Original Hummus

It’s the king of dip. Yes, you heard that right, in both taste and versatility. It’s a healthy companion for your chips or veggies. Full of fiber and chickpeas goodness, it’s our must haves on any given days. What do you need for a good hummus anyway, couple ingredients and the recipe, whoa, done. I guess that’s not enough, if you read my post you will know it all. It’s a journey to the perfection, very interesting findings on the way here. Hope you enjoy as much as I did.

After literally going through tubs of these, creamy, classic, flavored, organic, you name it and we had them all, finally I decided to make it at home. The trigger was jalapeno cilantro hummus from Trader Joe’s and our longing for it, smile. I am not against store-bought food items, I like some of these myself, it’s just that sometimes it makes me think; will it be better if its homemade and knowing what goes in to it, freshest of ingredients used, the answer comes down to little extra efforts and lots of satisfaction.

Hummus with Mediterranean flat bread & Meze Labne

This recipe is adopted and modified version of two best recipes available, smitten kitchen’s ethereally smooth hummus and best hummus recipe by humus101. I can taste the deliciousness of your hummus from your photographs, its looks that good Deb Perelman from Smitten Kitchen. You eexplained well going extra mile in removing the chickpeas skin to get utterly smooth hummus. I can see that through the photographs. I even love the idea of making peace with the technique in pealing the chickpeas and daydreaming. Still, I just couldn’t do it and went on and used skin intact but well cooked (Read not over cooked) chickpeas for my classic hummus. And let me admit this, hands down, peel the chickpeas if you want smooth, buttery hummus, period. If you don’t mind it being just a tad bit grainy go right ahead and use it with the skin on and save yourself sometime.

Another step in making good hummus explained by Shooky Galili, “The Hummus Guy” from humus101 blog, a journalist and blogger from Israel and technique tested in my kitchen; don’t skimp on home cooked chickpeas over convenience of canned. Check out details, it is very informative and affirmative blog. I have tried making hummus with both kind of chickpeas, canned and dry and definitely taste the difference between two and you guessed it right it was enough difference for me that I choose to become a dry chickpeas advocate. All I did was soak my chickpeas night before and pressures cook it next morning while I was preparing my tea. Well, technically I did not use any extra time out of my over scheduled day if you are thinking about the extra time that goes in doing it from scratch.

Blender friendly Hummus recipe

You can even cook extra cup of chickpeas and use it to prepare Chole (famous Indian chickpeas curry) or toss it over salad as added bonus. Speaking of Chole, I have a perfect semi-homemade 10 minute cooking recipe but that I will share sometime later.

For now let’s stick to the Smooth and Creamy Original Hummus recipe and explore the world of chickpeas

Original Hummus

Dip in to Creamy, Dreamy chickpeas goodness

Prep      |     Cook      |   Total Time

15 min           15min            30min

Allow time to soak dry chickpeas for 10-12 hours

Plus allow 1 hr to cook and cool dry chickpeas

Recipe type: Dip

Yield: 2 cup

Level: Easy

Ingredients

2 cup cooked chickpeas (1 cup dried chickpeas, look for smaller size chickpeas and not big garbanzo been for better testing hummus)

1 cup reserved cooking liquid or plain water with a pinch of salt or more per taste

1/3 cup tahini paste (NOT tahini sauce, Al Wadi Al Akhdar Tahina is my favorite

2 big clove of garlic roughly chopped

1/4 tsp dry roasted cumin powder
(Find fresh cumin at any Indian grocery store, grind in coffee grinder for the best aromatic result, little goes a long way)

1/2 tsp sea salt or more per taste plus 2 tsp table salt to add while cooking chickpeas

3 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice or juice from one big lemon (NOT lime, reserve that for guacamole instead)

2 tbsp extra virgin (good) olive oil and 2 tbsp more for garnish

Directions

Take a cup of chickpeas in a plate and do a quick check for any damaged grain, small stone or anything that you want to leave out of your plate. Doesn’t that seem so familiar? If you grew up in India like me, you have seen your mother doing it all the time before cooking any legume or pulses. It’s like a second nature when using dry legumes.

Wash them several times until the water is clear. It’s cooking legume 101 and of course use pressure cooker to speed up the process and save precious natural gas, being kind to the environment.

Soak a cup of chickpeas to yield 2 cups of hummus the night before in approx 3 cups of warm water. chickpeas will absorb most of the water and almost double in volume. To speed up soaking process, you can soak chickpeas in the boiling water for 4-6 hours and move to next step.

Next morning rinse chickpeas and in pressure cooker, add 4 cups of water or until water comes about 1 inch above chickpeas, add 2 tsp of salt and cook the chickpeas for 15 minutes on medium heat until 3-4 whistles goes off depending upon the type of pressure cooker.

I generally start pressure cooker on high heat and then after one whistle goes off I turn the heat down to medium low and let it cook on its pace for the remaining time. This will not only cook legume on time as planned but will also eliminate water burning off and prevent from damaging the pressure cooker.

Don’t be intimidated, make pressure cooker your friend, it will not only cut your time of cooking dry beans and legume in half but will also save energy like I mentioned earlier.

After cooking is done let the pressure cooker rest for about an hour before opening. This will allow cooking to finish, the hot air pressure to subside and you will be able to open the cooker with ease. In the meantime you can take care of other businesses.

If you are using slow cooker, add same amount of water and salt and let it cook for 3-4 hours until the chickpeas becomes soft and can be pressed easily between two fingers.

Reserve a cup of cooking liquid to thin hummus while blending.

Peel the chickpeas if you want to get heavenly smooth hummus and if you don’t mind bit texture you can skip that step and move to the next. For once though give it a go, you will be glad do did.

I find it easy to peel the chickpeas by pressing between fingers while slightly removing the pointy part and the chickpeas pops right out. I use that time to catch up with my kids or parents. In the process everyone gets their fair share to nibble, smile.

Now put all the ingredients in the blender with only ½ cup of water, yes this is a blender friendly recipe, it will require less cooking water if you are using a food processor. Start with ¼ cup in that case.

Blend, while adding additional ¼ water little at time. My kitchen aid blender takes about ¾ cup of water total to get to desired consistency. You may need more or less water depending upon the kind of machine you are using.

Stop when it starts to whirl and make wonderful swirl on top like you find them on unopened store-bought hummus containers. You want it just a bit thinner consistency than you intent to have when serving, as when hummus rests it get a little thicker.

Scoop it out in a bowl or storing container and drizzle olive oil on top. If storing in bowl cover it with plastic wrap to prevent crust.

Let it rest at room temperature for an hour or two before serving for better flavor. However, I like mine at room temperature if you like it out of refrigerator go right ahead.

I recommend making it a day in advance for the party. It stays fresh for a week in refrigerator in an air tight container. You can also freeze additional batch, just though in the refrigerator for 12 hours or the night before and mix with spatula if separated to get well blended consistency.

Before serving drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle some za’atar (Blend of Middle Eastern herbs) or sumac (tangy red spice), serve with pita, Mediterranean flat bread or veggies of your choice. Use hummus for making sandwich for lunch or use it for after school snack.

Mix a tablespoon of jalapeno cilantro pesto in to a cup of classic hummus to make jalapeno cilantro hummus like the one from Trader Joe’s or mix flavor of your choice. Find the recipe for jalapeno cilantro pesto on my previous post.

Here is a quick recipe for Mediterranean style flat bread by Kristin Monte, my friend, a good cook and awesome mom. Sprinkle za’atar (can be found in Middle Eastern grocery store) over Naan, Indian flat bread (Can be found at Giant, Costco or any Indian grocery store), drizzle olive oil and toast in oven for few minutes or just enough to warm the flat bread through. And enjoy with fresh homemade hummus.

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7 thoughts on “Original Hummus

  1. Hey Jinal, I am loving your blog. I was just adding these ingredients to my grocery list to make the hummus this upcoming week, and I noticed a slight issue: the line that says “1/3 tahini paste” doesn’t include the unit of measure…I assume it’s 1/3 *cup* tahini paste but wanted to be sure. I’m really looking forward to making these because it seems very healthy and delicious. Keep up the great work!!

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