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 endeavor to stick with it!
The second question is…is hummus a basic? Well the recipe is pretty basic and its a great dip so I’ve gone with it.
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 stinks to high heaven!
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. 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.
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
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.
Tip – You can of course do this by hand – ideally with a pestle and morter but I imagine it will take a little while and I would probably hold off on adding the liquid ingredients until the chickpeas are well mushed.
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.