This traditional Middle Eastern dip is made with chickpeas, garlic, lemon and tahini.
*For the chickpeas, it’s best to cook your own, rather then using canned. If cooking your own chickpeas, soak the chickpeas over night — cover the chickpeas with double their volume of water and add 1 1/2 teaspoons of baking soda. Let re-hydrate overnight. The baking soda helps the skins to become soft, which in turn produces a much smoother hummus.
To cook the chickpeas, drain them and then add them to a medium pot and cover with double their volume of water. Add the remaining 3/4 tsp of baking soda and bring to a boil. At this point, turn down the heat and let the chickpeas cook over a very low simmer — about 2 hours or so, or until they are soft and easy to mash. If needed, as the chickpeas cook, top them up with water so they are fully covered.
Once done, drain the chickpeas, but SAVE all of the cooking liquid.
To make the hummus, first purée the garlic in a food processor. Note that roasted garlic can also be used.
Next, add the still WARM chickpeas—reserving some for garnish—tahini and spices (if using). Pulse a few times and then add the fresh lemon juice, salt and purée again. With the machine running, slowly add either some of the cooking liquid and/or a bit of olive oil. The final consistency will depend on how you like your hummus, but typically it is served somewhat soft/runny but still hold it’s shape. If making it the more traditional/runnier hummus, you may need to use quite a bit of the cooking liquid—just add it slowly and check the consistency from time to time, to ensure you don’t make it too runny.
To serve the hummus, spread the hummus out in a shallow bowl or plate and drizzle the surface with a bit of extra-virgin olive oil (if using) and sprinkle with a bit of paprika and garnish with the reserved chickpeas. Serve either warm or cold with some pita bread or vegetables.
Optionally, the hummus can be garnished with some finely diced onions and some roughly chopped parsley.
Besides being fantastic with Greek, or any other Mediterranean food, hummus is a healthy dip for vegetables, and even adds a nice kick to burgers and sandwiches. Try serving with warm pita brushed with garlic butter.
Hummus will keep for several days in the refrigerator.
This recipe reflects a more authentic hummus with a stronger tahini presence, unlike most North American recipes. If you prefer, you can decrease the amount of tahini to suit your tastes.