I’m not a stickler for tradition but sometimes the old beaten path is the best. That is certainly the case for hummus, a dish that has hundreds of years of consistent deliciousness behind it. This hummus recipe keeps it simple, but employs cooking methods widely used by experienced practitioners of modern middle eastern cuisine in order to achieve life-changing levels of smoothness.
The Secret Techniques Behind Super Smooth Hummus
First, ditch the can. The dried stuff certainly takes a lot more time, but the flavor is fresher and the texture is smoother. Save the canned chickpeas for a lazy sunday hummus, whip out the dried stuff for a hummus experience.
Second, overcook the chickpeas. It’s already common practice to boil the beans until they’re very soft, but I’m talking about falling apart levels of softness. Essentially boiling it down into a chickpea paste. A little baking soda not only speeds up the cooking process, but also helps break down the fibrous outer skin, resulting in a chickpea base fit for an ultra-smooth hummus.
Third, chill out. Cooling down the chickpeas and using ice cold water ensures the hummus has a smooth, almost whipped texture. I’m not entirely sure why this works, but it does.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Why can’t I just buy my hummus?
A: You can. But homemade hummus tastes better, you get more hummus per dollar (three times more hummus to be exact), and it’s super easy to make. Making hummus from scratch is beneficial in every way. Except for the fact that it takes a while. But most of the time it takes to make hummus is completely passive time.
Q: How long does hummus last in the fridge?
A: As long as it’s properly stored in a sealed container in the fridge, about a week. Extra hummus can be kept in the freezer for an additional four months.
Q: How do I reheat my hummus
The microwave works okay, but my favorite method is to reheat in a saucepan. No matter what method, stir in a little water to compensate for moisture loss from refrigeration.
Q: Do I need to peel the skins?
A: Some recipes call for peeling the fibrous chickpea skins, but that’s not necessary for this recipe. Most of the skins in this recipe break down completely due to the long cook time with baking soda.
Q: Why no olive oil/garlic/spices in hummus?
A: You can add olive oil or garlic if you want, but my personal preference is just salt, lemon and tahini. Something about its simplicity is very enjoyable to me.
Extra Smooth Traditional Hummus
450g dried chickpeas
1 tsp baking soda
1/3 cup tahini
2 tsp salt
1 tsp cumin
1 clove garlic
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
¼ tsp paprika
- Soak the dried chickpeas overnight.
- Drain the chickpeas, add them to a pot and cover with enough fresh water to cover by about an inch. Add baking soda and bring to a rolling boil on high heat. Let boil on medium for thirty minutes. At this point set aside some whole chickpeas for extra garnish, if desired.
- Cover and turn the heat to medium low. Let simmer for an hour.
- Remove the lid. Boil off the remaining liquid on medium-high heat. Stir constantly with a wooden or silicon utensil, scraping the bottom of the pot to prevent anything from burning. Continue until a thick paste forms. Set aside in a container to cool completely.
- Add the chickpeas to a food processor or blender. Blend while slowly adding ice water until the mixture loosens slightly and becomes lighter in shade. Add the tahini, salt, and lemon*. Blend further until homogenous.
- To serve, spread the hummus on a plate. Create a ringed divot with the back of a spoon. Drizzle extra virgin olive oil in the divot. Sprinkle paprika, or add a striped pattern using a wet fork. Enjoy.