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Homemade Hummus [Recipe]

Homemade Hummus | www.myfoododyssey.com

Growing up in Ireland in the 70s and 80s fancy food generally meant a salmon en croûte, a Baked Alaska or a prawn cocktail on half an avocado topped with Marie Rose sauce. Findus Crispy Pancakes were the height of cool. Then pizzas arrived – hideous things that could be heated under the grill. We thought they were delicious because we had no frame of reference – we didn’t know how good pizza could taste. We drank instant coffee with pride. We had a coffee percolator that was dragged out a few times a year when my mother entertained, but the coffee was left sitting for hours and it tasted awful – the instant stuff was so much nicer.

When I first went to America I was fascinated by the range of food available. I would spend hours at the supermarket, browsing the aisles. I’d only ever seen jalapenos in jars – here they had them fresh. The bakery section would churn out fresh flour tortillas by the hundred, bagging them by 10s and 20s. Who needed that many tortillas, and why would you want them fresh? Back home they came in packs of six and generally had quite a long shelf life. They were also ridiculously expensive at over €3.00 per pack. I have since discovered that making tortillas at home is easy – and incredibly inexpensive. But the food companies had us over a barrel – we didn’t know how to make these foreign and exotic foods ourselves and so were prepared to pay a premium for them.

Homemade Hummus | www.myfoododyssey.com

Hummus falls into this category. I can’t remember when I first tried it, but I know it was expensive when it initially became available in Ireland. I’d never heard of chickpeas (garbanzo beans) and didn’t know where to source them or how to turn them into luxurious, creamy hummus. If I’d known how easy it was I would never have paid for those tiny supermarket tubs.

Hummus is simply a blend of cooked chickpeas with olive oil, lemon juice, tahini (sesame paste) and some seasoning. If you use tinned chickpeas it does not require any cooking or any specialist equipment, although a blender will speed things up. Good olive oil and tahini can be expensive, especially if they’re organic, but the other ingredients are relatively cheap. The cost of the ingredients and the easy-peasy blending simply do not justify the prices charged by supermarkets. Plus, you get a far superior product free from preservatives or thickeners.

Chickepeas for Homemade Hummus | www.myfoododyssey.com

Chickpeas are now widely available, both tinned and dried. The hardest ingredient to find is likely to be the tahini. I make my own (which is really easy – it’s just toasted and blended sesame seeds), but you can generally find it in the health food aisle. An alternative is to use peanut butter, which is not traditional but has a similar taste when blended into the hummus. You can also just leave it out – the hummus will still be creamy and delicious.

Hummus is wonderfully versatile and its uses go way beyond a dip for crudités. Because of the lemony tang and creamy texture it works well with smoked salmon. Chickpeas have a high protein and fibre content, so hummus makes a great meat-free sandwich filler. It is delicious as a dip with chips or crackers. It is a great alternative to mayo on a burger, or serve with barbecued meats such as lamb or pork, rolled into a smoky flat bread for the ultimate kebab.

Homemade Hummus | www.myfoododyssey.com

Creamy, Tangy Hummus

  • Servings: 350 g | 12 oz        
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print

INGREDIENTS:

    1 x 400 g | 15-16* oz tin chickpeas (garbanzo beans) or 100 g | 3.5 oz dried chickpeas
    ½ tsp baking soda (bicarbonate of soda) – only required if using dried chickpeas
    1 small clove garlic, peeled
    50 mls | 4 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
    ½ lemon, juice only (about 5 Tbsp)
    1 heaped tsp tahini or peanut butter (both optional)
    ½ tsp fine sea salt

    *In Ireland, chickpeas come in a 400 g tin as standard. I have discovered that in the US the size of the tins can vary. 15 oz tins are common, but some brands do 15.5 or 16 oz. These extra ounces won’t impact the recipe, especially since 1/3 of the weight is liquid that you will strain off.

    METHOD:

    1. If using dried chickpeas, place the chickpeas in a saucepan and cover with cold water. Bring to the boil and boil rapidly (without a lid) for 10 minutes. Strain the chickpeas, cover again with plenty of cold water (at least 3 times the volume of water to chickpeas), add the baking soda and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover with a lid and simmer gently for 45 minutes or until the chickpeas are just soft. Strain and allow to cool before proceeding.
    2. If using tinned chickpeas, strain the chickpeas through a colander or sieve and rinse well with cold water. Allow excess water to drain before proceeding.
    3. Pour the prepared chickpeas into a food processor. Add the garlic, olive oil, lemon juice, tahini or peanut butter (if using) and salt to the chickpeas. Blend until the hummus reaches your preferred consistency. A very smooth hummus works well as a dip. A slightly chunky hummus (as shown) is great as a sandwich filler.

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Homemade Hummus | www.myfoododyssey.com

Homemade Hummus | www.myfoododyssey.com
26 Comments Post a comment
  1. I love this idea of homemade hummus! Can I ask, how long did it stay fresh for versus shop bought hummus?

    Liked by 1 person

    July 23, 2016
    • Thanks Gabriella! It should keep well in the fridge for 4-5 days because of the salt and lemon. Keeping a layer of oil covering the top will stop it from drying out. I haven’t tested it, but I don’t think I’d keep it for longer than that. Not sure how that compares with shop-bought.

      Like

      July 23, 2016
  2. longchaps2 #

    Love hummus. As a vegetarian I eat it quite often. Delicious!

    Liked by 1 person

    April 27, 2016
  3. Thanks. This is super easy.
    New food dishes are not fully appreciated until you have a point of reference with a well made one.

    Liked by 1 person

    April 22, 2016
  4. Fell in love with the taste of hummus during Sukkot in Israel 2011. Make my own, too, as you say much less expensive and all good ingredients. I have a bag of dried garbanzo beans and a jar of tahini – i think i’ll make some soon. Always enjoy reading your entries. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    April 21, 2016
  5. Mary N. #

    I’m a new follower; love reviewing your journeys as well as your food. This “making your own Tahini ” is a new angle for me. Any hints? Thx.

    Liked by 1 person

    April 19, 2016
    • Thanks Mary! For the tahini, I toast sesame seeds (about 200 g | 7 oz at a time) in a heavy-bottomed saucepan, swirling regularly until they just start to brown. You need to keep an eye on them the whole time as they can burn quite easily, but it only takes about 5 mins to brown them up. Then I transfer to my food processor (a high-power blender would also work) and blend until they becomes a smooth paste. This takes a while – could take 10 mins. Using unhulled seeds (i.e., those that still have their outer shell) yields a tahini with a slightly bitter taste. This still works fine in hummus. If you can find hulled seeds (or have the patience to do this yourself!) you can make a sweeter version. Some people actually prefer the unhulled version as it’s higher in fibre. I make unhulled because it’s the easier option! It keeps for ages in a jar in the fridge. The oil that comes out of the seeds forms a layer on the top, helping to keep air out. Keep the lid on tight, though, to keep as much air out as possible.

      Like

      April 19, 2016
  6. Shirley #

    We absolutely love hummus and I make it often. I use a Vitamix and it comes out creamy and smooth. We use it to dip raw vegies too.

    Liked by 1 person

    April 19, 2016
  7. I absolutely love hummos but have never tried making it myself. Your photos are wonderful and it makes me want to try. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    April 18, 2016
    • It’s really easy, Miriam. Definitely worth a try if you’re a hummus fan!

      Liked by 1 person

      April 18, 2016
  8. Glad to hear that you sometimes use peanut butter too…. I do, but have been scoffed at for doing so!

    Liked by 1 person

    April 18, 2016
    • Feck the begrudgers, Margaret! Tahini and peanut butter are made exactly the same way, both from seeds. They’re not the same, definitely, but there’s a strong enough similarity to make peanut butter a reasonable substitute. Those of us for whom these ingredients aren’t native have to do the best we can! 😉

      Liked by 1 person

      April 18, 2016
  9. Love the pictures! Good work 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    April 18, 2016
  10. For the love of my Greek ancestors, I should probably try making hummus soon. I’m a disgrace! I find that most of the hummus I’ve tried are just too bland, lacking in any lovely flavour. But, I think I’ll have to give your recipe a try. The garlic sounds like a good addition, and I love me some lemon!

    Love that bowl, by the way, just gorgeous!

    Liked by 1 person

    April 18, 2016
    • Thanks Mandy! The lemon juice is lovely in it, but don’t overdo it or the whole thing becomes too acidic. I would squeeze into a bowl and measure rather than squeeze directly from the fruit. Once you get to 5 tablespoons add just a splash at a time until it gets to your preferred lemoniness. The bowl was a gift from Turkey – I thought it was fitting for a middle-Eastern dish!

      Like

      April 18, 2016
    • Frances Onaitis Tennant #

      I sometimes substitute lime juice for lemon juice and add cilantro, along with some kind of chile powder or smoked paprika.

      In the USA, some grocers (like Whole Foods) sell tahine from a large container; you simply scoop out what you need into a container – even just a couple of tablespoons.

      I never add salt. I use a bit of the liquid from the canned beans to get the right texture; it has enough salt.

      Liked by 1 person

      April 18, 2016
      • Thanks Frances. Lime juice sounds tasty – I must try that sometime. I mostly use dried beans rather than canned – it’s cheaper and they’re more readily available. But good to have the tip!

        Like

        April 18, 2016
  11. I didn’t like chickpeas when I grew up ( in couscous essentially) but I must say, it is in Ireland that I discovered Hummus and I love it! You just don’t know do you? 🙂 ( is that a Colm De Rís jug? 😀 )

    Liked by 1 person

    April 18, 2016
    • You just don’t know, indeed, Franck. The jug is by a Wexford potter, Paul Maloney. I love his stuff!

      Like

      April 18, 2016
      • I will look into it, I love Irish potery! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

        April 19, 2016
      • Sorry Franck – hyperlinks don’t seem to show up in the comments, but there is a hyperlink there if you click on his name. The stuff is a teeny bit expensive but I think it’s gorgeous. I have a coffee set – 4 mugs, the jug and a sugar bowl. Hope to add to it little by little.

        Like

        April 19, 2016
    • Frances Onaitis Tennant #

      Any kind of white bean will do!

      Liked by 2 people

      April 18, 2016
      • Well, it’s technically not hummus if you use another bean, but it can be just as tasty! I sometimes even use green peas. Works really well with salty fish like anchovies, sardines or mackerel.

        Like

        April 18, 2016

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