I am enchanted with the hummus you get in good Middle Eastern restaurants. It is impossibly smooth and creamy, with an earthy flavour, brightened by the zing of lemon and the hum of garlic. So many times I have been let down by supermarket brands of hummus; being overly sour and horribly grainy and just the total opposite of the heavenly stuff, so like any determined woman, if I want something done right, I better well do it myself!
I had attempted to make hummus from scratch in the past and unfortunately the result wasn't great. My hummus came out tasting quite similar to the supermarket stuff, grainy as hell, no matter how long I blitzed it for. Defeated, I resigned myself to the belief that there was some magic sorcery that us mere mortals were not privy to and I would only get to enjoy the good hummus at restaurants. But recently, my kids prompted me to give it another go when they annihilated the free hummus samples at the local supermarket one day #garbageguts. The poor lady handing them out didn't have the heart to tell them no when they kept asking for more! I was so embarrassed they ate so much (it seriously looked like I don't feed my kids!) that I had to buy the damn thing, and being supermarket hummus, it wasn't even good! With their new found love of hummus, I was set upon my journey to find out the trick in cooking it at home.
“After doing some research online, the consensus seemed to be cooking the canned chickpeas first until mushy, which makes total sense and I'm kicking myself I didn't think of this before.”
I mean, it would be impossible to make smooth mashed potatoes if the potato wasn't cooked all the way through first! Of course you have to cook the chickpeas! In my defense, I was under the impression that canned chickpeas were already cooked and therefore could be used straight from the can but boiling them is that little step which will take your hummus from average to wonderful. Luscious and smooth and creamy, the texture of this hummus is perfect to me and because you are making it, you can adjust the flavours to suit you. More salt, less lemon, more garlic, any toppings, it's really up to you.
Best Hummus adapted from a Cookie and Kate recipe
Preparation time: 5 minutes
Cooking time: 10 minutes
Serves: 3 adults or 2 adults and 2 children as a snack with crackers or veggie sticks
400g Can of Chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1/4 Teaspoon of Bi-Carb Soda
1 Lemon, juiced
1 Clove of Garlic, peeled and roughly chopped
1/4 Teaspoon of Salt, or to taste (I usually add more at the end)
1/4 Cup of Tahini (sesame seed paste, available from the supermarket)
1 Tablespoon of Ice Water
1/4 Teaspoon of Cumin
1/2 Tablespoon of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Step 1- Place the chickpeas into a saucepan and sprinkle with the bi-carb soda. Top enough water to cover the chickpeas by about 1 cm. Bring to the boil, and continue to boil for about 10 minutes until mushy. Drain.
Step 2- Meanwhile, in a food processor, blitz the lemon juice, garlic and salt, then allow to sit and infuse while waiting for the chickpeas to cook.
Step 3- Add the tahini to the food processor and blitz with the ice water to loosen it slightly.
Step 4- Add the cooked and drained chickpeas to the food processor with the cumin and blitz until smooth. With the motor running, pour in the olive oil. Then taste and adjust salt/lemon as necessary.
Step 5- Serve on a plate or a shallow bowl, making swishes with a spoon to catch any toppings. I like a drizzle of more olive oil, fresh parsley and a sprinkle of paprika but you could top with toasted nuts/seeds, toasted chickpeas, a sprinkle of sumac, a sprinkle of cumin or chopped chilli.