Hummus! A short word with a long story! There are countless recipes for this popular dish; some of them are “top secret”!
The truth is that making excellent Hummus is simple and easy. The way is paved for you once you realize the correct ratio between the main ingredients. The “secrets” are usually minor, in my opinion, and depend on personal taste.
Let’s start with the variety of “secrets” I managed to “fish”:
Some swear that it is mandatory to cook the chickpeas with onions and garlic; others insist that you remove the thin skin from the cooked grains. Another group insists that you add baking soda. Finally, some are meticulous in crushing the cooked chickpeas with mortar and pestle only, and by no means in a food processor or other electrical appliance!
There’s Thomas, the Recipe-Artist, who takes the traditional Hummus to the ‘Far West’: Thomas caramelizes shallots in maple syrup and adds them to his Hummus with wine and plenty of spices such as cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg(!) Very original – utterly different from the traditional one!
And there’s the former-hummus-man who revealed to me – just because I’m a good friend – the secret revealed to him by a good friend from Qalqilya: that the unique taste is obtained through a handful of roasted peanuts! Then, of course, he also adds sugar as a preservative.
Before we jump into the recipe itself, let’s have a short journey of breaking the bond-of-silence and shattering some myths – a small coup 🙂
I find that there is almost no difference between canned chickpeas and those that are home-cooked. Plus, it’s cost-effective since you can use the water in the can to make vegan mayonnaise or merengue! Besides – the tahini is much more important!
What you see is what you get
Please note that the manufacturer is reliable: all the ingredients must be indicated on the packaging and contain only chickpeas, water, and salt. Other ingredients like baking soda might affect the quality of our chickpeas, and no less important – we will not be able to make mayonnaise from the chickpea water. What’s more, baking soda increases the symphony of gas in the stomach, and it is not so pleasant 😉
There is no other way to describe it: tahini is the queen in Hummus! It is the main contributor to taste and texture!
In my opinion, there is a bond of silence regarding the actual amount of fat in many recipes.
For god sake! Since when do we cook a pot of rice for a battalion with just one tablespoon of “low-fat oil”? Hah?
Erin, a brave influencer from the successful blog Olives For Dinner, uses a lot of oil and nuts and declares: “Fat is good! Fat is flavor!”
And let’s not forget that tahini is good for the Holy Trinity: it lubricates the wheels of the brain, takes good care of your heart, and moreover – it warms your soul!
So let’s calm down about the amount of fat: stop worrying and start enjoying the benefit of good fat!!!!
The correct ratio in Hummus must be at least 1: 3; That is, on one cup of cooked chickpeas, add at least (emphasis on at least) 1/3 cup of tahini. If you put less, you get a dense spread with a weird taste.
Ah! I almost forgot: the most suitable tahini is regular tahini (“white”). The whole sesame seeds tahini will give the Hummus a bitter taste.
And one more thing: the tahini must be of excellent quality! How will you know? If you like it as is – raw – it is good enough for your Hummus!
No matter which version you make – the recipe must always have garlic, lemon juice, a small quantity of sweetener (to balance the flavors), and of course salt (caution: canned chickpeas usually have enough salt).
You can add a pinch of cumin (a great principle I learned from Oz Telem: “The law for using cumin: if you recognize that you put cumin – it means you put too much…”).
You can add spices such as Bharat mixture, shawarma seasoning blend, ground coriander, and more. Feel free to do your experiments. Anyway, start with a tiny pinch and increase gradually – Better Safe than sorry 🙂
Here are two versions: one is based on Thomas’ avant-garde recipe and contains caramelized onions – while the other is based on the Hummus-Man from Qalqilya and contains peanut butter.
Garnish the hummus with some cooked chickpea grains, olive oil, chopped parsley, red onion, or caramelized onion, paprika, or sumac. Serve with pita, grissini breadsticks, or some crackers, and enjoy 🙂
Hummus with caramelized onions
Hummus with peanut butter
- chopped red onion or caramelized onion
- olive oil
- cooked chickpea grains
- chopped parsley
- paprika, smoked paprika or sumac
- tahini dressing
- pita, grissini breadsticks, crackers
Hummus with caramelized onions
- Heat some oil in a pan and add the onion; Sprinkle a little.
- Fry over high heat until it turns golden, lower the heat, and fry until it starts to brown.
- Cover and fry for a few more minutes until completely browned.
- In a food processor, place minced garlic and lemon juice and process for a minute or two.
- Let the mixture rest for a few minutes in the food processor – to absorb the flavors. (In the meantime, you can chop the parsley, slice the onion, and make t tahini dressing).
- Transfer the contents of the can of chickpeas to a small pot and heat slightly. (possible in the microwave)
- Drain the chickpeas from the liquids but leave about two tablespoons. Set aside a few chickpea grains for garnish. You can use the drained water to make mayonnaise
- Add the warm chickpeas and black salt; process for a minute or two (depending on the processor's power) until the chickpeas turn into a paste.
- Add water and process for another minute; if necessary, add more water gradually until you get the desired thickness.
- taste and adjust seasoning if necessary
Hummus with peanut butter
- The same method, except instead of caramelized onion, add the peanut butter and agave to the chickpeas.