Traditional Hummus

When I was a kid, I don’t recall seeing hummus for sale in grocery stories… certainly not like today. Rather, it was an Egyptian specialty that my mom made, often on special occasions or when we had company. My recipe is simple, and is adapted from Tess Mallos’ Middle East Cookbook. I follow the basic instructions in the recipe, but with a few tweaks to make it mine.

1 15-oz. can of chickpeas (also called garbanzo beans)
1/3 cup tahini
1/2 cup lemon juice
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 teaspoon salt

optional:
pinch of paprika
1 teaspoon olive oil

Everything you need to make the perfect batch of hummus.

Everything you need to make the perfect batch of hummus.

1. Drain the chickpeas and preserve the liquid in a glass, just in case you need it later on. Set aside 5 or 6 whole chickpeas for later.

2. If you really want a smooth hummus and have the time, peeling the chickpeas is my secret to eliminating any graininess. Gently pinch the chickpea between your fingers, and the skin will slide off. This is tedious and time-consuming, though, and not necessary for still achieving a great-tasting hummus.

The skin of the chickpea comes off very easily.

The skin of the chickpea comes off very easily.

3. Grind the chickpeas (either peeled or unpeeled, less the 5 or 6 that you set aside) in a food processor for about 10 seconds, until they look something like this:

IMG_3043

4. Add the tahini, lemon juice, garlic and salt. Blend until smooth. Be careful not blend too long, or the hummus will be too watery. If you find that the hummus is too dry, add some of the chickpea liquid that you saved, 1 teaspoon at a time, until you reach the consistency that you want.

IMG_3046

5. Use a rubber spatula to scoop out the hummus into a serving bowl. Place the 5 or 6 chickpeas that you saved in the beginning on top as a decoration. If desired, drizzle with the olive oil and sprinkle with paprika to add some color. Enjoy with fresh vegetables or pita bread/chips!

Makes about two cups.

IMG_3051

Hummus, ready to serve!

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