The higher we are placed, the more humbly we should walk. -Marcus Tullius Cicero
Hummus is a humble food. At first glance, it really doesn’t come across as all that impressive. Its recipe, simple; its appearance, quite bland. But don’t be fooled. Hummus is not just a tasty, super healthy food but an excellent substitute for the many unhealthy snacks and spreads we have around these days.
Hummus has been a staple of Mediterranean and Middle Eastern cuisine for 10 000 years and surprisingly, the hummus that we know and enjoy today is still very much like that of our ancestors.
Most recipes today use canned chickpeas (or garbanzo beans as they are also called) but I like to start with dried chickpeas. Using dried chickpeas is a lot more economical than buying canned chickpeas and there’s no worries about any potential contaminants or extra salt. I think many people avoid using dried beans because they don’t know how to cook them. The easiest way to cook dried chickpeas is using a pressure cooker. A pressure cooker is one of those items in your kitchen that you can’t imagine life without once you get one.
I also prefer to use roasted garlic as opposed to fresh garlic. It adds the roasted garlic flavour and takes away the garlic “bite” of raw garlic. If I’m not serving it to my kids, I like to sprinkle some red chili flakes on top. A sprinkle of za’atar also works well. I garnish it with parsley or coriander if I’m going after presentation. Topping with roasted chickpeas adds an extra crunch.
- 1 cup dried chickpeas + 4 1/2 cups water for cooking (This will give about 2 1/2 cups of cooked chickpeas.)
- 5 tbsp lemon juice (you can start off with 3 and add more as you like)
- 1 ½ tsp salt
- ½ tsp cumin
- 1/4 tsp red chili powder
- 3 large garlic cloves, roasted (if not roasted use only 1 clove)
- ½ cup tahini
- 1/4-1/2 cup olive oil (depending on how creamy you want it)
- Cook chickpeas using 4 ½ cups water in pressure cooker for 40 min after the first whistle. Let cool completely.
- When the chickpeas have cooled and you open the pressure cooker, you will have approximately 2 1/2 cups of cooked chickpeas and just a small amount of liquid. Do not discard the liquid.
- Combine the chickpeas with the remaining ingredients (start with 1/4 cup olive oil) and blend in a food processor or blender until well combined and smooth. Add as much of the chickpea cooking liquid to achieve the desired consistency. It should not be too runny nor too tough to scoop up with some pita. Add additional olive oil for a creamier texture.
Note: Hummus can be stored up to 1 week in a sealed container in the refrigerator. Use as a dip with your favourite veggies or whole wheat pita or as a spread for a boost of flavour and nutrition to a sandwich or burger.