Thick or runny, creamy or nutty, from canned chickpeas or dried beans, peeling off the skin or without peeling off the skin, with olive oil mixed in the puree or only drizzled on top – I have tried all methods to make the king of mezze – the ultimate Hummus.
And I won´t be lying if I say: I love Hummus in all its variants.
A perfect recipe for hummus doesn´t exist! What you have tasted in Jerusalem is not what you get in Istanbul or Cairo. Despite its hotly debatable origin, there is an unanimous rule: Hummus is all about balance. You play with the basic ingredients, blend and taste until you get the flavour your heart desires. Same applies for garnishing and condiments.
What ingredients do you need ?
Not many! All you need to get started is:
Dried chickpeas: are first soaked in water with a pinch of baking soda overnight and then cooked until soft.
Canned chickpeas: are ideal for a quick fix. A few tricks mentioned below will help you elevate the taste.
A paste made from ground sesame seeds is what makes the hummus taste incredible.
- Lemon Juice
Freshly squeezed and not the bottled one!
- Olive oil
A good quality extra-virgin olive oil is important for the rich, creamy, luxurious texture. I personally prefer using the dark colored olive oil.
- Cumin and Salt
Salt is essential to balancing the taste and cumin (preferably toasted) enhances it to another level.
What tricks to keep in mind ?
- If you are using the canned chickpeas, the tip to make them taste like the real deal is cooking them again in water until theyre completely soft and no more al-dente.
- Removing the skin of each bean is another secret that will help your hummus get the smooth and silky consistency everyone loves! Drain the chickpeas from the can and hold a bean between your thumb and first finger. A little pressure will help the skin come off easily. Discard the peel and cook the beans in warm water.
- Toasting the cumin seeds and then grinding them to make toasted cumin powder is another trick that will bring a special kick to the hummus. Avoid using store bought powder!
- Look for a dark colored tahini paste, the one made from toasted sesame seeds! It has no raw smell and tastes incredible!
How to make it look pretty ?
Let your imagination run wild and use whatever you have on hand! Here is an idea to start off:
- Take out your prettiest bowl or plate, throw hummus paste in it. Use the deep side of a spoon to shape it into a mountain. Then tap in the centre with the back side of the spoon, flattening the mixture. This will help you get a smooth and even surface.
- Dip the spoon in some water and use it to make a well in the centre of your hummus.
- Fill the well with olive oil.
- Now take a fork. Dip it in oil/water and then in paprika powder. Press gently on the sides of hummus making a nice pattern.
Sprinkle sesame seeds or zaatar and place fresh mint leaves, boiled chickpeas, grilled vegetables, pine nuts or my favourite pomegranate arils.
There are countless ways of serving hummus. Have a look into the mezze folder for more ideas!
Hummus - The king of mezze
- 1 big can chickpeas 480 g
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 2 Tbsp lemon juice
- 6 Tbsp tahini
- 6 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 Tbsp roasted cumin powder
- olive oil to drizzle on top
- sesame seeds, mint, pomegranate arils, zaatar, paprika optional, to garnish
- Wash and drain the canned chickpeas. Remove skins from as many as possible for a smooth hummus.
- Cook in ca. 1 litre water until very soft and fully cooked. Reserve the liquid aside to use in mixing and 1 Tbsp chickpeas for garnishing.
- Process the chickpeas into a fine paste using a food processor, blender or emulsifier.
- Add in the lemon juice, tahini, salt, cumin, olive oil and minced garlic.
- Process into a fine paste. Use the reserved liquid to get the right (mashed potatoes like) consistency.
- Transfer to the serving bowl or plate, make a well in the centre, fill with olive oil and decorate with your favourite garnishes.
- Peeling the skin off the cold pre-cooked chickpeas is easier than doing it after boiling them in water.
- The canned chickpeas need to be boiled again to ensure a smooth consistency.
- The amount of lemon juice and salt depends on your personal preferences. So does the consistency of hummus. Blend, adjust and continue to play until you get the right balance!
- Tahini is a thickening agent. Itll help hummus thicken. Make sure the paste is not too thick while still hot as it will eventually thicken more once cold.