This hummus recipe is a popular vegetarian recipe throughout the Arab countries. You can scoop it up with bits of flat bread for breakfast, eat it as an appetizer or as part of a traditional mezze.
In Arabic hummus means chickpea or garbanzo bean, the main ingredient of this healthy Mediterranean diet recipe. As it happens, every family seems to have its own authentic recipe, which in fact adds to our culinary enjoyment.
After trying different hummus recipes, I usually make the one I give you below: A traditional, quick and easy recipe that always gives me superb results.
If you follow the Mediterranean diet you should eat legumes at least once or twice a week, and this homemade hummus recipe is a very good option, particularly for children who don’t want to eat legumes.
Cut down on the garlic if your kids are not used to it, and add a little bit more of tahini. Make sure that you use real Lebanese tahini (sesame paste) or similar. It is much sweeter and lighter than the Western brands you usually find in health stores. Apart from the cooking of the chick peas, this hummus recipe is suitable for cooking with kids.
Serves 6 to 8 as appetizer
- 2 cups or 450 g dry chickpeas (garbanzo beans) —about 5 cups cooked
- 1/2 cup or 8 tablespoons tahini (sesame paste)
- 3/4 cup or 12 tablespoons) lemon juice —freshly pressed
- 3 cloves garlic —peeled
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup water (use chickpea cooking water, if you have it available) —optional
- 2 or more tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped flat Italian parsley —as garnish
How to make hummus
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 15 minutes (not counting cooking the chick peas)
First method: More manual; it’s how I like to do it.
- Cook the chick peas and drain them.
- Crush and mash the garbanzo beans with a food mill or blender. If you use a food processor, be careful not to liquidize the chick peas.
- Add the salt and peeled garlic cloves to a mortar and crush them. Add the tahini and lemon juice alternately to the same mortar and mix well with the pestle or a wooden spoon.
- Pour the tahini mixture over the pureed chick peas, and work it with a whisker or wooden spoon until you obtain a smooth and thick, but soft paste. If you find the consistency of the hummus too thick, add lemon juice and/or water. Do not add a lot of water, though, or you’ll compromise the flavor. Likewise, do not add too much lemon juice, or it will only taste to lemon.
- Pour the hummus onto a shallow serving plate.
- A moment before serving, drizzle some olive oil in the center and garnish with the chopped parsley.
- Serve chilled or at room temperature with radishes, pickles and green onions, as it is done traditionally.
Second method: Faster
- Place the chick peas, tahini, fresh lemon juice, peeled garlic cloves and salt in a blender and blend into a thick paste. Add water as needed. Take care not to liquidize the garbanzo beans.
- A few minutes before serving the hummus, decorate it with the chopped parsley. Drizzle olive oil in the center.
- Serve at room temperature, or refrigerate for an hour and serve chilled.
Serve this hummus recipe…
- As a dip with pita bread (flat bread) for breakfast or as an appetizer.
- As a dip with French bread, spread on toast or any bread for that matter.
- As a sauce with grilled lamb or shish kebab as Lebanese do.
- As a sauce with fried fish, again as the Lebanese.