Hummus has taken the world by storm over the last few years but as with many things, the homemade version is vastly superior to the supermarket ones. Its a perfect snack, dip or side and can be gussied up with all manner of additional flavours. Try making it yourself and you won’t look back!
I was quiet late to the hummus party and it was even later when I could bring myself to dip raw carrot in it. I got there eventually and now I love the stuff! What I am still not sure of is how to spell it! Humous? Hummous? Humus? Hummus? I googled it but as it is an Arabic word (literally meaning “chickpeas”) and Arabic is written in a different script, there simply is no direct and ‘proper’ translation in the latin alphabet – see also ‘popadam’/’pappadam’/’popadom’ etc. I’ve gone with ‘hummus’ and I will endeavour to stick with it!
There are so many variables with hummus and you can easily adapt the basic recipe to your taste. I like mine fairly heavy on the citrus and super smooth. And so I use plenty of lemon juice and I peel the chickpeas which is the ultimate trick for a super smooth finish. I timed it and it took me 12 minutes to pop the skins off a whole tin of chickpeas. You don’t need to, you will simply end up with a chunkier dip. But try having a sit down with 2 bowls in front of you and you’ll realise you’ve finished in no time. It is also strangely satisfying!
For the other kind of variable, you can mix in all manner of other ingredients to create interesting hummus varieties. I like to use roasted and pureed butternut squash and a little dried cumin or a handful of fresh coriander and some fresh red chillies for an almost mexican twist.
1 400g Tin Chickpeas
2 Tbsp Tahini Paste
1 Tsp Garlic Paste
1-2 Tbsp Lemon Juice
1 Tsp Sea Salt Flakes (and more to taste if needed)
Olive Oil and Sumac/Paprika to Serve
- You can of course make the paste by hand – ideally with a pestle and mortar but I imagine it would take a little while and I would probably hold off on adding the liquid ingredients until the chickpeas are well mushed.
- And so I use my little Kenwood Mixer* to whizz up the puree. You could also use a blender or larger processor.
- I use tinned chickpeas – I don’t know anyone prepared enough to start making this the day before they need it with dried ones and I certainly am not. And so I generally keep a tin in my cupboard and a large tub of tahini paste with it. Both are readily available in the supermarkets.
- Lemon juice is best fresh but the bottled kind from the fridge is just fine and I always use the jars of garlic paste.
- As for the water that comes in the chickpea tin, you can drain this off, whisk it up and make vegan meringues. Or not – it really stinks to high heaven!
Start by opening 1 400g Tin of Chickpea and draining the liquid – keep it for now as you will use some in the hummus.
If doing so, peel the chickpeas by popping the skin off each chickpea with your fingers and discarding the skins.
Add the chickpeas, 2 Tbsp Tahini Paste, 1 Tsp Garlic Paste, 1-2 Tbsp Lemon Juice, 1 Tsp Sea Salt Flakes and 2 Tbsp of the reserved chickpea water to a small processor or blender.
Blitz until smooth. You may need to add more of the chickpea water to achieve the desired consistency.
Taste it. Add more lemon, more salt, more tahini and/or more garlic as you wish. Blitz again and repeat until you love the flavour.
Serve the hummus however you wish – in a bowl with crudites or dolloped on top of a cous-cous salad perhaps. For maximum appeal, I like to spread it over a too-large plate or bowl with the back of the spoon and serve with a drizzle of Olive Oil and a sprinkle of Sumac or Paprika.
Let me know your favourite way to serve hummus in the comments!
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For more basic recipe ideas, why not check out some of my other popular posts:
For more of a middle Eastern flavour, check out my Cauliflower Cous Cous, Chicken and Red Pepper Salad.
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