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Hummus

For those who spend WAY too much money buying this nutritious, delicious dish….

… that is so easy to make I just do not understand why people would buy it ready made with too much salt, possibly chemicals and usually preservatives in it.

Not forgetting that it costs between five and eight times to buy what it costs to make.

Not to mention the intrinsic satisfaction derived from making something this simple with fresh ingredients: there’s nothing like it.

There was one thing new to me. This was the very first time I had ever reconstituted my own chickpeas. And, there is no comparison. Truly. I was quite honestly shocked at how nutty and gorgeous this humble little bean is when not from a can. Now, that’s not to say I won’t buy them canned. They actually make beautiful hummus from a can. I buy the organic ones from Superstore found in the organic section. Make no mistake: all canned chickpeas (or garbonzo beans) do not even come close to tasting alike.

The reconstituted bean, however, we so delicious that I have been eating them every day since in the simplest of salads: minced red pepper, fruity olive oil, black salt. Even that is enough. Add feta cheese and your eyeballs roll back in your head for a moment or two. At least mine did, but this is very new to me. I have been so turned off any “bean” salads as they do not taste good, yet everyone is eating them and making them and there is so much hype about how healthy they are that I had to give them a serious try. Worth it? Abso-positive-lutely!

It’s quite a simple story: you soak the beans over night (ratio is 2:1 water to bean). See how much they grew (you’ll have to look waaayyy up!) Then, rinse and simmer-boil: no salt. Salt makes them hard. Leave the seasoning until the very end of the cooking process. Skim, skim, skim. It took me over an hour to have them fork tender. I definitely did not want a mushy bean, but you are in control of that. Strain, cool, use or freeze. YUM!

I like mine with texture. Some like theirs runny and silky. Make it how you like it. Just make it, for goodness sake!

The first time I had hummus, one of my grade 8 students brought me a plate of it from her mom, garnished with olive oil and olives. It was 1988. She was bursting with excitement to have me taste a favourite ethnic dish of hers. I had never seen anything like it. We are talking 1988. There were no Greek or Mediterranean Restaurants selling hummus in the Alberta Prairies in those days. There were Greek restaurants, but hummus was not on the menu then. I remember.

“What is it?” “Hummus!” “It is so pretty! How do I eat it?” “With this bread; you dip it!” “Oooooo, it is soooo yummy!”

It wasn’t. It was so strange and foreign and different and new to my sheltered little palate way back then. “What is in it?” She told me. Her mother came in explained the process of making it and what was in it and how good it was nutritionally. Somehow, the rest of the day, I found myself back at it. It was so… different… so tasty… so garlicky…. so… so… so… addictive! I certainly didn’t force myself, but I fell in love with it through the process of the tasting and learning and savouring it that afternoon so long ago. I have made it ever since.

Basic Hummus Recipe

Ingredients (Thermomix measurements in grams:

  • one 14 ounce can of chickpeas, drained, liquid reserved or 250g drained chickpeas
  • 2 to 4 cloves of garlic or 10-15g (depending upon your taste preference)
  • 1/2 to 1 teaspoon salt or 5g (depending upon how salty your chickpeas are)
  • juice of one fresh lemon (about 4 tablespoons) or 60g
  • 2 large tablespoons of Tahini (Sesame seed paste) or 50g
  • olive oil to garnish

Instructions:

  1. Place all ingredients in blender and combine to desired consistency
  2. Add liquid from beans, if too dry
  3. Adjust salt, if necessary
  4. Garnish with a fruity olive oil

Instructions for the Thermomix:

  1. Scale ingredients into the TM bowl; use the speed dial from 0-4 for 5 seconds
  2. Scrape down the ingredients in the bowl toward the blade; for a chunky consistency, you are almost there (2-3 more seconds)
  3. If you prefer a smooth consistency, set the time to 30 seconds, and the speed to 4; if not smooth enough, increase the speed and work with it, until you get the consistency you desire
  4. Add liquid from beans, if too dry
  5. Adjust salt, if necessary
  6. Garnish with a fruity olive oil

Note: As this has the perfect ration of legume to seed, the result is a whole protein, so this vegetarian dish is a very hardy and healthy protein replacement in your diet

We made this recipe recently in my Greek Escapes Cooking Class (which I wasn’t able to write about as I was too busy to take photos that weren’t blurry) and the gals in the class really enjoyed making it to suit their personal palates! As we were also peeling red peppers we had roasted, Christan asked how many should go in this recipe to make Red Pepper Hummus. I cannot believe I have not done that. Start with one. Add more if you like more. Just make it yourself!

I really tried to get this into the round up due noon Monday here. for the Well Seasoned Cook’s Three Year Long Monthly Round-up: The Legume Love Affair. I just never made the deadline, but head on over and take a look at the other wonderful legume recipes collected in that round up – though it looks as though they are not posted on the site they are to be???  (But read the updates under the bar, first!)

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About Valerie Lugonja

Educator, Writer, Gardener and Traveler who believes in buying and eating locally, and most importantly cooking at home!

Join The Conversation!

  1. Ur pics look great

    • Thanks, Tony!
      I see you got NoMa! I want to make the carrot sorbet from that book…. but it is NOT an easy read! Did you see his video? Fantastic!
      :)
      valerie

  2. PERFECT recipe Valerie! We love our hummus in this house (source of protein for that non meat eater son of mine) and even making your own Tahini is SO easy!

    It’s the perfect “base” to add almost anything, you can throw even garama masala in it and you have a wonderful Indian inspired hummus – very fusion come to think of it- olives….lemon pepper….the list is endless.

    I used canned chick peas and AMEN to the Superstore Organic!

    • Karlynn!!!
      What planet am I on!!???? Of course, make my own Tahini!!! And I have a Thermomix, to boot!
      I am IN!
      :)
      Valerie

  3. Sigh. Totally misspelled garam masala. I hate when I don’t proof read.

  4. Just boiled some chickpeas and made a salad (with tomato, lamb’s lettuce) for the lunch ;-) Maybe I will use the rest of them to make some hummus too.

  5. I love that u made your own hummus from scratch.Its such a darn easy thing to do,In india we ALWAYS use chickpeas or any beans that way..soak the raw ones first and then pressure cook them.I was smiiling when u said boil..skim skim…maybe u can invest in a pressure cooker ..it will cut down all those times for stews and gravies too.Anyhow this is a perfect recipe…chickpeas have a bite and that olive drizzle..YUM

  6. i sure do remember making this hummus. i’m not a huge fan of hummus, but i don’t hate it. tasting your hummus really changed that. i’ve gone from not hating it to actually liking it. maybe i just never had the right hummus before ;-) i’m sure i will be making this instead of buying it as like you said, so so easy. by the way, your pictures are looking better and better. lovely presentations.

    • LeQuan…
      I took the time to make a picture instead of take a picture
      ;)
      Let’s book a bread day. I don’t see a cookie day happening before Valentine’s. I wanted to – but it is not going to happen as you only have weekends.
      :)

  7. Val,
    Your pics are definitely improving, love it — especially the 2nd one! The hummus sounds great too, i could just dip my face in the bowl no need for bread…
    –Andy

    • Hey, Andy!
      The quality of my pics are not improving… can’t be (I’m doing nothing different) But, I have decided to work on composition. I had actually made a concrete decision NOT to work on composition: just angle and photo quality, as cooking the bloody food, and cleaning the kitchen was enough! :) ;) After all, I am hardly Superwoman – the food gets cold… and on and on. But, I set some new goals this year… and I hope I can manage it more often. One is to include all the fresh local ingredients I am putting into a recipe in a composition with the final dish. That is, if there are left over fresh ingredients to do that with. I hate waste, so keep using my props and forget I bought extra to use in the final shots. I hope I stop that, as the final product is so much more motivating and my ultimate goal is to encourage those who don’t cook, to cook, or those that “don’t think they can” that “they can! they can!”
      I really appreciate your noticing! Also, the “real estate” for my photo size has been changed as it drove me crazy that there was all this space on the screen, but I only had 500 pixels for a big photo. Now I have 700 and it makes a huge difference.
      DSL boot camp coming up! Soon I’ll be able to talk your language!
      :)
      Valerie

  8. suzanne dennis says:

    valerie,

    great post as usual. i love hummus and make mine often, but had always used the canned version.

    i tried to make from dried chick peas recently after reading about the ease and cost effectiveness, but got some weird skin shed phenomenon happening in my pot! kinda gross actually.

    what went wrong?
    did i just have a dud batch of peas? did i boil too long? not long enuf?

    i will try again one day soon as i am positively drooling over your pics….yum….

    cant wait for sausage making class
    see you then

    su :)

    ps – brought a batch of ‘breakfast cookies’ (- your recipie) – to work and just wanted you to know they were enjoyed immensely. i have directed requests for the recipie to your site!

    • Thank you, Su!!!
      First, I am THRILLED you made the Breakfast cookies (if you get a chance to make a comment about that on the post about them, that would be great for others to see!)
      And, next, I have now reconstituted chickpeas three times and have had nothing like you are saying happen – yet. I don’t boil hard, though. I do a low, low boil. I learned to do that with my stocks and soups. A simmer is best, so I just assumed the same for the beans. Also, I have not yet used a bagged variety. The first ones were bulk from Superstore. The next from Planet Organic, and then more left over from Superstore. I have bought a bag of Clic to try, too… less uniform and way cheaper.So, I don’t know the answer to that question. It definitely sounds like they were being cooked for too long to me. I did find them MUCH drier when making hummus than the canned version, so they took a lot more “adjusting” of the recipe, but still made an outstanding product.
      Hope that helps!
      Valerie

  9. Oh my goodness, I haven’t bought pre-made hummus in at least 5 years! I make a big batch about every other week…you’re right, it’s so much cheaper and easy to customize!

  10. For the longest time…I’ve made Hummus like the recipe you have above…and was always yummy except for some reason, the Tahini paste itslef bothered me somewhat. I later started finely grinding my own sesame seeds (slightly roasted) and I liked it better. To balance it out, I add a little yogurt and instead of raw garlic, I now use roasted garlic. I pretty much eye-ball everything. It still remains basically the same recipe, however has a different dimension built in. I haven’t turned back ;o) Let me know if you ever try this out Valerie ;o)

    Btw…about the crochet center piece you commented on from my Cheesecake post…yes, there is certainly a lovely story attached. In short, it was given to me by an inn keeper during my travels in Yugoslavia over 20 years ago. Valerie, I really appreciate how observant you are. Nice to know how you find joy in the details ;o)

    Great post and hopefully it has convinced many to give this very healthy homemade recipe a try.

    Have a fantastic week,
    Claudia

  11. Our palates change with age and experience, don’t they?

    Nice hummus recipe and your photos are marvelous! Makes me want to run right to the kitchen to make it! Sadly, one of my kids is allergic to it, so I don’t often make it.

    And re the pea puree…I posted the recipe as printed in Sophie’s book. When I make it for myself, I leave out the butter and use lo cal sour cream or yogurt, depending on what I have in the fridge. But even WITH the butter and creme fraiche, compared to the last few recipes I posted, this IS lo-cal! :)

  12. Hi, Valerie. First, let me say this hummus looks fabulous – all that glistening oil. It’s one of my all-time faves dips.

    I saw your comment re: MLLA. I’ll email you with the details, timeframes, etc., as well as toss out some months when you can host in 2012. Cheers!

  13. Agreed, homemade hummus is easy, cheap, and nutritious. Thanks for the advice on reconstituting chickpeas!

  14. I’ve never made hummus from dried beans, I’ll have to try that :D
    *kisses* HH

  15. Fantastic Valerie!

    I refuse to buy store bought hummus (I get mine at the Farmer’s Market). But there are many weeks in winter where I don’t get to the market, yet want that hummus! I’m adding this to my recipes asap!

  16. I don’t know that I’ve ever used a recipe for hummus. In our house it was always made by sight/taste with the ingredients.

  17. Valerie

    I applaud you for making hummus from dried beans; that is my preference too, especially if the beans are of good quality and the Canadian beans are big and healthy-looking and my favorite in North America. I also want to point to a tip: If the hummus is too runny, add one or two pieces of american style bread cut in little pieces to the mixture and whiz through the processor.

  18. Oh, definitely homemade hummus is the way to go and you can flavor it any way you want :) Your hummus looks terrific for sure!

  19. I absolutely REFUSE to buy hummus in the store when it comes out tasting so much better at home! I am constantly looking for new recipes and this is definitely going into the mix!

  20. There is really nothing like fresh beans…I love hummus but have not made it in such a long time. My oldest son keeps promising to prepare some, I should get to pushing :)

  21. Thanks for the great website! Just a few questions:
    1. Have you ever had HOT hummus? I had it in a restaurant once, and never went back to serving it cold again. Brings out the flavors..
    2. What do you mean by “skim, skim, skim”?
    3. A totally unrelated question– What about greek yogurt as a substitute in baking? All the cooking blogs rave about it, but I made my famous cornbread yesterday and decided to use greek yogurt instead of the sour cream. AWFUL, simply horrendous! It tasted so sour. Comments?

    • Hi, B!
      Thank you for visiting!
      1. Great tip! I will have to try the HOT hummus idea… it makes sense as anything cold is less flavourful… counter tomatoes are far more vibrant and lively than chilled ones, yet I have never thought of a hot hummus!
      2. There is a scum that surfaces as you boil the beans similar to the scum that surfaces when making homemade stock; you need to skim it off. There is a photo of me doing that in the collage and the bean scum is very white.
      3. I use yogurt OFTEN as a substitute for liquids in baking. I am so surprised that the yogurt didn’t work in your cornbread – but, I must admit, I would never mess with anything “famous” that is already a winning recipe! It is possible that the higher fat content in the sour cream was needed in your recipe to achieve the crumb desired, but regarding a sour flavour, I haven’t an answer. Greek yogurt is usually more runny, and sour cream is not, so a texture issue I can understand. A definitely sour taste issue is honestly so odd. Try it again with a different yogurt. I make my own yogurt all of the time and LOVE it. I think it would be perfect in a cornbread. It is just an odd happening. Maybe something else was in your recipe that was completely unrelated to the yogurt that created the sour taste?
      :)
      Valerie

  22. Hey Valerie! Ooh, you did this right. And I mean really right-from dry beans and everything! That’s nice and, yes, super inexpensive while being wonderfully healthful.
    By the way, my hummus experience was the same as yours. Well, I grew up with the term ‘hummus’, but it just meant chick pea. I never had the Middle Eastern dip until I was in my teens and I didn’t like it. I love it now though…
    p.s. Your photos made me crave this. I’m going to see if I have everything to make it.

  23. I would love to make my own. But I’m the only one who likes it, and am afraid to make too large a batch, and then have hummus overdose. Can it be frozen in small batches?

    • Nadine: I wouldn’t freeze it. I haven’t tried. But, there is some intrinsic intuitive distilled intelligence telling me the answer would be “no”. I do freeze the beans after reconstituting them. That can be done, but they are even better freshly reconstituted. You can imagine how hard it is on the structure of a legume to be dried, reconstituted, frozen and then reheated. The structure of any plant can only take so much… I am sure you “can” freeze hummus, but I do thing it would not be as good. I have not tried it. Help, people! Chime in!
      :)
      Valerie

  24. Oh and by the way. I’ve tried to respond to your comment on my blog, but I’m not certain if you would have gotten it. Sorry about that.

  25. I love making hummus! I’ve never had store bought hummus that can compare. I also start with dried chickpeas and use LOTS of roasted garlic too. My husband won’t eat it if it’s not spicy so I also add plenty of cayenne pepper and a few splashes of Tabasco ;) What a great treat.

    • Oooh, Susan! That sounds like such fun!!! YUM! And you are right, I have never met a store bought hummus that was as tasty as a homemade one!
      :)
      Valerie

  26. Yep, its sure is super easy isn’t it and tasty as. I’m with you Val, no idea why people buy it :)

  27. So true… why do I ever buy hummus? It is so easy and yummy to make. Yours looks wonderful!

    • Katie! Do YOU really buy hummus? Really? Next time, buy the ingredients. I know it might only be 5 dollars difference and you are tired, but emptying a can into the blender is as much work as emptying the hummus into a serving dish. And it will be nutritious and fresh and you will be in control of what you eat!
      :)
      Valerie

  28. Your photos are, as usual, terrific. I think the best part of being able to make hummus at home, is that it can be had whenever you want it. I make it a point to keep chick peas in the pantry and we always have several types of olive oil in the kitchen. I hope you have a wonderful evening. Blessings…Mary

  29. great post valerie, homemade is always so much flavorful, thank you for the step by step..I began making hummus last year, hoping ot give my girls a great snack..they loved it!! I am more than happy to make it for them!!

    sweetlife

  30. Your hummus looks wonderful. And you’ve inspired me to make my own! I loved your photos and descriptions.

    • Beth!
      Have you never made your own? You must have… haven’t you? If not, this post has taught me something I really did not expect to learn: that even the simplest of recipes is worthy of sharing to the most accomplished home cooks in the blogosphere as our personal experiences and go-to recipes are completely varied.
      :)
      Valerie

  31. Fantastic post Valerie! Your photos are amazing, especially the ones showing little pools of olive oil over the top of the hummus…Mmmmm! It does save so much money to make it yourself.

  32. Always wanted to make my own hummus. It seems ridiculous that I haven’t given that I sweat yogurt to make my own tzaziki. Hummus scares me for some reason. I think I will give it a go this weekend though. I wonder how my baby would feel about hummus….

    • Court!
      That is TOO funny! Nothing to be afraid of, at all, especially for an accomplished cook like yourself… and that is a very good question. My thoughts are, that without the garlic, your baby would go nuts over it. You can add roasted red peppers to it for extra nutrition, but I bet it makes great baby food! HOWEVER: I was thinking about allergies, so I googled it and allergies to sesame seeds is the 9th highest baby allergy world wide and can cause a severe reaction in babies. Read more here.
      valerie

  33. I love hummus……….Never made the red pepper version but I really should. Enjoy the weekend and I LOVE the pork belly and red cabbage recipes, I’d alreade read the post. Yum

  34. Hummus is one of the foods I can’t live without. And this one is exactly how we make it here in Turkey with one difference, we use whole chickpeas for garnish, not olives. This is also known as a great mezze to accompany your raki, a famous Turkish alcoholic drink. Would love to dip my bread into the last picture here! Oh, I mean into that bowl:)

    • Zerrin: Brilliant and so simple I cannot believe it. Of course. Chickpea garnish: DUH! Seriously, how perfect. Thank you!
      :)
      Valerie

  35. On the topic of hummus…I used to LOVE that the Presidents Choice Garlic Hummus was made in Canada (I only buy Canadian products), but to my shock the last container I purchased said “œProduct of USA” on the side. Boo. They have lost me as a customer. Go Canada!:)

  36. Lauren Andersen says:

    Your pictures are amazing!!! I want to make this so bad! It looks delicious and hummus is my favorite snack with carrots these days.

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