These days a short walk through most supermarkets and you will see every flavor of hummus imaginable.
From spinach to carrot, avocado and chocolate, they can all be found in the grocery store.
This is a relatively new phenomenon when it comes to this very time-honored dish.
As compared to traditional hummus all of these additions are sacrilege to a purist.
Making good hummus is an art, and you definitely need the right tools to help you along your way.
Chickpeas are widely consumed in the Middle East and North Africa, and are the basis for several dishes.
Also known as garbanzo beans, they first originated in the Middle East.
From there the chickpeas spread to India, and the African continent.
As more explorers made their way to new lands, the tiny chickpea went along for the ride.
Chickpeas are a very nutritious food, containing the highest amount of protein of any bean, and are exceedingly good for you.
What is Hummus?
Hummus is the Arabic word for chickpeas, or garbanzo beans.
It appears to be a dish that may have originated in Ancient Egypt.
However, you will find many countries will claim it as their own.
To make authentic hummus, dry chickpeas are soaked overnight until they have rehydrated.
The beans are then cooked and ground with garlic, creating a thick paste.
The two pastes are mixed together and as if by magic hummus emerges.
Hummus is always topped with olive oil, this is pretty much a given.
Hummus can be served with any meal or as a meal on its own, and is not just a breakfast food.
How to Make Garlic Hummus
Put a whole head of garlic wrapped in aluminium foil into a hot oven until the cloves of garlic are soft.
It is best to use dry chickpeas that have soaked overnight so that you can remove the skins.
This is done by boiling the chickpeas in water with baking soda, where the skins will dislodge from the bean.
Skim the skins off the top of the water, where they will float.
You won’t be able to get them all, but that is ok, just do your best.
(If you don’t have time to make the chickpeas from scratch, you can use canned chickpeas instead.)
Once fully soaked, cook them on a simmer until tender and soft, about 45 minutes.
Drain the chickpeas (reserve some of the liquid) and allow them to cool.
Don’t worry about adding more of this liquid if needed.
Scrape the sides and bottom of the food processor to make sure the chick peas are well blended.
Homemade hummus is so much better than store bought; there really is no comparison.
The key is to have a blender/food processor that can blend everything to a very smooth and creamy consistency.
A final step if you want a super smooth consistency is to force the hummus through
Use a fine sieve to make sure you end up with a smooth paste.
If the mixture is too wet, add a little more tahini, and if too dry, add more lemon juice.
What Goes with Hummus?
Hummus is probably the most famous mezze dish known around the world.
Inexpensive, delicious, and highly nutritious, hummus is sometimes served as a main dish, but most often as a side dish.
The trend for the last few years in the US has been to add vegetables directly to the hummus.
I am a bit of a purest when it comes to hummus, and I like it in its traditional form.
The roasted garlic flavor is addition enough for me, and right on the edge of my purist sensibilities.
Can Hummus Be Frozen?
It absolutely can be frozen for four to six months in your home freezer.
Be sure to put it in a container appropriate for the freezer.
Don’t fill the container all the way to the top, the hummus will expand as it freezes.
However, do put a piece of plastic wrap directly on the surface of the hummus inside the container.
This will help reduce any freezer burn that will diminish the flavor of the hummus.
To thaw, place in your fridge overnight until fully defrosted.
Best to freeze in smaller rather than larger containers if you can.
Tips for Making
- Use freshly soaked chickpeas and remove skins as best you can by boiling with baking soda.
- Use a powerful blender or food processor which will allow you to get as smooth a consistency as possible.
- Mix tahini with lemon juice before mixing with chickpeas for the better results.
Roasted Garlic Hummus Recipe
- Put a whole head of garlic wrapped in aluminium foil in a hot oven until cloves are soft, remove and cool.
- Drain chickpeas and set liquid aside.
- Put chickpeas in a blender.
- Add the chickpea liquid, the cooked garlic, salt, and lemon juice.
- Blend until smooth. Add more chickpea liquid or lemon juice if necessary.
- Pour chickpea mix into a bowl.
- Add tahini. Stir until tahini is completely incorporated.
- If hummus is too runny you can always add more tahini, if too thick add more chickpea liquid.