This differs in a few ways from “classic” recipes, the idea being to make it fine-tunable, because not everyone likes the strident, commercial, versions. I certainly don’t, anyway. This is very easily tweaked to suit individual tastes.
250g (dry weight) Chickpeas, soaked overnight and cooked
1 teaspoon Schwartz garlic granules**
1 tablespoon Tahini**
Light sesame oil**
1 tablespoon Lemon juice** I used bottled lemon juice – what was left over I froze in an ice cube tray, then bagged.
45ml Extra virgin olive oil**
1 teaspoon Fine Sea salt**
½ teaspoon Fine black pepper (I prefer Schwartz)**
Sufficient cooking liquid to achieve your preferred consistency**
**Adjust to taste.
NB: You can add more oil and less cooking liquid – or vice versa – your call.
I cooked the chickpeas in my slow cooker, with a peeled and cut-up carrot, and an onion, peeled and cut in half. Two advantages to this method – it needs no input, and can be left all day, and the cooking liquid is amazingly tasty (the chickpeas, taste as they always do, though – a blandish vehicle for other flavours). That’s because in the slow cooker, very few flavour components are lost in the steam – because there’s hardly any steam at all. I used some of the liquid in the hummus, the rest is frozen. It’ll make great soup stock.
If you don’t have a slow cooker, then simmer the chickpeas on the hob, in enough water to cover by about a centimetre, checking the water level occasionally. In my experience they can take up to 3 hours to cook (perversely, the smaller, Spanish, chickpeas seem to take longest).
However you cook them, once soft, allow to cool in the cooking liquid, then drain, reserving the liquid, and remove any veggies. At this point, should you wish, you can stash pulses and liquid in the fridge until the next day (Spoonie tip).
For this you really do need a food processor. If you don’t mind a thin hummus – it is supposed to be a dip, after all, not a sandwich filling – then you can make it in a blender, in small batches, but it can be a bugger to get out.
So, assuming you have a food processor, and it’s a decent size, tip in the cooked chickpeas (in batches if you have a small one, but you only need to season and flavour one batch, then mix them well), then add everything else, including a little of the cooking liquid, and blitz.
After about 30 seconds you’ll be able to see if it needs more cooking liquid, so scrape down the bowl with a spatula, add more, and blitz again. Repeat until you have the consistency you want. In my case that’s just thick enough not to run off the plate – in other words, a dip.
I tipped mine into plastic freezer containers (don’t use foil, the lemon juice and salt might corrode it), one batch flavoured with a thick layer of sweet paprika (traditionally it just gets a light dusting – I see no point unless you can actually taste the stuff), and into the other I stirred half a teaspoon of Aleppo chilli flakes.
It’s the first time I’ve used them, and they’re billed as “Sweet and Mild with a Fantastic Flavour”. Mild, they are not! Not incandescent, but hotter than I was expecting. Nevertheless, spread, not too thickly, on hot, buttered toast, it’s excellent, and would really perk up a breakfast.
So, considering I made this to use up a batch of chickpeas past their BBE date (old pulses take a bit longer to cook, otherwise they’re fine, and by old I mean a few weeks, or months at most, past their date, NOT a few years!), I’m very happy with the results, but I need some small containers. The ones I have hold about 600g if filled – for hummus I need something about half that size or less, both to reduce waste and to experiment with more flavours.
I’m not a great fan of Tahini, but Sainsbury’s own brand tastes of bugger all – were it not for the label you’d never know there were sesame seeds involved. I wound up adding a good splash of light sesame oil, which got the job done, and I’d recommend going with that and leaving out the Tahini, not least because it’s very much easier to control the intensity of the sesame flavour.
I find commercial versions, and most recipes, too heavy on the garlic, Tahini, and lemon juice for my tastes. Using garlic granules and sesame oil gave me fine control of those two components.
A very easy recipe, with almost no prep and the machines to all the work (though you do get to do the washing-up!), so just one Spoonie spoon.
NB: Not all hummus is veggie – the chickpeas are sometimes cooked along with a hunk of fatty pork, which improves the flavour and texture. Always read the label if buying, or ask if given some.