How to make your own hummus
This classic Mediterranean spread can be made at home.
People love their hummus. And why not? The creamy purée, perfumed with garlic and lemon, satisfies hunger for something with a little heft, but which isn't heavy. It's packed with good-for-you protein and calcium, and it's delicious. And inexpensive, to boot. When I'm shopping in the local open-air market, I like to drop into the hummus joint and order a dish of freshly made hummus topped with prepared tahini dip and a little mound of dark, floury fava beans. With a little chili dip on the side and a wedge of lemon to squeeze over the ensemble – and a warm pita – that's lunch.
I'm offering you a convenient way to make it with canned chickpeas, but you might try making it with dried chickpeas, in which case you'll need to soak 2/3 cup dried chickpeas in plenty of water, overnight, and proceed from the beginning of this recipe.
While hummus will keep 2-3 days in the fridge if tightly covered, it's really best served the day it's made. And think of this – your hummus will be seasoned to your personal preference and free of preservatives and commercial additives.
- 1 15-ounce can chickpeas
- 1/2 cup raw tahini paste (not ready-to-eat tahini)
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 large garlic clove, mashed
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 - 1/2 cup water from chickpea can
- Olive oil, paprika and ground cumin for garnish
Drain the chickpeas, reserving 1/2 cup liquid from the can. Reserve 2 tablespoons of chickpeas for garnishing, too.
Blend the chickpeas in a food processor or blender until you have obtained a rough paste.
Add tahini, garlic, lemon juice and salt. Blend until you have a smooth purée. Add 1/4 cup reserved water, blending meanwhile. Stop the machine to check the purée for desired texture. Some like their hummus grainier, some like it very smooth and light. If you want a very light, creamy hummus, add reserved water, 1 tablespoon at a time, until you're satisfied. Don't add a lot of water at once; that may result in something more watery than you really want.
Taste the hummus. Add more salt or lemon juice if desired – again, just a little at a time. Resist the temptation to add more garlic at this time, because the garlic flavor becomes stronger over time. Leave the hummus in its blender or food processor bowl; cover and let it mellow in the refrigerator for 1/2 hour. Taste again. I find that I don't need to add garlic, but if desired, add a small, mashed garlic clove and blend again, thoroughly. Serve in a medium bowl, or several smaller bowls placed around the table. Sprinkle each bowl with pinches of paprika and/or ground cumin. Draw a circle of olive oil around the surface of the hummus. Garnish with a few reserved chickpeas.