Mezing Around With Hummus

Meze or mezze means appetizer in Iran, Turkey, Greece and other Persian countries. It is a part of the world I have always wanted to explore, beyond the food we can get here in Canada. I want to land my feet on the mysterious Persian Empire, touch the silky Persian carpet and of course stomach down some (or a lot of) Turkish falafel hummus flatbread wrap. For now though, hummus will have to do!

Hummus 01-28-2016 (LQ) (6 of 10)

A classic hummus is made with simple ingredients: cooked chickpeas, tahini, lemon and garlic. That’s it! However, I’m told that hummus is a dangerous subject because people in Persian areas are very passionate and fixated on their hummus. More tahini, less tahini … Not to mention the topic of where hummus originated (that’s a declaration of war!).

Thanks to commercialization, hummus is a North American grocery store staple. Hence the thought of making a post for hummus has never occurred to me because hummus is such a simple, not fancy-enough-dish to blog about…until now, since someone made a specific request!

For the record, I am not a hummus expert. I have never been to Persia, nor have any Persian roots. However, I have been regularly making my own hummus for years and I believe in using the best ingredients possible. Especially not canned chickpeas!

Chickpeas 01-27-2016 (LQ) (1 of 2) Chickpeas 01-27-2016 (LQ) (2 of 2)

Making hummus is like courtship: it requires lots of attention, time and love. Soaking the chickpeas overnight, slowly simmering until tender and then processing it with a zealous amount of energy. In return, hummus is never boring since you can have it plain, or flavor the hummus with roasted red pepper, or use sundried tomato, or add a kick with smoked paprika.

We find that this basic hummus recipe has the PERFECT tahini to chickpea ratio for OUR taste. We hope you agree!


Homemade Hummus

Prep time: overnight soaking + 40 minutes simmering + 10 minutes processing
Makes 3 cups

Ingredients:
  • 1 cup dried chickpeas
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ cup tahini
  • ¼ teaspoon cumin
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice (juice of 1 lemon)
  • Salt to taste
Directions:
  1. Soak the dried chickpeas in a large pot overnight with at least 2 inches of cold water above the chickpeas.Hummus 01-28-2016 (LQ) (1 of 10)
  2. Drain and change the water, leave at least 2-3 inches of water above. Add baking soda and bring the pot to boil over high heat. Skim all the floating foam and turn the heat down to medium-low. Let the chickpeas actively simmer for about 40 minutes or until tender.
  3. Set the chickpeas aside to room temperature before processing.
  4. Preserve one cup of cooking liquid, then drain the chickpeas well to reach that nice thick consistency.
  5. Place the chickpeas and garlic in a food processor and process until smooth.Hummus 01-28-2016 (LQ) (2 of 10)
  6. Juice one lemon (~ 3 tablespoons), add into food processor with tahini, cumin and salt. Process until desired smoothness.Hummus 01-28-2016 (LQ) (5 of 10)
  7. If the mixture is too thick to process, SLOWLY drizzle in the cooking liquid to smoothen it. Depends on how well I drain my chickpeas, I sometimes use none to ½ cup of cooking liquid.
  8. Plate the hummus on a shallow dish and swirl with the back of a spoon to create a well in the middle. Garnish with more cooked chickpeas and your choice of seasonings (sumac, paprika, za’tar, roasted sesame… )Hummus 01-28-2016 (LQ) (4 of 10)
  9. Serve with warm pita or crudités, or both!
  10. Bon appétit!

Hummus 01-28-2016 (LQ) (8 of 10) Hummus 01-28-2016 (LQ) (9 of 10) Hummus 01-28-2016 (LQ) (10 of 10)

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