Super smooth, classic hummus
2019-05-27 | By Magdalini Zografou
The debate over which kind of hummus is the best, the chunky or the smooth, is a controversial one among hummus lovers.
I used to be on team chunky hummus, simply because I love the added texture and slight crunch of the chickpeas when I savour my favourite dip. A ittle while ago, however, I became a convert after tasting one of my good friend’s super smooth hummus.
The secret to a perfectly creamy, velvety hummus is to peel the chickpeas after you cook them. It’s a bit of a tedious task, yet, believe me, the result is greatly rewarding.
I always make hummus with dried chickpeas that I soak overnight, but if you’re making this on short notice or you’d rather simplify the whole process, you can use canned chickpeas. Below, are instructions for both and I leave it up to you.
If you’re using already cooked, canned chickpeas, you don’t need to do any advance preparation. If you’re using dried ones, you need to start the night before. Place them in a large bowl, add the baking soda and a litre of water. Stir with a spoon and leave the chickpeas to soak overnight. The next day, empty the chickpeas into a colander and rinse them well under cold running water. Place them in a large pot and add 1½ litres of water. Bring to boil over a high heat. You will notice that once the water boils, white foam will rise to the surface. Remove it with a large spoon and discard it. Then drain the chickpeas in a colander, return them in the same pot and add 1½ litres of boiling water. Bring to boil over a high heat, turn heat down to low, put the lid on and cook the chickpeas for 20-30 minutes, or until they soften. You want them to be tender but not mushy. One way to check for doneness, apart from tasting them, is by pressing one with your finger; if it breaks easily, it is ready, if not, cook them longer. The chickpeas must not be tough, otherwise your hummus will be grainy.
When the chickpeas are cooked, reserve ½ cup of the cooking liquid, then drain into a colander and allow to cool completely. The 200 grams of dried chickpeas will yield around 400 grams of cooked chickpeas. Weigh out 250 grams to use for the hummus and the rest can be tossed in salads or added in soups. You can also freeze cooked chickpeas for up to a month.
Gently rub the cooked chickpeas between your hands to loosen the skin, peel it off and discard it. The peeled chickpeas will result in a smooth-textured hummus as opposed to a chunky one.
If you’re using canned chickpeas, before using them to make the hummus, drain them in a colander, rinse them well under cold running water and remove the skins as described above.
To make the hummus, take a food processor or blender and add the prepared chickpeas, the garlic and 3-4 tablespoons of the reserved cooking liquid from the chickpeas (or, if you’re using canned chickpeas add cold water instead). Blend well until you have a smooth, creamy paste. If needed, add more liquid in order to achieve the desired consistency. Then, add the tahini, the lemon juice and the olive oil, and process until you have a smooth puree. Finally, add sea salt to taste, as well as a pinch of cumin, and process to incorporate. Check the seasoning, adding more salt if needed, and check the overall flavour, adding more lemon juice or cumin depending on your taste.
Transfer into a serving bowl, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with some black pepper or dried chili.
The hummus keeps in the refrigerator, in an airtight container, for up to 5 days. Remove it from the fridge ½ hour before serving, stirring well with a spoon to make it smooth again.
200 grams of dried chickpeas (or 250 grams of already cooked, drained chickpeas, from a can)
- ½ teaspoon baking soda (if using dried chickpeas)
- 1 garlic clove, peeled and finely grated
- 2 tablespoons of good quality tahini, stirred well
- 2 tablespoons of freshly squeezed lemon juice, plus more to taste
- ½ cup of liquid from the cooked chickpeas (if using dried chickpeas)
- 1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling on top
- Sea salt
- Ground cumin
- Black pepper or dried chili
About the author
Find Magdalini at mylittleexpatkitchen.blogspot.com – A Greek girl cooking in her little expat kitchen in the Netherlands. Her favourite Dutch art is, unsurprisingly, Van Gogh’s The Potato Eaters.