“Care for some Homemade Hummus today, Habibi? “
“Oh yes… any time…SHUKRAN.. ☺ “
This luscious, creamy dip is our favorite. Why just ours? It’s everybody’s favorite!! The richness of tahini and chickpeas blended with tangy fresh lemon juice, a tiny hint of garlic and some toasty pine nuts. I bet most of you get drawn towards a nicely decorated hummus, itching to scoop it with some pita or other crunchies… ahhmm… delish and so easy!!
What is Hummus?
Hummus, literally meaning chickpeas in Arabic, is a spread made with cooked, mashed chickpeas blended with tahini, olive oil, lemon juice, salt and garlic… simple as can be! The full Arabic name of this dip is “hummus bi tahini,” meaning chickpeas in tahini.
I had the privilege of tasting it firsthand where it originated, in my beloved Egypt… though every Middle Eastern and Levantine country, and even many Mediterraneans may debate that it belongs to them.
Egypt is quite special to my heart, as that is the country where I escorted my first international package tours in 2005. That is where my gypsying career started. Pyramids and temples, that history and those lovely people are etched into my mind and heart beside their tasty food. When you go on tour there they treat you like kings and queens with five star services.
Their hotels and restaurants are world class with huge unending buffets. I remember whatever the time of the day, be it breakfast, lunch or dinner, they have these different dips and spreads like baba ganoush, tahini, and hummus. They love to scoop them with aish, their bread, which is similar to pitas, along with some olives.
Hummus is a perfect contender for appetizers or a meeze platter for any get together or party. Now a days, you can get a gazillion varieties of this dip with creative toppings at your local grocery stores. It’s convenient but just look closer to the ingredient list, do you really want to eat hummus made with citric acid instead of fresh lemon juice and soybean oil instead of that yummy olive oil?
Making your own delicious homemade hummus is not difficult. It’s one of the easiest and quickest dips you’ll ever make and the flavor you get from real food is worth that tiny amount of time you spend in the kitchen.
- Chickpeas – The base of your hummus
- Tahini – Ground sesame paste. Find it in the ethnic section of the grocery store.
- Lemons – To give it some tang.
- Garlic – My favorite!
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- Cold Water
- Cumin and paprika – Optional, but I am using them.
- Pine Nuts – I love these tasty gems so much I even made a roundup of the 20 Best Pine Nut Recipes!
A few tips before we begin
Some people are quite passionate about their hummus and debate over how to cook chickpeas to get the creamiest and fluffiest hummus. Some insist on using dried chickpeas, which you soak overnight before cooking.
After some experimenting, I find that canned works great for me. I use Goya, because they always seem softer and more cooked than other brands. Though it doesn’t hurt to boil them an additional 20 minutes because the mushier your chickpeas, the smoother your hummus.
You will get a much smoother hummus if you skin the chickpeas. I just soak them in water for some time and rub them with my hands. Most of the skins come off and float to the surface of the water for easy removal.
How to make your own Hummus
Blend tahini, olive oil, salt, garlic, cumin, lemon juice, ice cold water and some pine nuts (optional, but we love that pine nutty flavor) in your blender or chopper. One game changer is using ice cold water, as somehow the cooler water temperature makes your hummus fluffier and creamier.
Add chickpeas and purée until smooth. If your hummus seems too thick, add a bit more water and keep that blender going until you are happy with the smoothness.
Then taste and adjust. Want some more salt, lemon or cumin? Add until it satisfies your taste buds and blend some more.
Scoop your hummus into a nice serving bowl. Now it’s time to make this hummus pretty. Make a well or some concentric circles in with a spoon and pour in some olive oil. Then garnish with toasted pine nuts and paprika. Gorgeous!
So, once you have your hummus nicely dished out, what to do with it? You can, of course, just have it with your pita or some fresh veggies, but get creative! Try it on toast, sandwiches, burgers or wraps. Thin it down with a little extra water and olive oil and drizzle it over your bowl meals or salads as dressing. You can even use it as a dip for your grilled meats. It’s so versatile!
Homemade Hummus variations
- Throw in your favorite olives, maybe kalamata.
- Add some fresh basil for a pesto hummus.
- Try roasting your garlic beforehand for a richer umami flavor
- Churn in some avocado or roasted bell peppers for a more colorful hummus
- Garnish with parsley or some authentic Middle Eastern spices like sumac or zaater
And so many others… the sky’s the limit when your creativity is at work. Let us know how you like this easy delish dip. What variation did you come up with?
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Homemade Hummus, on my Gypsy Plate… Enjoy!
- 1 can (15 oz) chickpeas or 1.5 cups cooked chickpeas
- 1/3 cup tahini
- 1 .5 to 2 lemons, juiced
- 2 medium cloves garlic
- ½ tsp sea salt
- 3-4 Tbsp cold water
- ½ tsp cumin
- 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 3 Tbsp toasted pine nuts - divided
- Pinch of paprika
- Soak and cook chickpeas according to package directions, if using dried. If using canned, boil for additional 20 minutes to soften. Remove skins.
- Mix tahini, cold water, olive oil, garlic, lemon juice, half of pine nuts, cumin and salt in a blender or food processor. Blend until smooth.
- Add chickpeas and puree for 3-4 minutes, stopping a few times to scrape the hummus down off the sides of the blender. Blend until ultra
smooth. If needed, add additional cold water to get that creamy smooth
- Taste and adjust the lemon juice, cumin and salt according to your taste.
- Scoop the hummus into a bowl. Make a well, or some design into the hummus with a spoon. Drizzle in additional olive oil. Garnish with paprika and remaining pine nuts.
- You can try different garnishings for a little different flavor, like fresh parsley or perhaps some authentic Middle Eastern spices like sumac or zaatar.
- You can cook dried chickpeas in a pressure cooker, instant pot or stove top. For this soak the chickpeas overnight and cook until they are very mushy and kind of overcooked.
- If using canned chickpeas, check to see if they are a little hard. If so, boil them for 20 minutes before blending.
Nutrition InformationYield 8 Serving Size 1
Amount Per Serving Calories 119Total Fat 11gSaturated Fat 1gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 9gCholesterol 0mgSodium 151mgCarbohydrates 5gFiber 1gSugar 1gProtein 2g
Nutrition information calculated by Nutritionix.
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