Hummus is a lot like tomato sauce: Everyone does it a little differently and everyone thinks their recipe is the best. Yet, no matter how you make, it’s probably going to be awesome.
Before you get started on this recipe, you may want to read through a more updated article called 9 Tips & Tricks for the Best Hummus Ever. But here’s how I like to make it.
I decided to try out dry beans as an experiment (And because someone gave me a bag and I’m poor. Beggars can’t be choosers). I learned a few things from using dry beans:
- You’ve got to work ahead. This isn’t an instant gratification kind of procedure.
- Dry beans expand…a LOT. So, keep in mind that a little goes a long way.
- Canned beans are fine, but dry beans are better.
If you’re using raw chickpeas: Put the beans in a big bowl with plenty of extra water. They’ll bloat up 2 or 3x so give them room to expand. The next day, drain the water and pour them in a pot of boiling water. Reduce heat to a simmer for about 2 hours. Then drain.
*Update 2/6/2012: Like the updated article says, put baking soda in the water and it should cut the boiling time down significantly and break down the outer shell so that it blends more smoothly. You can also put canned garbanzos in boiling water with baking soda for about 10 minutes and it works wonders.
*Also, I like to actually put whole cloves of garlic into the boiling beans for a few minutes to make it softer and milder to eat when you add it in later.
Instructions for Cooked or Canned Beans
Put the beans in a food processor or a blender if you don’t have one. You will probably need to add a bit of water, maybe a few tablespoons for each can’s worth. You can always add more water, so take it easy when you’re pouring it.
Side note: At the time I wrote this, I only had a blender. Blenders work, but sometimes you end up putting too much water/oil in it because the blades aren’t big & strong enough to pulverize it. So if all you have is a blender, just work in smaller batches.
Side Note: Tahini (ground sesame seeds) is sometimes difficult to find and fairly expensive–about $8 for a jar. But you only need a tablespoon or 2 for each can of chickpeas so it should last you a while. By the way, look for tahini near the peanut butter section. I’ve found this in ghetto supermarkets before but you may have to hit up the Harris Teeter or Whole Foods.
Add: (Per 1 can of beans)
- 1 or 2 tablespoons of of tahini
- 1 or 2 tablespoons of olive oil
- The juice from 1 lemon (feel free to zest it if you love it super-lemony)
- A few cloves of garlic (raw or cooked)
- Spices: Salt, cumin, chili powder, cayenne pepper…whatever you like!
- Water, if needed
Side Note: Feel free to pump up the flavors if you want. Want Jalapeno Hummus? Cut one up and put it in! Want Roasted Red Pepper Hummus? Do it!
Pulverize for at least a few minutes, making sure it’s completely smooth. If the blender is having a hard time mixing everything, add a tiny bit of water and try again or split your batches in half and mix the two pulverized mixtures in a bowl later.
Taste this a few times before you serve it to make sure your spices are right. If you’re blending hot beans, they may taste a little weird until they cool down so don’t go nuts with your spices. Serve with chili powder (or paprika, or nothing) and olive oil on top and toasted flatbread or veggies on the side. Enjoy!
- Chickpeas – $1.50
- Tahini – $1.00
- Olive Oil – $.30
- About 15 servings- $2.80
- 1 serving – ~$.18