Sometimes I really crave chickpeas, like, BAD. This is definitely one of those days. And, my favorite way to eat chickpeas, aside from straight out of the can, is to make them into hummus; creamy, garlicky hummus. Back in ye olden days, I used to buy hummus pre-made in tiny, plastic name-brand containers for $4.00 (which I could often devour in one sitting). But one day, a Jordanian friend of mine showed me just how easy (and cheap) it is to make it at home. Now, I'd like to pass that along to you. As always, add any ingredients you'd like, this recipe is simply how I normally make it.
I use canned chickpeas because they're inexpensive and you don't have to soak/cook them for ages, which you'd need to do if you were using dried chickpeas. I should warn you, however, that some tahini (ground sesame paste) can be pricey if you only plan on using it once. I use tahini regularly, so I buy the 16 ounce jar of Ziyad Brand Imported Tahini, which costs about $6.50 and has the taste and consistency I love. I have seen small cans of other brands at the grocery store for pretty cheap, though, so use whatever works for you. I definitely recommend stirring or shaking your tahini well before adding it to your food processor because it has a tendency to separate with the top layer being all oil. I just make sure my lid is on tight and give it a vigorous shake for a few seconds.
This recipe makes enough for several servings, depending on your serving size. I eat a fair bit, and it makes about 2.5 - 3 servings for me. I prefer to serve up my hummus with some fresh veg (cherry tomatoes, seedless cucumbers, button mushrooms, carrot sticks and even cauliflower florets) and whole wheat pitas. Sometimes I stuff the pitas with the hummus and veggies, but usually I just dip them in the hummus.
- 1 can chickpeas, liquid drained, but reserved in a separate bowl.
- 3-4 TB tahini
- 3 average-size cloves garlic, peeled and stem trimmed off
- 1 1/2 TB extra virgin olive oil
- 1/4 tsp cumin powder
- dash or two cayenne powder
- a bit of lemon juice (optional--which I usually forget to add, and the hummus tastes wonderful anyway)
- pinch of salt or garlic salt
- Get out your food processor (a blender might work okay too, although I've never tried it). Update 10/22/11: I make it in my Vita-Mix blender all the time now. Ultra creamy and smooth with no added oil. Just a little water in its place.
- Put your drained chickpeas, tahini, garlic cloves, cumin, cayenne and salt to the food processor. Blend for a moment, so there are no large chunks of chickpea left. Then, add in about 2 TB of the bean liquid and pulse several times.
- Open the top chute of the processor. Turn processor back on and drizzle the olive oil into the mix. Blend until very smooth. Some people add a lot more oil or bean liquid to make it runnier, but I like it creamy and somewhat thick. So, do whatever feels (and tastes) right to you. Enjoy!!