Perfect Chickpea Hummus

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Hummus is the ultimate simple health food – proof that healthy food can be quick to whip up and super tasty. Although I used dried chickpeas in this recipe, you can avoid soaking and cooking time completely by using canned chickpeas instead. This is a modified version of the recipe for ‘hummus bi tahini’ in The Complete Middle East Cookbook, by Tess Mallos. I have been making hummus this way for at least 20 years. Just haven’t found a better hummus and the family loves this stuff. 

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This hummus is thick and emulsifies really well without any oil to help that along. You won’t miss the oil. There is no compromise the taste – in fact, this hummus tastes so much fresher than the stuff you buy. It keeps for a week, refrigerated.

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To serve this in a traditional way, spread the hummus almost to the edges of a plate or shallow bowl and garnish with coarsely chopped fresh parsley, toasted pine nuts and a dash of chilli powder. Tear off pieces of freshly baked pita bread and use the bread to scoop up the hummus. Can also be served with crackers or fresh vegetables. 

FOR THE HUMMUS

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 cup dried chickpeas (also called garbanzo beans)
  • ½ cup lemon juice
  • 1/3 cup tahini
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled, coarsely minced
  • 1 ½ tsp. salt

Pick through chick peas and remove any pebbles. Rinse and cover with about 3 cups of water. Soak 12 hours or overnight. Drain the soaking water, thoroughly rinse the beans and place them in a pot with 6-8 cups fresh water.

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Bring the water to a boil, then reduce the heat and gently simmer the beans for 45 – 60 minutes. Drain the beans, reserving 1 cup of the cooking liquid. At this point, if you want a really authentic hummus you can place the beans in a large bowl filled with cold water and when the beans are cool enough to handle, rub them between your fingers to agitate them.  The skins should slip off fairly easily. (You can do this with canned beans too). 

This step isn’t as tedious as it sounds. The skins tend to float to the top of the bowl and the beans sink to the bottom making it pretty easy to discard the skins. It isn’t necessary to remove the skins from every single bean, but your hummus will have a silkier texture and creamier consistency if you take the time to remove the skins.

Tip: the average person won’t notice – it takes a fairly discerning palate to know whether or not the skins are removed. 

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Place chickpeas in high speed blender or food processor fitted with metal blade. Add lemon juice, minced garlic, one teaspoon of the salt and ½ cup of the reserved cooking liquid. Puree mixture a few seconds to break up the beans and then add the tahini. Continue blending until smooth and thick, adjusting the flavour with additional salt and lemon juice. Adjust the consistency by adding more reserved liquid if needed. Hummus will thicken up on standing. 

Yield: 3 cups

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