes of cold water, agitating the beans with your hands to release the skins. Loose skins should float to the surface where they can easily be discarded with each batch of cold water. When most of the skins are gone, proceed with the recipe.

Another way of skinning the chickpeas (which takes a lot longer) is to take each chickpea and gently squeeze to remove the skin, then discard the skins before processing. While this step is not completely necessary, it will ensure that your hummus turns out very smooth and creamy.

Reserve about 15-20 whole chickpeas for garnish. Outfit your food processor with a blade attachment. Place chickpeas, tahini paste, roasted garlic, lemon juice, 1 tbsp olive oil, salt, cumin, and cayenne pepper into the processor. Process the mixture until it becomes a smooth, creamy hummus.

Taste the mixture and add more salt, lemon juice, or garlic to taste. Process again to blend any additional ingredients. If the texture seems too thick, add lukewarm water and continue to process until desired consistency is reached.

Transfer hummus to a shallow bowl and create a well in the center with a spoon. Garnish with reserved chickpeas, a drizzle of olive oil, and a sprinkle of paprika and minced fresh parsley. Serve with pita, crackers, or fresh vegetables for dipping.

Hummus is everywhere. While it’s been around for a long time, this chickpea and tahini dip has really started to take off recently. If you’ve looked at the refrigerated section of your grocery store lately, some have entire displays of the many brands and versions of hummus. There’s plain hummus, flavored hummus, avocado hummus, black bean hummus.

It is one of the meals that we can say that fits any dinner. It is nutritious and tasty. This is one of the recipes I most enjoy making.

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