Everyone loves hummus today. When I returned from living in Israel for some 4+ years in the eighties, nobody knew what it was. And nobody knew there were more than two types of olives, green and black. But today? Everyone loves hummus and I will teach you to make authentic hummus.
Humus is served with a bit of olive oil spread over the top and a thick tahini paste on tope (that you can learn to make here: Falafels; you’ll see that on falafels it’s thin and on your hummus it’s thick).
There’s a reason the amounts are not listed, because when people soak their chickpeas, some go into salads, some go into falafels, and some go to make hummus. And the amount of cooking depends on what you’re using them for.
You soak your chickpeas over night. About two cups is all most families need, and they will more than double in size. Put more water than you think you need over the chickpeas, add half a teaspoon of baking soda, cover and set in the fridge.
The next day you’ll want to cook them. How you cook them is up to you, but if they are all going to make hummus, then pressure cooking is the best because you will not need a food processor or blender to make them into hummus, just a bean masher or potato masher.
If you want them hard, then slow cook them or simmer them and stop cooking when they’re soft but firm for salads, soups, and stews.
If you don’t have a pressure cooker, in a slow cooker, it takes about 4 hours on high heat and 8 on low, but keep in mind that all cookers are different. My pressure cooker is also a slow cooker and I never use it for that. I use a slow cooker.
In a pressure cooker, just 12 minutes and then let the pressure release naturally. You will definitely want to consult the owners manual on this.
I use an Instant Pot, and setting it on High Pressure for 12 minutes is simple, and it automatically keeps them warm while releasing the pressure over a ten minute period.
No matter which method you choose, you’ll need about six cups of water (to your 2 cups of chickpeas that have been soaked overnight) and add 1 teaspoon of baking soda (helps make them less gassy).
When done, drain and let sit to cool. If they are still stiff, you’ll need a blender, but we pressure cooked them and all we needed to do was mash them with a bean masher like the one here.
It’s best if you have a scale in the kitchen, but if not, start with a cup and a half (about 9 ounces) of cooked chickpeas.
Add ¼ cup fresh lemon, ¼ cup tahini, crushed garlic (between 1 and 6 depending on taste), two tablespoons of your extra virgin olive oil, and a ½ teaspoon of ground cumin. Cayenne pepper to taste, or sprinkle over when serving. And salt. Most recipes never add salt, but I’ve never tasted humus that wasn’t salted a bit.
This is not rocket science, so amounts need not be exact. Everything to taste.
Serve in a plate or bowl, and spoon a bit of olive oil over it, and then a few tablespoons of a thick tahini sauce. Some like a hot pepper sauce over it and you can learn how to make that at the tahini link (actually Falafel link) here.
If you’re lucky enough to live in a Lebanese neighborhood, you’ll love dipping with Lebanese flat bread. But you’ve got pita bread and naan and all sorts of things to dip, including any vegetable you chose.
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