Hummus sounds like a word that was accidentally created. But it’s a dish that is almost a religion in itself. So, you could say it’s a powerful and healthy word!
When making it from scratch, you’ll have the option of learning how to make and eat it traditionally.
In Israel, it’s served with just about everything under the sun, and its health benefits are amazing. As a plant based protein, Vegans love it for flavor, texture, digestive support, and its great women going through menopause. The plant estrogen helps combat night sweats and/or hot flashes. As well, it helps you sleep, protects your vision, lowers cholesterol amongst other things, and best of all, tastes great! We eat it in our home every week.
You’ll find overseas it’s texture and consistency is smoother and more liquid. Hence, in some places, it’s served in a bowl with a spoon.
One of the most important secrets is, mastering the method that brings out the chickpea’s flavor versus flavoring the chickpea. Anyone who has spent time in the Middle East will notice that lemon juice is not used after the chickpeas are cooked when they are ground to the paste. Cumin is a hint, not a flavoring, and the same applies to the garlic or other veggies commonly used in the US. Try it, and you will find suddenly it’s a different dish. In Israel, the hummus is not flavored as described above; rather, things are added afterward. Like, roasted vegetables, salads, tahini salad, fresh onions, sautéed mushrooms, large Middle Eastern beans, radishes, and so on.
I’ll be honest, as many times as I’ve made Hummus in the US, I’m never created the spot on original Middle eastern flavor you get overseas. But from scratch you’re a lot closer than the packaged options. And it’s quite good. It’s no different than Italian cheese. You can’t make Parmigiano-Reggiano without the soil in Italy to grow the grass that feeds the cows. Chickpeas taste different grown in the US. It’s nature, my friends.
Have fun with hummus, there are many recipes you can create. Here’s one we posted a while back.
Hummus From Scratch
I’ve found that the smaller white chickpeas work best. They are softer at the end of the cooking process, have a more robust flavor, and better color. Usually, the loose peas, from bulk-bins are fresher; therefore, I avoid purchasing pre-packaged. And I try to purchase the chickpeas when I make the hummus. The idea is to cook with the freshest peas. The fresher, the better.
I soak mine 16 hours before cooking them. If you soak overnight, simply begin soaking them in the afternoon.
|Dried chickpeas (small white are best)||3 cups|
|Water||Cover the chickpeas|
Rinse the chickpeas well and place them in a stew pot covered with water by at least 2 inches. The beans will more than double.
Leave soaking for 12-16 hours covered with no heat.
This recipe makes 8 cups of hummus. You cut the recipe in half for smaller batches.
|Water||Cover by more than 1 inch|
|Salt||2 1/2 teaspoons|
Your peas should still be underwater. If they are not, add more to cover well. Add the half lemon and salt and cook over low heat for 2-3 hours or until soft. In the first half an hour, a white foam will form on top. Skim the foam off.
This picture shows the crazy foam that appears as they begin to cook. It looks like a meringue! If you forget to skim it off or wait too long, it will disappear. Don’t worry about it, but try to skim off as it can leave a residue in the end that professionals avoid.
When the chickpeas are soft, remove from the heat. You can cool them overnight or finish the recipe while they are warm. If you process warm beans, they will soak up more liquid, meaning you will want to make them a bit runnier, and after 4-8 hours in the refrigerator, they will soak up the extra liquid.
|Cooked chick peas with liquid||4 cups|
|Olive Oil||3 tablespoons|
|Garlic||1 small clove|
Using a food processor, add 4 cups of cooked chickpeas with about 1 cup of liquid and the remaining ingredients. Add more liquid to the desired consistency.
As you can see, this picture shows a more liquid consistency. It appears lumpy, but it’s just the picture and how it’s poured out of the food processor. The smoother, the better.
Process the batch to a smooth texture. It can take five minutes or more, depending on the strength and type of processor.
Traditionally, hummus is not as thick as it is in America. It can be almost soupy.