Chickpeas were a slow forming love affair for me, only exploding into my diet in the past few years. They are a seed that has been cultivated as a part of the human diet for well over 9000 years. Known for being rich in protein, they are a significant part of many culture’s diets, eaten as both legumes and ground to be used as a flour (besan). Chickpeas are a versatile ingredient and great for anyone suffering from gluten allergies.
Made from cooked chickpeas, hummus is a great substitute for butter in sandwiches, a perfect source of protein to add to falafel’s or wraps for vegetarians and vegan. Did I mention its nutty and tasty as well?
So here is my version of this super healthy and hearty dip/spread.
makes approx 2 1/2 cups
- 2 cups cooked chickpeas (or 1 tin of pre-cooked chickpeas)
- 3 garlic cloves
- 4 tbl sp tahini
- juice of 2 lemons
- 3-4 tbl sp good olive oil
- salt to season
- paprika to serve
To pre-cook your chickpeas, soak approx 1/2 cups of dried chick peas overnight in cold water. I use about double water to chickpeas. Drain the chickpeas and then cook in a saucepan filled generously with water and bring to the boil. You will want to cook these for 1 1/2 – 2 hours. Don’t salt the water, as it will slow the cooking process down, due to the structure of the pea. Once cooked, allow to cool in their own juice and then drain. Retail approx 1 cup of the liquid as this will be used in the making of the dip (it’s also where a lot of the nutrients will be).
If you are using tinned chick peas instead (the easy version), drain off the tin and rinse the chick peas, but keep the liquid separate as we will use it. Failing all that if you forget to keep your cooking/tinned liquid, then you can use water instead.
Crush your garlic and a couple of pinches of salt in a mortar and pestle into a puree. Add to your blender along with the tahini and chickpeas. Pulse until beginning to turn into a paste. Add your liquid at this point if your machine needs a bit of help. I found my mixure at the beginning was quite dry and had the engine on my stick mixer working pretty hard. You can also add your lemon juice at this point. Keep blending until a smooth paste, adding some of your olive oil and additional chick pea water as needed.
Once blended stir through remaining oil and salt to taste.
Serve with a shake of paprika if using as a dip. Goes well with pita bread, rice crackers, carrots and toast for some serving ideas. Your hummus should keep for at least a week in the fridge if kept in an air tight container.
This recipe was taken in part from Tessa Kiros’ Falling Cloudberries.
Happy Cooking, and Happy Eating, Leah