My Dad was a character, and very opinionated. Consequently, in my household we have several catchphrases he used to express his opinion. One of them was “Why would any—-body (do whatever)” Apparently anything he would not do should not have occurred to anyone else to do. Well, my father’s phrase kept coming to mind as I wondered whether or not to include my basic recipe for hummus on this blog.
So, here goes…”Why would any—-body want to make homemade hummus when any grocery store or market offers all sorts of flavors and brands”. For one thing, it is a great “cupboard dish”. There are few ingredients and those can be some you have on hand. If you are a purist and would not think of ever using canned chickpeas, then you DO have preparation time, but if you are willing to by-go that step and use perfectly good canned chickpeas, and happen to have some tahini on hand (tahini keeps for months in the refrigerator) then the hummus is a quick and easy last minute dish which works well as an appetizer.
I have named this entry “Basic homemade hummus” because after you make the hummus you can keep it simple or add chopped ripe olives, pine nuts, sun-dried tomatoes, dried herbs, or whatever other idea you might come up with. And, as with most dishes with are standard or ethnic in nature, there is no set rule. Recipes of this type are simply a point of departure. You may find you would like less or more lemon juice or garlic, more salt, or less pepper. Remember, YOU are the cook!
This recipe make a bit over two cups. Enough for a crowd to eat and enjoy at one time or to store in the refrigerator and munch along with celery or carrots sticks while reading a good book all week long…and by your lonesome.
- 2 cups chickpeas, drained*
- ½ cup tahini
- ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 ½ tablespoons whole or 1 tablespoon ground cumin
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1/2 teaspoon each salt & fresh ground pepper
- If using dried chickpeas, soak 1 cup of peas overnight in two cups of water. Drain, rinse, and then bring 2 cups of water to boil, add the peas, a clove of garlic and a bay leaf. Bring to a boil, then simmer for about 30 minutes or so or until the beans are tender. Drain the beans reserving the liquid.
- If using canned beans, drain and rinse beans.
- If using whole cumin, toast the seeds over medium heat and then grind. You should have 1 tablespoon.
- Put all ingredients into a food processor and process. The mixture will be thick. If you have cooked your own beans, add small amounts of the cooking liquid at a time (if using canned beans, add water) to arrive at the desired consistency.