We love Hummus. It’s been a staple in our house for years. At least once or twice a week I make a big batch and as quickly as it’s made, it’s eaten. We put it on sandwiches, dip vegetables, eat it with lamb, etc. It can even stand on its own with warm pita. Hummus is healthy and versatile and I am happy it has become popular in recent years.
When I think of home-made hummus, I think of my father-in-law. I have never met anyone close to having his passion for food and the way he expressed love through cooking. He taught us to not only make the food, but to present it as a work of art. Whenever we visited him or he visited us, it always quickly became a party with lots of people and the most delicious and creative home-made dishes.
He was the person who taught me so much about mediterranean cooking, including this recipe. So I am writing this in memory and in honor of my father-in-law, Gadi Lustig, who made every meal a celebration and never let anyone eat alone.
Hummus is very easy to make and once you start making your own, you may never go back to store bought hummus.
Ingredients (specific notes about each ingredient below): 1 Can (15.5 oz) of Chickpeas 1/3 cup tahini (or to taste) 2–3 garlic cloves, minced (or to taste) Juice from 1/2 lemon (or to taste) 1–2 tbsp olive oil Ground cumin, to taste (or to taste) Salt and White pepper (optional) Food Processor
Notice how "(or to taste)" appears next to next to many of the ingredients. That's because this is one of those recipes that is truly personal. Some like it more lemony. others like it more garlicky. The amount used in of the ingredients that say "(or to taste)" can vary.
Important Ingredient Notes
Chickpeas: Many recipes say you need to soak the dry beans overnight. I started out making hummus with dry chickpeas, but found the canned work well. This is the only ingredient shortcut I recommend. I am sure there are some that disagree with me, but after doing a number of taste tests, I have found it has no impact on the quality of the hummus and since the flavor comes from the other ingredients, it has no impact on flavor. I have tried several different brands and always go back to Goya for the best texture and taste.
Tahini: The quality and taste of the hummus really comes from the tahini. The better the tahini, the better the hummus. Try different brands until you find one that you like best.
Garlic: Use fresh. Pre-packaged minced garlic is easier but it is mixed with oils or other ingredients and changes the flavor of the hummus. Mincing 2–3 gloves takes no time and is worth it.
Lemon Juice: Again, fresh is best and not very time consuming.
Olive Oil: Olive oil can vary greatly from one brand to another. The more you work with it, the more you can distinguish good olive oil from those that have been cut with other oils (yes, that happens). For this recipe, so little is used it doesn’t make a huge difference, but if you continue to hone your own style of making this, olive oil may get more important to you so try different kinds.
Cumin: Cumin is a very strong spice that adds depth to the hummus. Take a little taste of it before using it, it should be strong but not bitter (which means it is old). Use it sparingly if you have never used it before.
Salt and White Pepper: I added this in as some people like to add it to their hummus. If you want to add this, use it sparingly because there are enough strong ingredients that this really isn’t necessary. I suggested white pepper so it isn’t visible.
Drain the can of chickpeas into a bowl, saving the water. It will be cloudy from chickpeas, that’s OK.
Coarsely grind the chickpeas in the food processor. Add a little of the water from the can, if necessary, to make them moist. Add just a little though, too much will make them watery. You can always add more to change the thickness of the hummus later.
Add all the other ingredients and use the food processor to blend them together.
Taste the hummus and decide if you need more garlic, lemon, cumin. Add in any extra flavors and grind them again.
Look at the texture. Is it too thick? Too thin? If it is too thick add a little (very little) water that was put aside from the can and mix again.
Place it in a bowl or plate and cover it with a thin layer of olive oil, otherwise it can get dry on the top.
Top it with any ingredient or serve as is. Some favorite toppings are: pine nuts, paprika, whole chickpeas, parsley, etc.
Photo credits: Pixabay