Hummus -- that much loved, humble chickpea dip -- is a vital part of the cuisine throughout the Middle East. In Israel, where it's served at breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snack times, it's practically iconic.
Nowadays, you can find tubs of hummus in supermarkets worldwide, in all sorts of flavors. But nothing beats homemade hummus, and once you get the hang of the basic recipe, you can tweak it to get exactly the texture and flavor you desire. There are probably as many hummus recipes as there are people who make it, but Giora Shimoni's version is a typical example of Israeli-style hummus.
Serve hummus with freshly baked pita bread, as a dip for veggies, in wraps or falafel sandwiches, or as part of a mezze spread. Or, take a cue from Israel's famous hotel breakfast spreads, and start your day with a pita stuffed with hummus and Israeli Salad. The possibilities are truly endless!
Want to doctor your hummus before serving? Place it in a shallow bowl, make a circular well with the back of a spoon, and sprinkle with your favorite spice or spice blend -- smoked paprika or za'atar are both great options. You can dress it up further by topping with pine nuts and plain or roasted chickpeas. Or stir in chopped roasted red peppers or olives and lemon zest.
Edited by Miri Rotkovitz
- 1 3/4 cups (350 gm) dry chickpeas (aka garbanzo beans)
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/3 cup tahini (ground sesame seed paste)
- Freshly squeezed juice of 2 lemons, to taste (about 4 to 6 tablespoons)
- 3 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon paprika
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Fresh parsley, finely chopped
1. Place the chickpeas in a large bowl. Add enough cold water to cover the chickpeas by several inches. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap or a clean tea towel and allow to soak overnight.
2. Drain and rinse the chickpeas. Place in a large stockpot, add the baking soda, and enough cold water to cover the chickpeas by 2 inches. Bring to a boil, skimming off any foam that rises to the top. Cover the pot, reduce the heat to low, and simmer for 45 minutes to an hour, or until the chickpeas are soft enough to crush between your fingers.
3. Reserve about 1/2 cup of the cooking liquid, then drain and rinse the chickpeas. Reserve a tablespoon or two of the cooked chickpeas for garnish, if desired.
4. Put the cooked chickpeas, tahini, lemon juice, garlic, salt, pepper, and paprika in a food processor. Puree until smooth. If the hummus is too thick or dry, add a bit of the cooking liquid or more lemon juice or tahini to taste.
5. To serve, place the hummus in a dish, and use the back of a spoon to make a shallow well in the center. Place any reserved chickpeas in the well, drizzle with olive oil, and garnish with freshly chopped parsley and regular or smoked paprika. Leftover hummus may be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3 to 4 days. Enjoy!