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Did you know that Lebanon holds the record for whipping up the world’s largest quantity of hummus, with over 10 metric tonnes of the dip made by more than 300 chefs in one day! And did you know that May 13th is international hummus day? It makes sense that this delicious paste of chickpeas, olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, salt and tahini, should be internationally recognised and have it’s own holiday. Our recipe for Silky Hummus should serve 4-6 people, but we won’t judge if you finish it all to yourself.
Start by soaking the dried chickpeas for a minimum of 8 hours (or preferably overnight) in plenty of cold water and 1/2 teaspoon of bicarb soda.
The next day drain the chickpeas into a sieve then give them a rinse under cold running water.
Put the drained chickpeas into a large pot then add the remaining 1/2 teaspoon of bicarb soda. Fill the pot with enough water so that the chickpeas are covered by 4-5 cms, then bring to a boil. Cover the pot, reduce the heat and leave the chickpeas to simmer for 30 minutes.
At the 30 minute mark add the salt and ground cumin to the pot, stir, then leave the chickpeas to simmer gently for an extra 10 minutes.
Once the chickpeas have simmered for 40 minutes in total, place a colander over the top of a large bowl and drain the chickpeas into it. Reserve 1 cup of the chickpea cooking liquid and discard the rest.
Spread a large tea towel out over your kitchen counter-top then tip the chickpeas out across the tea towel. Fold the towel over to cover the chickpeas then gently but vigorously rub them until the skins begin to loosen and fall off. Remove and discard the skins until all of the chickpeas are bare.
If you cannot get your hands on dried chickpeas, or don’t want to spend the time re-hydrating them, tinned chickpeas will work in a pinch. Simply decant 2 x 400 gram tins of chickpeas into a sieve to separate them from the brining liquid. Thoroughly rinse them under running water then add to a pot and cover with water. Cook for 15 minutes using the same amount of salt and cumin as indicated. Drain the chickpeas into a sieve once more, reserve the cooking liquid, and continue by removing the skins of the chickpeas as instructed above. Removing the skins from your chickpeas may be time consuming, but this is the key to making silky smooth hummus!
Note: If you decide to use tinned chickpeas instead of dried your hummus will not be as flavourful.
Place each of the ingredients into a food processor or into a blender and it run for a few minutes until completely smooth. If you think the hummus is too thick then add the saved chickpea water a little at a time, until you have reached your desired consistency. Taste and season with salt (we added approximately 2 1/2 teaspoons of teaspoons of salt to our hummus).
Now you may be thinking… “why on earth would you put ice cubes into your hummus?!” Ice cubes help in whipping the hummus into a texture not unlike freshly churned ice-cream. Don’t knock until you’ve tried it!
Finally, decant the hummus into a serving bowl of your choice, garnish with lashings of Lemon Argumato Extra Virgin Olive Oil, sumac and toasted pine nuts.
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