Traditional hummus recipes include tahini (sesame paste) but it's possible to substitute it with sesame oil instead. Some people find tahini to have too strong of a flavor and children, especially, sometimes dislike the subtle bitter undertones of it. But using sesame oil is a good alternative for giving hummus its creamy texture without the unwanted tahini.
What Is Hummus?
Hummus (the Arabic word for chickpea) is a dip or spread that is made from chickpeas along with lemon juice, spices and, often, tahini. If you see a hummus recipe that calls for garbanzo beans, it's only that garbanzo is the Spanish translation of chickpea. In Italian they're called cece beans.
Hummus is one of the oldest foods dating back to ancient Egypt and we know that chickpeas were used quite frequently over 7,000 years ago.
Serving Hummus as an Appetizer
Hummus makes a delicious and much healthier alternative to chips and creamy dip. Serve your family's favorite type of hummus or a large variety of hummus flavors with hot pita bread wedges, homemade crispy pita chips and fresh vegetables like carrots, cucumbers, bell peppers, broccoli and cauliflower. Or try one of these appetizer ideas with hummus.
Be sure to sprinkle a bit of red pepper flakes, paprika (try smoked paprika for an amazing flavor twist) or ground cumin on top to add a little color. And don't forget to add a glug of good extra virgin olive oil to the top.
If you've sampled different hummus at either Middle Eastern restaurants or people's homes, you've seen that flavors can vary widely. Whether you prefer a stronger garlic flavor, more lemon or more spice, making your own hummus is a good way to control the ingredients and create exactly the taste you want. So don't be afraid to get creative in the kitchen and find the exact perfect hummus that you and your family will love.
- 1 Can (approximately 15 oz.) chickpeas or garbanzo beans, rinsed, drained and towel dried
- 2 Tablespoons lemon juice
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil
- 2 Cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
- 1/2 Teaspoon cumin
- 1/2 Teaspoon salt
- 1/4 Teaspoon black pepper
- 3 Tablespoons sesame oil
- 2 to 3 Tablespoons warm water
In a food processor, blend the chickpeas, lemon juice, and olive oil. Add the garlic, cumin, salt and black pepper, then the sesame oil and water. Blend until you have a smooth paste. Add 1 to 2 tablespoons of water if mixture is too dry for your liking.
Serve warm or at room temperature with fresh vegetables or pita bread for dipping.