Yes, this is the second hummus recipe I’ve posted. The last one was an everyday version for when you have a tin of chickpeas lying around and you need something to dunk some carrots in. This recipe is for a perfectly smooth hummus for showing off to dinner guests. This is the kind of hummus I didn’t know you could make without some very labour-intensive work like individually peeling chickpeas. It is properly smooth and silky like it is in proper Middle Eastern restaurants, rather than out of a supermarket pack.
Predictably, the recipe is taken from ‘Jerusalem’. After nine months, I still love leafing through this book time and again. As well as providing this amazing recipe, it has an excellent discussion on the political debate on the origins of hummus, along with the battle to be named the best hummus, and the divisive issue of what kind of hummus is the best. I side with Ottolenghi and Tamimi in feeling the best kind has lots of tahini and is very smooth. I like a bit more lemon than is included here, and I added a little less tahini then the original recipe out of deference for my less tahini mad boyfriend. Basically this is just a template and you can scale it up or down, with less or more lemon, garlic and tahini, once you stick to the method. Frying the chickpeas in bicarbonate of soda seemed unorthodox, but it really did the trick to remove the skins. I was skeptical about the water and lack of olive oil in the hummus itself, but trust me, it works.
This makes a lot of hummus, enough for six as a starter, since the chickpeas swell up to more than half a kilo in weight. It keeps pretty well in the fridge for a day or two if you have a thin layer of olive oil on top to stop it drying out.
- 250g dried chickpeas
- 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 4 heaped tablespoons Tahini paste
- Juice of 1 lemon (approximately 4 tablespoons)
- 4 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
- 70-100ml ice cold water
- 1 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons roasted and ground cumin
- 2 teaspoons paprika
- 1 tablespoon toasted pinenuts (optional)
- Olive oil, to taste
- The night before you want to make the hummus, leave the chickpeas to soak in a pan of water, with at least twice as much water as chickpeas.
- The next day, drain the swollen chickpeas
- Heat a saucepan large enough to accommodate the chickpeas and 1.5 litres of water over a high heat.
- Add the chickpeas and the bicabornate of soda and cook for 3 minutes, stirring constantly.
- Add 1.5 litres of water and bring to the boil.
- Simmer the chickpeas for 20-40 minutes until soft but not mushy.
- Skim off the foam and chickpea skins every few minutes while they are cooking.
- Drain the chickpeas once they are soft.
- You’ll probably still have chickpea skins mixed in, so fill the pot with cold water and tip the chickpeas in.
- The remaining skins should float to the top and you can either pour them out or remove them with a slotted spoon.
- Blend the chickpeas and garlic in a processor or with a stickblender (which worked fine for me) until smooth.
- Add the tahini, salt and lemon juice and blend.
- Finally, add the iced water bit by bit (I didn’t need the entire 100 mls) and blend until you get a smooth paste.
- Leave to rest for 30 minutes for the flavours to come together.
- Serve sprinkled with the cumin, paprika and pinenuts, and drizzled with olive oil.