Hummus! The most controversial dip in the Middle East. Every country in the region calls it their own invention! And every country is correct. It is a Middle Eastern dip, end of discussion! Each nation makes it their own way. So, here is the Israeli/my version.
Have you ever wondered why no matter how much you try to make it as smooth as the hummus you get in a restaurant it always comes out grainy?
In Israel we have restaurants that serve only varieties of Hummus. We call these a “Hummusiah“ (A Hummus place). No matter how much you process it, whether you make it from scratch starting with dried chickpeas or from a can, you just can't get it completely smooth? Well, I'll tell you how to make it super smooth. There is a secret ingredient or two!
1 packet of dry chickpeas. Soak these the night before you plan to make the hummus in a large pot of cold water filled to about 2 inches above the chickpeas! Add to this pot half a tablespoon of bicarbonate of soda. This is one of the secret ingredients. Leave to soak overnight
2 teaspoons of baking powder, this is the other secret ingredient
½ cup of tahini paste or a little more according to how creamy you want your hummus to be. We like it very creamy!
Juice of a small freshly squashed lemon
2 teaspoons of salt, adjust for taste
1-2 cloves crushed garlic according to taste
A little cold water
Parsley, paprika and olive oil and a few chickpeas for garnish
Drain overnight soaked chickpeas from pan and rinse in cold water. Place back in same pot you soaked them in and cover almost to the top of the pan with water. Add the baking powder and bring to a boil. Skim off the froth and discard.
Lower heat and cook for about 1 ½ hours on medium heat or until the water is a little above the chickpeas. As the thin skin of the chickpeas comes to the top of your pot, skim them off with any additional froth and discard. Keep an eye on your pot. You don't want the water to be completely absorbed by the chickpeas or the bottom of the pan will start to burn.
The baking powder in the cooking and the baking soda in the soaking is what will make your hummus smooth. Drain the cooked chickpeas and keep a few on the side to use as garnish. (I often forget to do this and it's such a nice touch when serving).
Place the chickpeas in a food processor and process for 2 minutes. Add the lemon juice, crushed garlic, a little water (¼ cup approximately) salt and tahini to the mix and continue processing until smooth to your liking. Taste it to see if you need to add more salt, lemon juice ,tahini paste or water for smoothness.
Arrange in a plate by making a well in the middle, add olive oil in the center, paprika, a few chick peas and chopped parsley. Look at the photo above for the authentic way to decorate your hummus plate!
Serve with warm pita bread and dig in!
This is one of my favorite brands of Tahini. There are also many others on the market.