Hummus is a very popular Middle Eastern dip made with chickpeas. Serve it with pita bread, crackers, or vegetables for a great appetizer. It also makes a healthy after-school snack to serve to your kids. It can get expensive if you buy the store-bought variety frequently, but it's actually very easy to make at home. You can easily whip up a batch of hummus if you have unexpected company, and it's sure to impress your guests!
Ingredients and supplies:
- 2 16 oz cans of chickpeas
- 4-6 tablespoons lemon juice (depending on taste)
- 2/3 cup tahini (do not substitute; can be found in the foreign foods section of your grocery store)
- 3 cloves garlic, crushed
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- Parsley, for garnish
- Serving Bowl
Prepare the chickpeas. Drain the chickpeas and set aside the liquid from the can, because you'll be using it later in the recipe. For hummus, do not substitute anything for the chickpeas or tahini (sesame seed paste)- they are essential parts of this recipe. Although tahini can be a little tricky to find, it is usually found in the foreign foods section of you grocery store. All of the other ingredients can be varied according to your tastes.
Blend the mixture. Combine chickpeas with all of the other ingredients in a blender. Add a quarter cup of the liquid from the chickpeas. Blend for 3-5 minutes on low until the mixture is thoroughly blended and smooth. Your hummus should have the consistency of a thick paste. If your hummus is too thick, add a little lemon juice, or some of the remaining chickpea liquid. However, be careful not to make it too watery.
Finish making the hummus. Transfer the mixture to a serving bowl. Create a shallow well in the center, and pour 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil in the well.
Enjoy! Garnish with parsley or red pepper flakes to add a little color. Cut up some fresh vegetables, or toast some pita bread to serve with your hummus. Serve immediately, or cover and refrigerate. Use it within 3 days, or refrigerate it for up to a month. If it looks a little dry, add a dash of olive oil to the mixture.
Once you have this basic recipe down, try varying the ingredients. Add a dash of cayenne pepper for a spicier version. Other additions include cumin, roasted red peppers, or curry powder. If you want to make a nontraditional version, you can substitute black beans or garbanzo beans for the chickpeas, but be aware that this will change both the taste and texture of the dish. Homemade hummus is healthier and more delicious than the store-bought type, and you can control the taste. You can even use it on sandwiches instead of unhealthy spreads. This smooth paste has many vitamins and amino acids, as well as fiber and iron.