Aug 4, 2010

How to Make Hummus

Hummus is easy to make, nutritious, freezes well, and is usually the real food h'ordeuvre I take to parties.

To make hummus, gather your materials:
- one Super Cute Helper
- blender (good) or food processor (best)
- chickpeas, also known as garbanzo beans
- tahini, which is sesame seeds squished up - you can get this at Kroger in the "healthy section" near the natural peanut butter, Whole Foods, or the best price in bulk in Little Rock is at Asian Market near TJ Maxx on Reservoir.
- olive oil
- lemon juice
- garlic or shallots
- salt
- optional spices: paprika, cayenne, cumin, parsley 
He wanted to take my picture near our cast of characters.  Wish I'd worn mascara or lipstick that day.
First, dump in your chickpeas.  When I go through the trouble of making hummus, I make a gigantic batch and freeze it in 16oz portions.  I probably cooked two, maybe three, pounds of dried chickpeas on this "hummus day" and used 32 oz of tahini.

 For the sake of a recipe, I started with the equivalent of one can of drained and rinsed chickpeas or, about two cups.
Toss in two peeled cloves of garlic; shallots are yummy, too.  If you don't care for garlic, it can be omitted. 
Squeeze a lemon.  We used a strainer to catch the seeds.  Start with half the lemon, if after processing the hummus your taster tells you that more lemon is necessary, add more. Some lemons are juicier than others.
Pour in about 1/4 cup olive oil.  You can always add more later if your taster tells you so.
Add a big dollop of tahini.  Recognizing that "big dollop" is driving some people crazy, measure 1/3 cup tahini.  But I bet your taster will tell you to add more later.
Now give it a whirl.  It will probably be very thick.  I like to add a bit of water. Start with 1/3 cup.  If it is still thick, stop the processor and taste.  Does it need more tahini? lemon juice? olive oil? Usually I stop the processor at least five times adjusting the taste.
In the picture below, you can vaguely see where our tasters went to work.  There are finger marks in the top of the hummus.  Believe it or not, my Super Cute Helper was almost always right in telling me what was needed.  He's adding salt this time.
Once your taster tells you that there is enough tahini, lemon juice, olive oil, and salt - it's fun to add other spices.  For a nutritional boost, I like to add parsley especially when it is growing in my garden.  Additional spices we like are: paprika, cayenne, and cumin.  If you want to make roasted red pepper hummus, add a jar of (drained) roasted red peppers and more tahini.
Enjoy with carrot or celery sticks, pita bread or tortilla chips.  It's also yummy as a spread on sandwiches.  I like it on my chicken salad sandwich.

Recipe Recap:
1 can or 2 cups chickpeas (aka garbanzo beans)
1-2 garlic cloves
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 to whole lemon, squeezed
1/3 cup or more tahini
1/3 cup or more water
salt to taste
optional: paprika, cayenne, or cumin

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  1. Thanks for posting-I didn't know it could be frozen. I went to Kroger (Breckenridge) last night to buy tahini and they didn't have any. I'll try the Asian market. Have you eaten Natto?

  2. I can vouch for this recipe. I make a batch every Sunday for hubby to take to work. My 14-month old eats it by the handful, and my other 2 kids like it on sandwiches (especially chicken). Mary Ann, natto is next on my list of real food experiences. Can't wait!

  3. I am a hummus nut this summer. I'm trying to get more protein into my 2-year-old, and she loves hummus so we've been buying it buy the pound. I think I may try and make it, though, since this looks like a lot of fun!

  4. Julie, great idea to take hummus to parties! I soak my chickpeas first before cooking else it makes me feel bloated.

    Would love it if you would consider sharing this blog or another post at Monday Mania. Hope to see you there!

  5. Mary Ann: I've not eaten Natto - but it's on my "to try" list.

    Erin: your husband and children should rise up and call you blessed for making hummus for them!

    Karen: yes, definitely try making this with children. Easy-peasy. My son esp. loves using the "power machinery" in the kitchen. :)

    Sarah: Yes, I soak the beans before cooking them. Also, I've linked to you. Thanks for letting me know about your carnival.

  6. Great post... When my hummus gets thick, I add garbonzo bean broth (left from cooking). Also, to take away some of the tartness, I add a little raw honey- YUM!

  7. I usually buy several packages of hummus when it goes on sale and freeze them. Homemade hummus looks super easy to make. I'm going to give this a try when I run out of my current freezer stash.

  8. Thanks so much for stopping by Monday Mania to share this! I hope you are able to share more of your ideas at future editions!



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