October 23, 2011


Hummus used to be exotic and found only in specialty markets and in big cities outside of the Middle East.  Today, you can buy it at the local Piggly Wiggly and in a variety of flavors.  I first ate Hummus in the early 90's while traveling in the Middle East.  I couldn't get enough of it and would eat it everyday for lunch and with dinner.  I started making my own when the supermarket varieties I tried were grainy and not flavorful.  It was nothing like the real thing that I ate in Syria, Jordan or Egypt which was silky smooth and tasted Amazing.  Over the years I sometimes have added nontraditional Tomatoes and Cilantro to mine to change up the flavor.  The secret to smooth Hummus is to use skinned Chick Peas.  Canned Chick Peas are OK but if you soak your own and cook them the taste is a little better and more traditional.  I use canned because of convenience and ease.  Just use a good Tahini which is the other dominant taste of Hummus.  Tahini is a paste made from Sesame Seeds and can be bought almost anywhere these days (find it for sure at Whole Foods) usually near the Peanut Butter or in the international foods aisle.  Fresh Lemon Juice is a must.  Hummus is traditionally served with a drizzle of Olive Oil and a dash or two of Cumin and a few whole Chick Peas on top and is eaten with Pita Bread.  Of course, we adapted to Hummus well in the US and use it in Sandwich Wraps, to dip Veggies in and on Crackers for a quick snack.  No matter how you eat it, make your own Hummus and it will taste like no other because you are Cooking The Amazing.

Here is the recipe.

2 Cans (15 oz each) Garbanzo Beans (Chick Peas)
or  3 c Cooked Chick Peas
      (from  1 1/2 c soaked dried Beans)
3/4 t  Fine Grain Sea Salt
2 1/2  Cloves Garlic crushed fine
1/2 c  Fresh Squeezed Lemon Juice
1/2 c  Tahini
1/4 t  Paprika
1/4 t  Cumin
1-2 T  Reserved Cooking Water
Olive Oil to drizzle

1.  Drain 2 cans of Garbanzo Beans (Chick Peas) and rinse well under cold water removing as much of the skins as possible with your fingers and discarding the skins.  Place the drained Chick Peas in a pan with enough Water to cover and simmer for about 20-30 minutes until very soft and tender.  Drain Water from the pan and reserve it.

FOR SOAKED DRIED CHICK PEAS: Soak about 1 1/2 c of dried Chick Peas in lots of cold water over night for at least 12 hours at room temperature on the counter in a large pot covered with a lid.  Drain the soaked Beans and rinse well.  Cook Chick Peas in fresh cold Water by bringing to a rolling boil then reduce heat to a simmer and cook until very soft and tender about 1 1/2 - 2 hours.  Drain Water and reserve it and remove any skins with your fingers and discard the skins.
2.  Place in a food processor the Sea Salt, crushed fresh Garlic, fresh squeezed Lemon Juice, Tahini, and Paprika and Cumin and process until smooth.  Use a rubber spatula and scrape down the bowl often.  Add the skinned Chick Peas and process until smooth.  Add 1-2 T of the reserved Chick Pea cooking Water then process in food processor about 2-3 minutes.  Add more cooking Water if needed to achieve a very smooth consistency.  Keep processing until very smooth.  This may take 5 minutes or more.  Taste and adjust with more Sea Salt if needed.
3.  Serve at room temperature or chilled from a tightly wrapped bowl with a drizzle of Olive Oil and garnish with Paprika and or Cumin, Sea Salt and Black Pepper if desired.  The Hummus improves in flavor after refrigerating for 4 hours or even better over night.  Consider fresh chopped Parsley, fresh Mint, fresh Cilantro, Red Onion thinly sliced, tiny Pickles, Olives or Tomato Slices.  Use your own taste buds to guide you.  Serve with Pita Bread or Crackers or Tortilla Chips for an international twist.

COPYRIGHT (c) 2011

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