Monday, March 21, 2011

Homemade hummus

Hummus is quite possibly the world's most perfect food. Yes, I've probably said that about something else if you look through all my past posts. I recently decided, somewhat randomly, that I was going to make homemade hummus. I knew some people who had done it and felt assured it was pretty easy. And that brings me to:
Challenge #1: Finding tahini. I live in a large metro area, there is all kinds of weird stuff that I never saw at a grocery store anywhere in Kansas sitting on the shelves. Could I find tahini? No. I looked in the international aisle, condiment aisle, next to the ready-made hummus to no avail. I called my friend in Kansas to find out where she buys hers and it was at her normal grocery store. No Middle Eastern market, no specialty health food store. I finally found it. They had one kind, in a little spot in the store. I talked to four different store employees until one of them even knew what tahini was!

Challenge #2: The missing blender
Ideally, you should make hummus in a food processor but I don't have one and I'm pretty sure if I did, I'd use it four times a year. Maybe. Many hummus recipes out there say you can also use a blender and I had one of those, or at least I used to. I have absolutely no idea where my blender is. I must have left it at the old apartment somehow, but no clue how. Congratulations, new tenant! You just got a really nice blender.However, I had already bought all the fixin's for hummus. I was on a mission. Enter the IKEA chopper. I recently had bough a vegetable chopper from IKEA but had yet to break it out. It was kind of an impulse buy. I put my hummus in the bottom of a square, flat dish (corning ware baking dish) and set to chopping. I thought it would more or less work to mush up the chickpeas and it more or less did, though the hummus wasn't as smooth as it normally would be.


Challenge #3: Too much tahini
I read a multitude of hummus recipes before making it and they were all about the same, varying a little in the details, according to tastes. I would suggest tinkering with it, to see what you like but I put a basic recipe below for starters. However, I challenge anyone who has ever claimed to measure tahini. It is impossible. It's very cement like at the bottom and all the oil is at the top (kind of like natural peanut butter), so you have to stir it up, which basically resulted in some tahini cement stuck to the bottom of my spoon. I have now attempted the hummus twice, and still no idea how anyone would ever mention this.

That being said, most of the recipes I read called for 2 Tb of tahini and that is a lot. Wow. The first batch of hummus I made was way too strong on the tahini. I would advise you to start with about 3/4 Tb and taste the results to see if you want more. With the proper equipment and tinkering, fresh hummus would be way better than grocery store hummus.


Sorry for the poor quality photo! Hope you still get the idea.

hummus

1 can of chickpeas (garbanzo beans)
2-4 Tb lemon juice
2 cloves garlic (minced)
minced onion (I skip this because I hate onion)
1 Tb tahini
1 Tb olive oil
salt and pepper to taste (I'd use sea salt)

Flavorings to think about....
-red pepper
-artichoke
-spinach

Do you have other flavoring ideas? I'd love to hear your tips!

2 comments:

  1. So I've gotten the urge to blog again - and I've missed a lot of your posts! Nice walkthrough on hummus making, btw :)
    I'd recommend roasted red peppers, cumin and coriander - those are my favorite things to have, and you may have tried it before

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