The humble but healthy middle Eastern dip, dating back to the C13th, has become so popular in last few years in the UK that there are now numerous varieties including hummus with roasted peppers, caramelised onion, sun-dried tomato, olives; chunky, smooth, low-fat, organic; Greek style, Italian style; Moroccan style – so which is best?…. as far as I’m concerned, homemade is best.
This simple, wholesome dish comprises just 5 ingredients: chickpeas, tahini (sesame seed paste), garlic, lemon juice and oil. Extra flavourings like spices and seasoning are perfectly acceptable, but little needs to be done to something that is so scrumptious.
Previously I was expressing my concern about the highly processed oils used in dips and so many other ready-made foods. This is my main gripe with shop-bought hummus – they are generally not too bad as far as random ingredients they put in, but almost all shop-bought hummus will contain rapeseed and/or a generic vegetable oil – not good.
So, have a go at making your own – it is sooooo easy, so quick and you can vary the quantities to suit your taste. I love loads of lemon and garlic, but here’s a good basic recipe and you can play around with it by adding dry-roasted cumin seeds (my fave), chilli flakes, paprika, cayenne pepper, fresh coriander, parsley etc. You can use dried chickpeas, which will require overnight soaking and very lengthy boiling, but in my extensive hummus-making experience, dried chickpeas rarely become soft enough for a smooth hummus. So if you like it chunky, no problem or use a pressure cooker, as this seems to help get chickpeas really soft. Quicker, easier and just as good, I opt for organic chickpeas in water sold in cartons or tins.
- 400g tin of chickpeas (drained)
- 1 tablespoon tahini (light or dark – dark is healthier)
- juice of half a lemon (2 -3 tbsp)
- 1 – 2 cloves crushed garlic
- 5 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- good quality salt to taste (the more lemon juice, the less salt needed)
Whizz all the ingredients using a food processor or wand, except the salt as this is best added at the very end to taste. If it seems a bit stiff, add a little warm water and whizz again. That is it!
No excuses, it is that simple and you’ll be sure you’re getting complete, wholesome, filling, well-balanced goodness without a nastie in sight – enjoy!