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Hummus

to say i'm obsessed with my new pressure cooker is putting in mildly. this am i've pc'ed up a pot of chickpeas for hummus. i've made it before with disappointing results texture-wise and taste-wise....grainy and unbalanced from canned rinsed chickpeas. i hear using dried is a revelation. i know that hummus usually contains chickpeas, garlic, lemon, tahini, salt and olive oil......

recipes on the net vary in technique and proportions (which i understand are largely personal preference), and of course, puree the hell out of it. cook's illustrated says you get a superior puree if you hop on one foot while processing the tahini first, then adding the garlic as the blade is whirring. and then chewing gum while adding cooled chickpeas. they sure are bossy over at CI.

anyway, do you have any tried and true recipes for hummus to share?

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  1. smittenkitchen recently posted a hummus recipe and she swears by peeling the chickpeas for silky texture.

    9 Replies
    1. re: hotoynoodle

      ha. forgot to mention.....I was hoping to avoid peeling them.

      1. re: eLizard

        lol, oh, i don't blame you!!

        be careful if adding raw garlic since it can be very bitter -- even moreso if whizzed in the food pro. i don't usually add it. i prefer the barest amount of tahini since it can be so very strong, using more olive oil and lemon.

        1. re: hotoynoodle

          working mother with a three year old. i ain't peeling chickpeas! lol.

          also i pc'ed the peas with some unpeeled garlic, so i may not need any at all. thanks a lot for that tip!!

          1. re: eLizard

            tiny baby hands might be perfect for peeling chickpeas. :O

            1. re: hotoynoodle

              he eats the profits.....

              also do you put cumin in yours?

              1. re: eLizard

                sometimes, but not often. i do like it with smoked paprika.

                1. re: hotoynoodle

                  i contemplated smoked paprika. will try next time. have 3 cups of cooked chickpeas in my freezer.... so trust me, there will be a next time.

          2. re: hotoynoodle

            I'm in the complete opposite camp. I add a couple of large cloves of garlic alonig with the chickpeas, olive oil, salt, a pinch of cumin, fresh lemon juice, and lots of tahini.

            My hummus improved significantly when I doubled to tripled the amount of tahini. I blend the heck out of it in the Cuisinart.

            No batch turns out the same, that's one thing I like about making hummus. There's a ton of subtle (and not so subtle) variations can can be made as you're making it, depending on your mood.

        2. re: hotoynoodle

          I always peel them, in fact I do it by hand peeling each one individually. If I'm going to make it I want to make it the best I can.

        3. I think Peeling them is the key - just cover them with a towel and rub back and forth - it;s not too tough.

          I love to add roasted red pepper and the juice to mine. The rest is personal taste - I love lots of garlic and a bit quite a bit of Cumim.

          I often don;t peel when I make it - I think a bit of texture is nice. One time by accident I actually pureed the chick peas just after soaking over night(un-cooked) - It was actually very good - not sure if I'd do it again this way but it did work well - more texture.

          I think hummus is like meat loaf - every family has their Idea for what it should taste like - so just go with that and adjust accordingly.

          If you need a taster let me know - have pita will travel.

          1. One revelation in my obsession has been to remove that thin skin on each chickpea prior to their whirl in the food processor. those skins make the difference btwn super smooth and gritty hummus. Takes about 10 extra mins but I find it so worth it. If you enjoy smooth dips, this is a winning tip.

            I don't add olive oil to hummus, I prefer to drizzle it on top later. I usually add a bit more tahini than the average recipe and a bit less garlic (I love garlic but in dips where flavor meld over time I use less). I also use the chickpea liquid (canned or broth pot) to thin the dip to my desired thickness.

            One of the more recent versions of hummus that I have really been knocked out by is edamame hummus. This ver. uses the identical amount of chickpea called for with steamed edamame. I've seen riffs that replace the lemon for lime, add fresh herbs (like cilantro, thyme or mint). The edamame skins also get removed for that creamy texture or you will wind up with dip with a lot more texture. But the taste is super.

            Oh, and I do enjoy adding a puree of roasted red peppers on the top layer of traditional hummus.

            1. People are seeking a smooth hummus that is difficult to achieve at home without commercial equipment. Probably the only way to achieve this texture at home is with the use a Vitamix or Blendtec high speed blender.

              2 Replies
              1. re: Antilope

                I haven't found that to be true, Antilope. My home model food processor does a great job of making smooth hummus. I am convinced it's how you handle the ingredient list. Those chickpea skins play a role too.

                1. re: Antilope

                  I make very velvety hummos in a food processor or with a blender stick with no peeling. I don't use tahini, either. Just canned chick peas, fresh squeezed lemon juice, raw garlic and plenty of EVOO. The oil is what makes it so creamy and velvety. I spread it on a plate and drizzle even more oil on top for serving, as is traditional.

                2. I make it plain and simple. I never skimp on the tahini but I also never add olive oil. I use commercial chicken broth instead. I love it! I do like plain raw garlic in mine, but you need to allow the hummus time in the fridge for the flavors to mellow. I don't know why roasted garlic would not also taste wonderful.

                  And I add lime juice instead of lemon, because I do like lime flavor.

                  1. Kicked Up Hummus Dip

                    This recipe has a few more ingredients than the average
                    Hummus, but I think it tastes so much better!

                    1 (15 oz) can Chick Peas, drained - rinsed (save 2 Tbs chick pea juice)
                    2 Tbs chick pea juice
                    4 Tbs lemon juice (fresh or bottled OK)
                    2 Tbs lime juice (fresh or bottled OK)
                    2 Tbs olive oil
                    2 Tbs Tahini paste (If you don't have it, it's ok to leave it out, this hummus recipe has a lot of flavor without it.)
                    2 cloves garlic (or 1 tsp crushed garlic from jar)
                    1 tsp granulated garlic powder
                    1 tsp toasted sesame oil
                    1/2 tsp ground cumin
                    1/2 tsp ground coriander
                    dash cayenne pepper
                    2 dashes ground black pepper
                    salt to taste

                    Place in blender or food processor. Blend until smooth.
                    Serve with crackers, pita bread, pita chips, tortilla chips, etc.

                    1. To get it smooth, blend in cooking water after blending all of the other ingredients. It'll puff up all funny and lighten in color. Start with a few tablespoons.

                      I used to be a proponent of de-skinning but this method is easier and pretty comparable. It seems too simple to work, but it does. Also I think the skins contain a lot of fiber so it's better to keep them.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: youareabunny

                        The fiber debate. Hmm. There's still good fiber in the chickpea without the skin.

                        There's a dozen great ways to get your daily fiber. I don't tend to eat too much hummus in one sitting anyway, due to the calories. But the choices for dipping into the hummus can be high fiber selections.

                        And, tahini adds flavor, creaminess and some additional fiber.

                      2. http://www.nytimes.com/recipes/7248/W...

                        another interesting preparation for hummus, served warm.

                        1. Thanks all. the garlic i used while pressure cooking the beans obviated the need for more garlic in the fp. i forgot to save the cooking water, though, so was thinning with h2o. i made a plain and a roasted red pepper. they're dreamy.

                          1. I'm obsessed with a very lemony hummus. I always add lemon zest and lemon juice to thin. I find that the brand of tahini makes a big difference. I actually had to throw out the last jar (don't remember the brand, sorry) because of it's bitter flavor. It sneaked up on everything I used it for.

                            I guess I'm going to have to give in and try the peeled chickpea method. I read it on smitten kitchen as well and thought....me? NEVER! But, I'm convinced that it will make a difference.

                            1. My current favorite is the one from the Jerusalem Cookbook by Ottolenghi. You can find it online at http://www.seriouseats.com/recipes/20...

                              2 Replies
                              1. About a year ago, I had a hummus made from tepary beans, which is a white bean indigenous to the southwestern states. It is not easy to find but I managed to buy a couple pounds and bring them home.

                                I finally made a hummus from the beans and was really happy with the result. It was super creamy and smooth with a lovely flavor. Even my non-hummus liking friends seemed to love it.

                                Ingredients used: tepary beans soaked for two days, then cooked for about 2 hours; olive oil, lime juice, cumin, white pepper, red pepper, salt. I didn't measure, just kept tasting until it was what I wanted.

                                I think that a mild white bean would be easily substitued for the tepary beans.

                                4 Replies
                                1. re: jlhinwa

                                  Jlhinwa, Rancho Gordo has your tepary beans, in white and brown:

                                  http://www.ranchogordo.com/mm5/mercha...

                                  1. re: DuchessNukem

                                    I have made white bean dip using standard canned or dried and enjoyed it but I enjoyed it even more as a sandwich spread.

                                    1. re: DuchessNukem

                                      Thank you so much for letting me know about Rancho Gordo! I will be placing an order soon!

                                      1. re: jlhinwa

                                        :)

                                        Also consider trying the Good Mother Stallards. Not for hummus; they cook up brown and so very plump, and they love garlic. Best with lots of pot liquor.

                                  2. I don't have a specific recipe. You will know your preference as you make more (mine is for very little tahini, lots of lime/lemon juice, fresh parsley, raw garlic, S&P, sometimes cumin, no olive oil).

                                    Peeling doesn't make a difference to us. I sometimes peel because it's really meditative: gentle squeeze, slip-pop, parting of the ways (pea to one side, hull to the road not taken).

                                    (ETA: garlic)

                                    1. I used to make and sell thousands of 500 gram tubs of fresh hummus commercially. Soak dried chick peas in cold water for about twelve hours. Drain and rinse well. Put peas in a large stock pot. Lots of water to pea ratio. Add a couple of bay leaves. Bring to a rolling boil. Reduce heat to maintain a hard simmer. In a couple of hours squeeze some peas. They need to be soft. Drain and rinse well. Add fresh warm water. Now the secret: With your hands (we used a machine) gently roll the peas and the shells will come off. The creamier you want the hummus the more time you must take with this process. But now the shells are floating around with the peas! Yes. In some sort of laundry tub/large sink move the tap so it's on one side of the pot and allow a strong stream of water of circulate the peas/shells. Then with a chinese 'spider' with a little practice you can skim off the shells that come to the surface. You'll be shocked at the amount of shells! Be patient.
                                      After this process use a food processor. I add olive oil and peanut butter and red pepper flakes and S&P and fresh lemon juice and a pinch of paprika to the warm peas then using a measuring cup I scoop out enough for the processor and add warm water during the processing to get the consistency I want. The key is to remove those shells.

                                      3 Replies
                                      1. re: Puffin3

                                        I use the same water/scoop method to separate pomm seeds from the pulp and it works so much better than whacking at the fruit with the back of a spoon (seen all over tv cooking shows).

                                        Hearing the shell removal from a pro, makes me very happy. It's always nice to double-check against someone who's done this method thousands of x's.

                                        1. re: Puffin3

                                          I've tried that method numerous times and I find it much less effective than just hand peeling each one individually. No matter how long I do the water rub and rinse method there are always more peels mixed in when I think I finally got them all. Also I learned the hard way not to do it in the sink, oh my poor garbage disposal even though I tried to fish as many out as possible.

                                          1. re: rasputina

                                            rasputina, I lay a kitchen towel on the bottom of the sink. Helps keep the bowl from moving around and catches any stray chickpeas that go flying. I don't really need to rub as much as a soak. Then when I rinse the peas from the water they slip right off.

                                        2. Read this thread twice now. I have never made hummus. That's right...I said it! But now I'm craving it. HillJ's approach appeals. My local grocer had only one brand of Tahini, Joyva. I know this is low end, but the reviews (on Amazon) have me wondering. There's no middle ground, 5 stars or 1. The folks that love it say the other side fails to mix it first before adding to hummus. The ones that hate it say the other folks have no taste.

                                          How important is Tahini brand? I'm going to cook dried chickpeas (here they're garbanzos) then peel, and don't want to waste the effort if the stuff I have will ruin my hummus.

                                          3 Replies
                                          1. re: ItalianNana

                                            I just grabbed the jar I have out of the pantry. Lior Tahini (All Natural) product of Israel, imported by Galil, Syosset, NY.
                                            The ingredient label is: 100% ground sesame seeds. It's the only brand I've ever used.

                                            http://www.amazon.com/Lior-Tahini-Nat...

                                            I paid $4.00 for one 17.6 oz jar. Highly rated on Amazon. As are a number of brands listed below this one. But my sister is the responsible for turning me onto this particular brand.

                                            Bonus points on having a decent size jar: sesame cookies made with tahini in the dough and a sesame seed sprinkle on top.

                                            1. re: HillJ

                                              Well rats! I paid at least twice that. My can of Joyva is only 15 oz. It says "all natural, creamy purée of roasted sesame seeds. Manufactured in Brooklyn N.Y"

                                              Thanks for the info HillJ. I think I'll do a batch with canned chickpeas first, see if the detractors' claim of bitterness is right. Or maybe just blend and taste plain.

                                              I love sesame cookies. Will see if I can improvise something with almond meal. (GF)

                                              1. re: ItalianNana

                                                You should be able to get a good idea (of bitterness) just by tasting the tahini right out of the jar. Let us know how your hummus turns out, Ital.

                                          2. To me this is the best recipe I have tried. It's even amazing using canned chickpeas that you boil as per recommendation.

                                            It's KEY to get fresh tahini from a Middle Eastern market in my humble opinion. It makes all the difference!

                                            http://www.tasteofbeirut.com/2009/03/...

                                            P.S. I also use a good quality blender, not a food processor.

                                            1. I made some hummus a few weeks ago with dried chickpeas- didn't notice any grittyness from the skins. Our friends loved it because I put cilantro in it. We are all super cilantro lovers, though.

                                              1. Adding a pinch of baking soda to the cooking water makes the skins softer, if you don't want to peel them.

                                                And be careful how much garlic you add - it gets stronger after it sits for a while.

                                                3 Replies
                                                1. re: tastesgoodwhatisit

                                                  "And be careful how much garlic you add - it gets stronger after it sits for a while."

                                                  You say that as if it's a *bad* thing! ;-)

                                                  1. re: mcf

                                                    I have to agree and I said the same thing about too much garlic up thread. I love garlic, roasted garlic even more, but garlic in a dip starts to really intensify in hummus.

                                                    maybe you use the hummus all up in one use. since I usually wind up with leftovers I go with a light hand on fresh garlic.

                                                    mcf do you use dry or fresh? and, how much garlic do you add to hummus?

                                                    1. re: HillJ

                                                      I use canned beans and fresh garlic. Usually, I make it fresh and little is left over but I did cut back from 3 raw cloves to one or two, depending on size. I did that due to lingering garlic smell from my husband after eating it; I LOVED the taste. :-)

                                                      ETA: to one large can of chick peas.