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The origins of hummus are somewhat blurred, but the basic ingredients are always the same and very simple; chickpeas, tahini, lemon juice and garlic.
Of course, you can buy hummus to celebrate international hummus day – but there are always compromises when you do – quality, freshness and flavour. Our chef Paul Niddrie shares his recipe for a truly vegan, smooth and tasty hummus. This is a great base for spicy bean dishes, a meze course, or serve with falafel in a homemade kebab. You will need to start this recipe a day ahead.
Paul Niddrie “smooth as hummus”
The day before soak chickpeas in at least twice their volume in water.
The next day, drain the chickpeas. Place a medium saucepan over high heat and add the drained chickpeas, bay leaves, onion cut in half and baking soda. Cook for about three minutes, stirring constantly. Add the water and bring to a boil. Cook, skimming off any foam and any skins that float to the surface. The chickpeas will need to cook for 20 to 40 minutes, depending on the type and freshness, sometimes even longer. Once done, they should be very tender, breaking up easily when pressed between your thumb and finger, almost, but not quite, mushy.
Drain the chickpeas and discard the bay leaves and onion. You should have roughly 3 & 2/3 cups now. Place the chickpeas in a food processor and process until you get a stiff paste. Then, with the machine sill running, add the tahini paste, lemon juice, garlic, and 1 1/2 teaspoons salt. Finally, slowly drizzle in the ice water and allow it to mix for about five minutes, until you get a very smooth and creamy paste.
Store with plastic to the surface to avoid a skin forming.
The quality and freshness of the chickpea (also known as Garbanzo beans) will affect the hummus – try to source Australian chickpeas – we recommend the kabuli variety due to its creaminess and flavour.
You can use canned chickpeas but you will get vastly better flavour with cooked dried chickpeas – a lot of the flavour is washed away with the aqua faba (chickpea liquid). Adding the bay leaves and onion during cooking also amps up the flavour.
For a really smooth hummus you need to peel the chickpeas. This is much easier to do if you cook from dried as they will be softer than canned chickpeas.
Don’t underestimate the benefits of using iced water – the cold water helps the hummus stay creamy instead of gluey.
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