Hummus, a Middle East treasure – the basic recipe

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Hummus is a dip or spread made form mashed chickpeas with tahini, olive oil, lemon juice, salt, pepper and cumin. It is a Middle East dish, but its popularity has now crossed continents. Hummus is so simple yet tastes heavenly. The best things in life are the simple things, aren’t they? <3

The most wonderful thing about hummus is that is a great medium for experimentation. You may add different spices you like :

  • coriander
  • paprika
  • cinnamon
  • dried chilli flakes.

You may experiment with adding

  • chopped red pepper
  • olives
  • sun-dried tomatoes
  • caramelized onions
  • lemon zest
  • different seeds.

It’s fun also adding a little piece of cooked beetroot or a handful of spinach, for extra flavour and amazing colours.

The recipe I’m sharing with you is the basic hummus recipe, a great base that lets you experiment with different flavours. Hummus is served as a spread on flatbread, as a dip for vegetables, as an accompaniment to grilled chicken, fish or cauliflower steaks.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup uncooked chickpeas
  • 1/2 to 1 tbs tahini (depending on how much you love tahini)
  • 2 tbs olive oil
  • 1 tbs fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tsp ground cumin (optional)
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • Water to soak and cook the chickpeas

You may also use canned chickpeas to prepare hummus. You will need 2 cups of chickpeas without the canning water to prepare the hummus.

Note : 1 cup – a standard cup of 240 ml

Directions

  1. Put the chickpeas in a big bowl and cover with water. Add the baking soda and let sit overnight in the counter.
  2. The next day drain the chickpeas and add them in a big saucepan.
  3. Add water 3 times the volume of the chickpeas and boil them until they get tender, and you can easily mash one with your fingers. Mines need only 30 minutes to cook.
  4. Drain the chickpeas from the cooking liquid and save some of it in case you will need it while blending the chickpeas.
  5. In case you feel like it, you may remove the skins of the chickpeas. This step is not a must in flavour, but it really helps with the creaminess. If you’re lazy like me sometimes, just skip it.
  6. Let the chickpeas cool for some minutes.
  7. In a food processor add the chickpeas, tahini, lemon juice, olive oil and cumin and blend well. In case you want it super creamy add 3-4 tbs of chickpeas cooking water during blending.
  8. Add salt and pepper give it a last blend and check if you are fine with the flavours.
  9. Serve it with flatbread or vegetables.

Note : I’m a tahini addict and I always add more tahini to my hummus, but this is not the case for everyone, so in case you don’t like it or have difficulties to find tahini just replace it with olive oil.

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