Updated: Jun 18
Hummus in Arabic literally means chickpeas. The word hummus describes the legume itself. Hummus is a staple in homes all over the Middle East. Every family and every Hummus café takes pride in their recipe. But hummus is humble and made from basic ingredients. and perhaps its the most popular dip to travel all the way from the Middle East to the U.S.
This staple is eaten with most of meals in Arab homes. Its definitely key at the brunch or breakfast table. My mom often packed our hummus for school slathered in a pita pocket cut into two perfect halves packed with cucumbers and tomatoes on the side. Hummus is packed in plant based protein, fiber, iron and B vitamins, plus the tahini paste is loaded with calcium, zinc, copper making it an ideal dish for school lunches or as part of any healthy diet.
There are so many variations of hummus, hummus with beets, red peppers, avocado you name it .. But to create your own version one needs to learn the basic recipe. This is the one I grew up eating and will remain my favorite variation.
Soak hummus with baking soda overnight
Boil the hummus in water until so tender and the skin starts to separate. Reserve some of the cooking liquid.
Add the basics: Good quality Tahini, lemon juice, garlic, and cumin (optional)
Creamy Hummus Recipe:
2 cups dried chickpeas
1/4 tsp baking soda added to the soak water
1/2 cup Tahini paste
2-3 cloves of fresh garlic
Juice of two lemons (more to taste if you want your hummus more tangy)
salt to taste
a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil
Toasted pine nuts
- Place the chickpeas in a bowl and cover with water. Add the baking soda and let it soak overnight.
- Drain the chickpeas and rinse under cold water
- In a pot combine the chickpeas with enough water to cover bring to a boil over high heat. cook skimming the white foam as it develops. Boil for an hour or until the chickpeas are tender (they should fall apart if you squish them between your fingers) and the skin starts to separate.
- Drain the chickpeas reserving the cooking liquid.
- This step is optional: Rub the chickpeas between your fingers to remove their skins. I find that if you cook your chickpeas properly you can skip this step and still get a creamy smooth hummus.
- In a food processor or a strong blender start by adding the garlic, and salt pulse until you get a paste. Add the chickpeas, tahini, and lemon juice. Blend until you get a creamy texture.
- Scrape the bowl, adding a few tablespoons at a time of the cooking liquid until you get the creamy consistency you like. This process could take 5-8 minutes.
- Adjust the seasoning according to taste. Check the salt, and lemon juice add more if you need to.
Spoon your hummus in the middle of a shallow dish, using the back of your spoon push the hummus towards the edge of the plate in a circular motion creating what looks like a border. of course this is the traditional way of plating the hummus. Have fun creating your own swirls and designs.
Sprinkle with ground cumin, paprika, toasted pine nuts seeds and finish with a drizzle of fruity olive oil.
Serve with warm pita bread, cut up vegetables, pickles, olives and fresh mints. A hot mint tea is often served with hummus.