What the Hell is Hummus?

I know I’ve asked that question a few times.  Nothing answers the question better than making a batch to see and taste.  Here’s my first go at it.

First thing was to make some tahini.  It’s nothing more than a butter made from toasted sesame seeds and olive oil.  I made a small batch before I started on the hummus, just wanted to make sure this important ingredient was going to be good enough to take the experiment farther.  It worked well enough that I was happy to continue.  I’m told that tahini can be bought ready made but I’ve never seen any around here.  The Asian grocer in the next town east may have it but I’ve never looked for it.  They did have the toasted sesame seeds I used today but I was thinking of another use for those.

I didn’t have any canned garbanzo beans like all the recipes called for, but I did have a bag of dried garbanzos so I fast soaked those and then simmered them for an hour or so.  That seemed to be plenty.  I made more beans than I really needed so I took 2 cups of them for the recipe and froze the remainder for later.

OK, here we go:  Dump 2 cups of garbanzo beans in a food processor, add up to a half cup of tahini, add the zest of a lemon, then its juice.  Toss in some crushed cloves of garlic.  Most recipes I looked at said one or two, I used six or seven.  Add some sea salt, a half teaspoon or so.  Add a couple tablespoons of olive oil.  Pulse the mixture to get it all chopped, then process on low for a few minutes until it comes together as a smooth paste.  Add some water sparingly if it seems dry, or add more lemon juice.  (The recipes I looked at all mentioned reserving some of the brine from the canned beans for adding-but some commenters said don’t add the brine.)  Taste and adjust as needed.  Maybe more lemon juice, more salt, or more of the tahini.

The classic use for hummus seems to be as a dip for toasted triangles of pita bread.  I can attest that it works very well for that!


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2 thoughts on “What the Hell is Hummus?

  1. I much prefer using roasted garlic. Give it a try! Also, try adding some cumin and paprika (the latter can be added directly, or sprinkled on top to make it look pretty).

    My local store keeps the tahini by the peanut butter.


  2. I’m thinking about another batch soon. I’ll give roasted garlic a try, but I am not a huge fan of cumin, though a little bit couldn’t hurt. Hummus looks to be a good thing to use on the crackers we made yesterday. Guess I ought to finish of the crab dip first!


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