Let me start by saying that, alas, hummus isn’t really Egyptian. The patriot in me is a little upset that my ancestors didn’t come up with this king of dips, but I guess we have to leave something to the rest of the world. Also, I must confess, my mom never really made it at home ; she considered it beyond her level of expertise, which baffles me considering how easy it is to make!
Hummus is, however, Middle-Eastern and did play a prominent role in the breakfasts I had at my Palestinian friend’s homes. Until recently, when I felt like having me some hummus, I did what most Canadians would do – I grabbed a tub of ready-made hummus off a shelf at my friendly neighborhood grocery store. That was until I visited a very dear childhood friend in Texas last year. Now, apart from being super sweet and amazing ( I gave her the link to this blog :)), my friend is also ridiculously intelligent. This girls is doing her PhD in engineering at one of the top schools in the country! If she has time to make hummus from scratch, trust me, you do to.
Why make it though? First and foremost, it’s delicious & easy to make. Second, it’s good for you. Hummus is mainly made from chickpeas, also known as garbanzo beans, which are a legume. Combine it with a grain (Aish Baladi) and you have a complete (cheap!) protein. Oh and the fibre, the glorious fibre, nutritionists are always harping on us to eat more of that, right? Just half a cup has about 7.5 grams of fibre , and that’s without having it with whole-wheat bread ;). Last but not least, it is incredibly versatile. I use it in sandwiches instead of mayo, as a dip for veggies and as a meal in its own right.
I don’t know about you, but I’m really in the mood for hummus right about now. So, without further ado, here’s a recipe:
Note: I used canned hummus for ease, however, it is very easy (and cheaper!) to use dried beans. Just place the dried chickpeas in a pot of boiling water (giving it looooooots of room, because it will expand) and be prepared for a little bit of an odour as it cooks off. Also, froth will begin to form on the top of the water, just scoop that off as it cooks. It’s ready when it’s fork tender. Use it in the recipe once it has cooled.
- 30 oz can of drained chickpeas
- 1/2 cup of chickpea juice (reserve when you drain)
- Juice of 2 lemons or more
- 2 cloves of crushed garlic
- 2 tbsp of sesame seed paste (tahini*)
- 2 tbsp of olive oil
- 1 tbsp cayenne pepper
- 1 tbsp of cumin powder
- 1/2 tsp of salt
- paprika (optional)
Blend everything together in a blender and serve chilled drizzled with olive oil and sprinkled paprika for garnish.
Keeps in the fridge for a few days. Enjoy!
Change it up: Add or remove spices as you wish, add toppings like pitted olives, roasted pine nuts, chopped tomatoes/parsley, scallions, add roasted garlic or red-pepper to the mix – let your imagination run wild!
Did You Know: It’s called Hummus in Arabic because the chickpeas themselves are called hummus? Also, the largest dish of hummus ever made was in May 2010, in Lebanon, made by 300 cooks and weighing in at 10, 452 Kg, wow! Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hummus
* You can get Tahini from most grocery stores these days. Just look in the international section. The oil may have separated from the paste, but don’t worry, just give it a good stir before you use it.