Middle Eastern cooking is very big in the UK, which is where I fell head over heals in love with hummus and its multitude of variations.
To make your own at home, you need just a few simple ingredients. Obviously chick peas cooked from dried, soaked beans will taste best, but this recipe is a practical one which starts with a can of chick peas, albeit organic.
Do not panic if you don't recognize the word tahini. It is simply a sesame seed paste. Think of it as Middle Eastern peanut butter. It's divine in hummus, and I wouldn't be able to live without the creamy texture or unique, nutty flavor. I know lots of people who make theirs without the paste (especially for those with nut allergies) and some people who throw in a handful of walnuts, almonds or peanuts instead.
For my hummus, the recipe is simple:
- 1 15 or 16 oz can chick peas. (I used organic, but I'm not sure if the flavor was any better than ordinary)
- the juice of 1 to 1 1/2 freshly squeezed lemons
- 2 cloves garlic (mince them yourself with a knife or put through garlic press)
- 3 to 4 Tbsp. tahini (now sold at almost all major grocery stores)
- 1 tsp salt (or to taste)
- drizzle of olive oil (about a teaspoon)
- a little water to thin to proper consistency
In a food processor, blend all ingredients except water. Taste and add salt if needed. If the hummus is too chunky (likely) simply add a little bit of water, a tablespoon at a time, until you have your desired consistency. It should be as thick as any other bean dip you have had.
If you are allergic to seeds or nuts, omit tahini. People like to add cumin, paprika, and veggies to theirs, but I like mine simply prepared.
Serve with chopped, raw veggies, whole wheat pita chips or tortilla chips.
This is a great source of protein for vegetarians and an outstanding source of fiber. But what you'll notice most is the phenomenal flavor!