Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Recipe: Hummus

hummus recipe
Since a jar of tahini came into my possession from a Superstore shopping trip last week, I'd been looking forward to trying a new hummus recipe. For lack of tahini, I'd previously been using this AllRecipes.com cumin-spiced hummus recipe on the rare occasion that I blended up a batch. It was tasty, but, seeing as it's been over two years since I've made it, evidently not quite the grocery store hummus substitute. I had high hopes that the Minimalist Baker's Best Ever 5-Minute Microwave Hummus recipe would produce a hummus that would stand up to any preprepared or restaurant version. More so, it looked like a recipe that even I'd be hard pressed to mess up.

Here's the recipe (source: The Minimalist Baker):
  • 2 cups cooked chickpeas (or 1 can, undrained)
  • 4 cloves garlic (whole)
  • 1/3 cup tahini (reduced from 1/2 cup in the original recipe)
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice (I'm guilty for having used lemon juice concentrate here)
  • 1 tsp (or less) salt
  • 1-2 tbsp olive oil
dried chickpeas soaking
I used dried chickpeas (here's how I cooked them) -- the hardest part is remembering to soak them overnight!
hummus ingredients
the ingredients
I started by microwaving the garlic and chickpeas (undrained) for 4 minutes. Apparently this is an important flavour-enhancing step -- so you'll want to do it!
microwave hummus
While microwaving I got a wrist workout stirring up my new jar of tahini. I'd never had tahini before and didn't realize it comes like Adam's peanut butter -- with the oil separated out on top.
tahini arz
tahini, some mixing required
I'd expected tahini to smell strongly of sesame, akin to sesame oil, so was a bit surprised to find it has next to no aroma. Mixed up, it has a texture and nutty taste reminiscent of natural nut butters. It does taste quite strong, so a little bit goes a long way!
arz tahini
tahini, all mixed up
I put the chickpeas, garlic, tahini, lemon juice, and salt in the blender and drizzled in the olive oil while mixing. This is where I really wished I had a food processor. If you have one, use it! Blenders (or at least my $20 one) really don't work well for anything thicker than a smoothie. I put my hummus through in multiple small batches and even so ended up with a chunky result.
hummus blender
my poor blender was struggling
chunky hummus
Texture aside, this hummus is pretty good (and that's based on my impatient taste-testing before I'd given it a chance to cool). Refrigerated and eaten with carrots, celery, crackers, (or on a spoon), it's delicious! The lemon juice I couldn't taste -- perhaps I shouldn't have skimped on using real lemon... The garlic taste is subtle enough that I could eat it at work without driving off patients and colleagues for the rest of the day. The tahini was the flavour that stood out most prominently, lending a rich, nutty, and slightly bitter taste to the hummus. Though I'd consider adding a bit of paprika or cumin to my next batch (and there will be one many!), the tahini flavour really is enough to carry the hummus on its own.
hummus celery
Its praises having been sung, this hummus (notwithstanding my subpar blending) will not pass for the perfectly smooth variety you'll find at the grocery store. Apparently the secret to achieving Sabra smoothness is peeling the chickpeas before blending (but as someone who refuses to peel potatoes for fear of wasting "the good stuff", I'm not about to throw away the fibre in chickpea skins -- plus, ain't nobody got time for peeling chickpeas!). I'll take my lumpy hummus, thank you...but am already on the lookout for a food processor to make it a little less so :)

I'd love to hear any hummus-making tips! ...And of any non-hummus uses for all this tahini I've got!

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