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Homemade Hummus Help

I know hummus has been discussed ad nauseum on this board over the last few months, in fact that's what inspired me to try to whip up a batch this afternoon.

I soaked the beans overnight, boiled them until quite soft, and then rubbed between my palms in a bowl of water to remove some of the skins. I blended the heck out of it with some of the cooking water and lemon juice, then seasoned with tahini, garlic, salt, and just a pinch of cumin. Didn't follow a recipe, just to taste.

It tasted great, just how I like my hummus. The consistency was a little thin, but I figured when it cooled off it would thicken up a bit.

It has been in the fridge, and it does seem to be thickening a bit, but I just had some with crackers and it seems really bland. Blander than I remember it tasting a few hours ago. My imagination? Sensitive taste buds? Or does hummus "mellow" as it rest or something?

I thought perhaps it might have less flavor by virtue of being cold, but it isn't even really that cold yet, just cool.

Any tips or explanations welcome, I guess I can go season it up some more, but I'm sort of mystified as I've never encountered this kind of thing before.

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  1. In my experience, foods lose a lot of flavour as they cool, and it doesn't take a big temperature drop to really bring that out. For some reason, I've found that this tendancy is much greater in starchy foods - potatoes, beans, rice. They need to be seasoned a lot more intensely (especially, in my experience, saltwise) if they will be served cold or cool.

    Also, if you only used a small amount of tahini, part of what might be contributing to the flavor drop is the slight amount of fat -- fats are the best flavour carriers.

    1 Reply
    1. re: AnnaEA

      Hmm.

      I did use a lot of tahini, but I also made a looooooooot of hummus (I forgot how much dried beans expand when cooked! Didn't use any olive oil either, so I'm sure the fat content is lower than usual.

      Think I'll start with a little more salt, then maybe some more tahini or olive oil as my next step. thanks for the input!

    2. I've always noticed that when I first make hummos it doesn't taste nearly as good as it does a day later. Be sure to be really generous with garlic and to get enough salt and lemon juice and olive oil in it as all contribute to flavor. BTW why in the world are you going to so much trouble to make hummos, hand-rubbing the beans? I agree with cooking your own garbanzos but then, really, you can just chuck the drained beans in the blender with everything else and rev 'er up. And if you're in a hurry and use a can of garbanzos, you won't go to hell or anything.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Querencia

        I went to the trouble because of a couple lengthy threads about how to get hummus really smooth, and the consensus was to boil, skin, and blend them. Really, it wasn't much trouble to get the skins off. It's not like I took the skin carefully off each one individually. I just kind of rolled them around in my palms a bit and skimmed off the ones that floated to the top. 5 minutes, tops. I usually just buy hummus at the store but figured as long as I'm making it from scratch, might as well go the extra mile.

      2. 1 - Where's the olive oil? Some in the mixture, a drizzle on top when serving.

        2 - Canned chick peas. Everybody else does it. And reserve some of the can liquid for thinning the pureed beans to taste.

        1. Maybe this isn't how hummus is supposed to be made, but I always toast my chickpeas instead of boiling them... which I think helps their flavor come out more... that might help along with your increased seasoning.

          1. You mentioned having it with crackers when it didn't taste good. What did you try it with the first time? That may adjust the flavor more than anything else especially if it was not strongly flavored.

            I've been making Hummus for about 18 years modifying to taste from recipe in Claudia Roden's cookbook. My experience has been the taste when I make it and the taste a day later isn't markedly different, whether I eat it right out of fridge or not. I have found like Wayne that using canned chickpea (I use S&W brand) and then adding the juice afterwards to adjust the consistency I get better result than with rehydrating dried chickpeas. I typically aim for something more strongly garlicly, lemony, salty than what is in the store (here in California lemons do grow on trees).

            2 Replies
            1. re: tman

              hmm. I ate it with a spoon when I tried it the first time. Maybe the cracker overpowered it. It was a honey wheat cracker so I suppose that could have thrown off the taste.

              (I wouldn't normally eat hummus with honey wheat crackers, BTW. Just happened to have them lying around and needed to use them up.)

              1. re: tman

                Adding the liquid from canned chickpeas gives a bad taste. I rinse the canned chickpeas 3 times in cold water, while in the can, using a can-top sized strainer (some plastic sink strainers work--of course you use that strainer only for chick peas, and perhaps water packed tuna, for which it is sometimes sold, and keep it out of your sink drain) to drain the water each time. To thin the mixture I use plain cold water. It is important to blend the final mixture for at least one minute to get a good consistency. It also helps to first blend all the ingredients except the chick peas, and then add the chickpeas and blend again.

                About a year or two after I started doing this, someone elsewhere posted that that was one of the secrets of her Lebanese grandmother.