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Hummus question.

Ive tried many times to recreate the smooth hummus that I get at restaurants but so far I have not been able to achieve that goal. I start by soaking dry chickpeas for 2 days, but the result is still slightly gritty, even after purring the mixture for 2-3 minutes in a food processor.

I use a fairly standard recipe of toasted tahini, fresh squeezed lemon juice(plus the zest), kosher salt, XV olive oil, garlic and pine nuts for garnish.

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  1. After soaking, you cook the beans, right? Or are you just rehydrating them?

    1. After cooking do you remove the skins?

      8 Replies
      1. re: RetiredChef

        Removing the skins is the secret to supremely smooth hummus from dried chickpeas. Adding the cooking liquid in small quantities will also help create a smoother puree.

        1. re: JungMann

          Yes, remove the skins....I use dried Indian Chana Dal - they are split chick peas with the skins removed... makes really good hummus.

          1. re: harryharry

            Does Chana Dal need soaking? Do you boil them or use a pressure cooker?

            1. re: travelerjjm

              soak overnight or the quick soak method.

            2. re: harryharry

              Chana dal are different from garbanzo beans / chickpeas.

              1. re: will47

                Are they? I always thought they were the same or at least very similar - how are they different?

                1. re: harryharry

                  Hrm - I guess it is related. Still a garbanzo / chickpea, but the Desi variety -- a bit smaller (even before being split / polished), and a darker color.
                  http://www.dspdirect.ca/chickpeas.php

                  1. re: will47

                    Whatever they are - they make excellent very creamy hummus!

        2. When my hummus has come out gritty, it's been because I didn't cook the beans enough. Make sure you test about half a dozen; they all should be good and soft.

          1. Or you can just start with canned chickpeas, they've already been cooked. If you add water and/or more oil (extra virgin olive oil or plain old canola oil), your hummus will be even smoother...but more fattening, too! (which restaurants don't usually care about. They just want you to love their food so you'll keep coming back). But if you insist on starting with dry chickpeas, you have to cook them first.

            4 Replies
            1. re: Tweetybird

              SO not as good when made with canned beans

              1. re: Tweetybird

                I have realized lately that the canned beans--which I usually use-- could stand to be a little softer--wonder if I could microwave them for a bit?

                1. re: escondido123

                  I would just simmer them on a stovetop, beans in the microwave are messy, of course you could cover them. They just seem to explode.

                  1. re: wyogal

                    To open a can and then simmer them on the stove seems like too much work...if only a minute maybe it will be okay as long as I cover them.

              2. Use a blender, not a food processor. Mine is smooth as silk, same recipe as yours - except I do cook the soaked beans until soft.

                1. a couple of years ago someone was looking for the recipe for trader joe's mediterranean hummus -- that stuff is so good i just eat with a spoon -- but i digress.

                  anyway, someone suggested pureeing the tahini, lemon juice and garlic cloves until smooth before slowly adding drained chickpeas, adding water as necessary. i've haven't tried it yet, so i can't report back, and no one else has either. but worth a try.

                  http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/614739

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: wonderwoman

                    I use canned with a little, not all, of the packing liquid. fwiw, a can of garbanzos, about a third as much tahini, a little minced onion, juice of half a lemon, a clove of crushed garlic, a splash of soy sauce, a little olive oil, and a LOT of parsley processed in an FP into oblivion. Add salt and rice vinegar to taste. It thickens as it chills. Sometimes I add non-traditional ingredients like roasted red pepper or olives, but even leaving the garbanzo skins in there it's creamy.

                  2. Aside from cooking the beans (rather than using canned), and removing the skins, which are important refinements, I have read that refrigerating the cooked beans before making the hummus is important to a good creamy texture. Also, make "tahini cream" first (with the tahini, garlic, and lemon), and then the beans after. While whether to add olive oil to the hummus or not may be a regional / personal preference issue, I think it's better made without the olive oil (but served topped with some). I would skip the lemon zest for a traditional hummus.

                    I found this article pretty instructional:
                    http://www.nctimes.com/lifestyles/foo...

                    Save the cooking water in case you need to thin it out at all (though I rarely have to add much, if any)

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: will47

                      Thanks for the article, very helpful and informative! I love it when they go into the science of how and why some food preparations work better than others.

                    2. Maybe they are processing the hummus in something like a commercial blender (Vitamix etc).

                      1. After blending all typical ingredients together in a food processor, blend in a few cubes of ice. It really works!

                        1. if you want it super smooth, you can use canned beans. Personally I prefer some texture.

                          1. The Cooks Illustrated recipe for hummus uses canned beans and is very good. They recently added a tip that microwaving the drained beans for about 1 minute makes the hummus creamier.

                            1. Lots of good tips here, but, I am still wondering about the OP's method to begin with. The OP states they soaked the beans for 2 days, doesn't mention cooking them. I really think that is the crux of the problem. Start will well cooked beans.

                              4 Replies
                              1. re: wyogal

                                I didn't cook them and I wondered why the hummus was so very grainy. (facepalm)

                                I made it again over the weekend and I took all of the suggestions. The chickpeas were soaked for 36 hours and then cooked for 1 hour. I rubbed them in a towel to remove the skins before processing them. I think that I might have used too much of the cooking liquid but the hummus is much improved.

                                Thank you to everyone that replied.

                                1. re: Kelli2006

                                  Curious why you're soaking so long? Are you trying for sprouted beans, or are you trying to ferment?

                                  I've made sprouted chickpea (raw) hummus (like your original result) and didn't enjoy it, though I'm a huge hummus fan. But unless you're attempting to sprout or ferment, you really don't need that 36-48 hours of soaking time. (And you'd need to be changing the water a few times.)

                                  1. re: Kelli2006

                                    :) That's what I thought. Now, with all these other suggestions, you will have fabulous hummus!

                                  2. re: wyogal

                                    I never thought of that wyogal....
                                    I assumed the OP cooked her garb beans after soaking.

                                    funny how many ways there are to get the right result.
                                    I've read boiling water and then I read ice cubes.
                                    whatever works.

                                    to the OP, I cook my beans (for what it's worth)
                                    much longer, like several hours on low > after soaking them for a day and a half also.

                                  3. kelli, quickly browsed answers as it's time to ready myself for work.
                                    I've followed the idea of some CHer's that is to add a tiny bit of boiling water in the food processor while it's churning to the beans themself before adding other ingredients.
                                    the smooth silkiness is what most of us hope for in home made.

                                    1. Hummus is like chicken soup and meatloaf - everyone has their own variation.

                                      I soak mine overnight - once they stop expanding & absorbing the water that's good enough for me. The cooking of them is most critical though. Some batches of beans take longer than others - you gotta taste them after about 40 min, though I've had some beans cook for over an hour (simmer only, not boil).

                                      Other than that, I add in a quartered onion and a few garlic cloves when cooking the beans. After cooking, I'll incorporate them with the beans in the food processor (with skins - my preference & lazyness) & some of the cooking liquid whilst warm. Then I'll add in the other stuff & wizz it around until the texture is to my liking.

                                      I use a little Asian sesame oil instead of Tahini more often than not. A tablespoon goes a long way to add in the sesame flavoring. Also a little bit of toasted ground cumin (1/2 tsp or so) is nice.

                                      If I'm incorporating solids, e.g. garlic, parsley, onion, peppers, I'll wizz them first with a little cooking liquid to emulsify them.

                                      Hummus is easy - the most trouble is cleaning out your food processor/blender. Beats the store bought industrial grade.

                                      1. You want smooth ---> Vitamix

                                        1. I know this is an older thread, but another way to smooth is to cook the beans in a pressure cooker. I seems to make the skins more tender. Although, I also don't obsess over super smooth because I like a little texture.