Back to basics today. The first time I set out to make hummus, I bought a large bag of dried chickpeas from my local Indopak grocer. As I approached the register with my bag, the wife of the couple who runs the store looked me up and down, and asked with a mixture of disgust and fear, "just what are you going to do with those?"
Maybe I don't look like someone who knows her way around the kitchen (really, I don't on the outside), but I'm the type of person who takes others' lack of confidence as a challenge. I went home and immediately got to work on making what is now a staple in my fridge.
- 2 cups dried chickpeas, soaked and cooked
- 1/2 cup tahini
- 3/8 cup lemon juice
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 3 fresh garlic cloves, minced
- 1 1/2 tbsp cumin
- 1/2 tsp coriander
- 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
- Cracked black pepper to taste
- Sea salt to taste
[Pre-prep] Soak your chickpeas in a cooking pot about 12 hours in advance of when you plan to make the hummus.
Bring the soaked chickpeas to a boil, then simmer for about 45 minutes, or until tender. Drain the chickpeas, reserving the cooking liquid. Rinse the drained chickpeas in a strainer with cold water to stop the cooking, then add back to the cooking pot.
To the drained chickpeas, add the tahini, lemon juice, olive oil, and garlic. Blend together using an immersion blender (I don’t own one, but you can use a full-size food processor instead). Add the spices and continue blending.
Add the warm cooking liquid back into the mixture a little at a time, until the hummus becomes creamy. If you’re not sure, you can test the consistency by picking up a spoonful of hummus and then dropping it back in- if it just sits on the surface in a clump, add more liquid and keep mixing. If the surface slowly flattens out, that’s ideal.
Chill in the refrigerator and serve. We usually serve the hummus with crisp fresh celery and/or carrots, but you can dip just about anything into this hummus and it will taste great.
-You may adjust the seasonings to your taste- it is very important that you taste it before, during, and after seasoning. For example, I wrote down a specific amount of cumin, but in my cookbook, I've since scratched that out and just written "a lot."
-If it doesn't seem garlicky enough at first, wait an hour and taste it again. I've found that the garlic flavor tends to get stronger as the hummus sits, so be careful not to add more than you want. For that reason, I like to make hummus at least a couple hours in advance of having guests over.
*TIP: If you have any remaining cooking liquid, you can save it for a day or two and add it to any recipe that calls for vegetable stock.