Hummus is central to a few cultures around the world (Turkish, Lebanese, Syrian, Egyptian, and Israeli to name a few). Its history actually stems from Egypt, with a close recipe mentioned in a 13th-century Egyptian cookbook, “Hummus kasa”, and used vinegar but no lemon or garlic. There was also a similar recipe mentioned in a Syrian Medieval cookbook (also 13th century) that has pureed chickpeas and lemons.
Neither of these two recipes would taste anything close to what we call Hummus today as they don’t have all of the four ingredients that give hummus its hallmark flavour: chickpeas, tahini, garlic and lemon. The first written record of modern Hummus comes from 18th century Damascus, in what is now Syria. Obviously, this is just the written record. There is no doubt that Hummus was being prepared in homes before this.
In our house, Hummus is a staple. It is so easy and having it in the fridge, makes healthy snacks a breeze, and they can zhoosh up any salad-based meal. I am yet to meet a person that doesn't love Hummus in one of its various forms. This recipe is for a basic Hummus, but the beauty of this recipe is you can add anything you want and cater it to just how you like it.
A few tips
Soak your garlic in your lemon juice for a few minutes before you add it to the mix. It really takes the bite out of the garlic, but still gives you that delicious garlicky flavour.
Try and peel (at least most of) your chickpeas a bit before you add them to the food processor. The easiest way is to put them straight into a bowl of cold water after cooking and rub your hands through them. The skins will float to the top. Pour the water slowly into a strainer, and do it again a few times. Peeled chickpeas give you the smoothest hummus.
Use super cold water when to mix into your hommus. It makes it SOOO fluffy.
If you want to keep it local, check out our sunflower tahini recipe
Great Variations to try:
• Mix in some olive paste
• blend in some cooked beetroot
• top with your favourite tomato chutney (it works!)
• 2 cups cooked white chickpeas
• ½ cup tahini (we use our sunflower tahini, if you want to keep it local)
• ¼ cup fresh lemon juice
• 1 clove Russian garlic grated (or 3 cloves of red garlic)
• ½ teaspoon cumin
• ¼ cup olive oil
• 2 -4 tablespoons ice water
• Salt to taste
• a sprinkle of smoked paprika, sweet paprika or sumac
• a drizzle of olive oil
• Cook your soaked chickpeas in a saucepan or pressure cooker. (at least 30 mins in the saucepan or 10 mins under pressure in the pressure cooker).
****You really want to get these chickpeas mushy. Err on the overcooked side
• While you are cooking the chickpeas soak your garlic in the lemon juice to take away a bit of the bite.
• Once cooked, place your cooked chickpeas (ideally roughly shelled) in the food processor or blender and blend until smooth.
• Add the lemon juice, garlic and tahini and blend again, making sure to keep pushing the mixture down from the side of the bowl.
• Add cumin and salt and keep mixing.
• While blending, add a couple of tablespoons of the ice-cold water until the mixture is ultra-smooth, pale and creamy. (If your tahini was extra-thick, you might need to add 1 to 2 tablespoons more ice water.)
• Start to drizzle in the oil while blending to get that nice fluffy hummus we all love
Top with paprika or sumac and a drizzle with olive oil and serve.