How to make hummus
Is there anything quite as wonderful as hummus in this world? It kind of feels like it’s erupted onto shelves in shops across the country at some point about 8 years ago and now just seems to be everywhere you look. Seriously, give me some carrot sticks and a tub of hummus and I’m a happy boy. But as with all things like this, it’s super-easy to make delicious fresh hummus at home – here’s my basic that we’re going to call ‘how to make hummus’. Because I’m imaginative like that.
Before it started appearing on the shelves when I was at uni I don’t think I knew it existed. My poor mum’s probably going to be horrified that and tell me we had it all the time when I was little, but I don’t recall it in the slightest. More importantly than my history with them though, chickpeas have been a staple across large swathes of the world for millennia. Spread throughout much of the Roman empire (although very much the peasant food end of the scale), these little legumes are very versatile, but for today’s purposes are going to be mixed with tahini (sesame paste), lemon and garlic – or to you an me, hummus.
Most of us can pop down the shop and buy a half-decent hummus, but it doesn’t beat making it for yourself. There’s an almost infinite number of recipes and ways of making hummus – think everything from lemon and garlic, to beetroot, roasted peppers and avocados – but sometimes simple really is beautiful and when I make mine I like to keep to this simple, delicious recipe that people just can’t help them selves but dip into time and time again.
Here are the basics that you need to know though:
- Lemon and garlic are non-negotiable
- You can totally use a tin of chickpeas, but wash them first
- Don’t be afraid to be generous with your pinch of salt
- Add a little bit of spice on top, but not in the mix itself
- Make sure you have enough things to dip in it! My favourites are cucumber, carrot sticks or salty crackers
One of the best things about this – aside from being a delicious, easy and pretty healthy snack – is that this is great way of using some beautiful ingredients. Your hummus can rise and fall on the quality of the tahini and olive oil that you’re using, so opt for the top end of your spectrum and you’ll thank yourself when you sit down and dip in.
If ‘find out how to make hummus’ is anywhere on your to do list, this is the place for you. There are so many ways to make hummus – almost endless flavour combinations – so this is the base recipe. It will make a delicious ‘plain’ hummus – because it’s a classic for a reason – or you can flavour it as you go along. You can start with dried chickpeas and soak them overnight, but I skip straight to the tinned kind.
- 1 tin of chickpeas (400g)
- 250g tahini
- 2 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 3 cloves of garlic
- 100ml very cold water
- good quality extra virgin olive oil and smoked paprika to top
Take your can of chickpeas and drain them into a colander, rinsing well to wash them. Pop them into your food processor and blitz them until you have a stiff paste.
Keeping the foo processor running, add in the tahini, followed by the lemon juice, garlic (crush the cloves first) and a couple good pinches of salt. Pour in about three-quarters of the water and let it mix for a good few minutes – usually 4 to 5 minutes – until you have a smooth and creamy paste.
Transfer to a bowl, cover tightly and let it sit for half an hour. If you’re using straight away, drizzle over your olive oil, a sprinkling of smoked and (if desired) a few pine nuts. Otherwise pop it in the fridge for later. Take out half an hour before serving so it’s at room temperature.