The Very Best Hummus
Creamy homemade Hummus is one of the loveliest things in the world. Big call but it is so very true.
Many years back, I was somewhat obsessed with hummus perfection. I called it my ‘hummus mission’. Michael called it ‘annoying dried chickpeas rehydrating constantly on the bench top’. Well, he didn’t really say those words. Not exactly. He is far more patient than I give him credit for, but I could read in the play that these are the words he wanted to say were he not such the patient man he is. Instead, he would simply roll his eyes at his decreasing breakfast space and give me a half-smile and say “I really love you and your quirky annoying hummus, my darling wife.” Well, he didn’t really say those words either. Not exactly.
If you have the Relish Mama cookbook, you will hopefully have tried my quick & easy hummus recipe. It is an absolute winner. This is also the recipe I teach in some of our cooking classes to include in our mezze dishes. For this particular recipe, I speed up the process and use really good quality canned chickpeas rather than soaking and cooking dried chickpeas. The results are always wonderful and it means that no eye-rolling is required by partners who object to dried chickpeas taking up permanent residence on benchtops as they soak.
This very best homemade hummus recipe that I am so delighted to share with you here gives you methods for making hummus with either dried chickpeas or great quality tinned chickpeas.
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The Very Best Hummus
- 1 Food processor
- 1 Large bowl to soak the chickpeas
- 1 Saucepan to cook the chickpeas
- 225 g dried chickpeas soaked overnight ** (alternatively use 2 tins of drained chickpeas rinsed well & drained)
- 1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda only if using dried chickpeas
- 1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda additional (only if using dried chickpeas)
- 120 g hulled tahini good quality
- 1-2 lemons juiced (to taste)
- 1 large garlic clove crushed
- 2 cubes of ice
- 1/2 to 1 teaspoon sea salt depending on taste
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 2 to 3 tablespoons chickpea water
To serve – my favourite way to serve & decorate hummus is with some reserved whole chickpeas in the centre of the dish as well as a dash of sumac or smoked paprika. Finish with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil & fresh parsley leaves.
- Soak the dried chickpeas overnight in plenty of cold water + 1 teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda (a minimum of 12 hours soaking time).
- The following day, drain the water and place chickpeas in a large saucepan and add double the volume of water. Add the additional bicarb and bring the pot to a simmer and then cook over a medium heat for between 40 – 60 minutes. The cooking time will vary depending on the chickpeas so start checking and tasting around the 30-minute mark to be safest.
- Stir from time to time, particularly nearing the end of the cooking time. The chickpeas are ready when they are very soft. You obviously need to taste for this. Discard any skins that rise to the surface.
- Drain the liquid but be sure to keep some, as you will need it to make the hummus.
- It is best to make hummus when the chickpeas are still a little warm.
- If using tinned chickpeas, drain the chickpeas and rinse well. Place the chickpeas in a saucepan and cover with water. Bring to a boil & then turn down & simmer for 5-10 minutes. Remove the scum from the top, with a slotted spoon, as you go.
- In the bowl of a food processor, combine the tahini and juice of 1 lemon (reserve the other lemon and add only if required after tasting your hummus). Process for 1 minute. Scrape sides and bottom of bowl then turn on and process for 30 seconds. This extra time helps “whip” or “cream” the tahini, making smooth and creamy hummus possible.
- Add most of the warm chickpeas to the food processor (reserve approx. a tablespoons worth of the chickpeas for serving). Add the garlic, ice cubes, salt and cumin as well as 2 tablespoons of the reserved chickpea water. Process for a minute, scrape sides and bottom of bowl. Keep processing then for 5 or so minutes until smooth. You are looking for a smooth and velvety consistency.
- Check your hummus - most likely it will be too thick or still have tiny bits of chickpea. To fix this, with the food processor turned on, slowly add a little more of the reserved water until the consistency is perfect.
- Taste the hummus. Is it perfect or does the tahini, lemon, or salt need tweaking?
- When serving, place some of the hummus into a beautiful serving dish and use a spoon to make a little well in the centre. Add the reserved whole cooked chickpeas to the centre then drizzle a little extra virgin olive oil over the top and sprinkle lightly with sumac or smoked paprika and fresh parsley leaves, if desired.Additional Notes:
- Best served at room temperature.
- Will store in the fridge for up to 5-7 days.
- ** You can always soak and cook more dried chickpeas than required. You can freeze cooked chickpeas and even freeze the cooking liquid, in batches. Genius move, I tell you!