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Friday, May 15, 2009

Quick and Easy Hummus

Hummus 1

By now I think it's fairly obvious that I love chickpeas. I love chickpeas in salads. I love chickpeas in soup. And I especially love chickpeas as hummus.Rather funny then that I've never done a hummus recipe. Yet, I've made Bissara, a Moroccan dish similar to hummus, made of fava beans.

I like my hummus spreadable with a drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkle of cayenne pepper. Served on a small dish, not a bowl. Perhaps that's because that's how hummus was served at Pita Inn in Skokie, where I enjoyed many cheap meals during college. A small dish back then was only $1.50. Even today, it's only $1.85. The shawarmas were excellent as well. And as with many memories, the most vivid ones shape just how particularly I like it.

Tahini, the Middle Eastern sesame paste, is important for a really good hummus. But let's face it, tahini is expensive. And I rarely use it. So, ssshhhh, I usually omit it, or toss in some sesame seeds to be ground up in the puree. Cans of chickpeas are usually less than $1, so without the tahini, hummus is such a cheap meal. You can use dried chickpeas if you wish and this dish would be even cheaper.

Hummus 2


You'll need:
1 15-oz can chickpeas, reserve liquid, or 1 cup dried and soaked overnight
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cumin
2 cloves garlic
Juice of 1 small lemon
1 tblsp tahini paste or sesame seeds
1 tblsp olive oil
1 tblsp water from chickpeas

For serving: Small drizzle of olive oil, a few sprinkles of paprika or cayenne

Open 1 15-oz can of chickpeas, reserving liquid in a separate bowl.

In a food processor, finely puree the chickpeas with 3/4 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp cumin, 2 cloves garlic, 1 tblsp tahini or sesame seeds, 1 tblsp olive oil, 1 tblsp chickpea water, and the juice of 1/2 lemon. Puree. Taste. Add more lemon juice if necessary if you like food more tart like I do. Add salt or more reserve chickpea liquid if needed.

Serve the hummus on a small dish with a drizzle of olive oil and a few sprinkles of cayenne pepper.

I especially love a simple sandwich of hummus inside a Middle Eastern flatbread with roast chicken. I adjusted my usual baked chicken recipe up a notch by making 40 cloves of garlic baked chicken and the sandwich was extra garlicky and oh-so-good.

Hummus 3

Hummus 4


Similar spreads:
Bissara (Moroccan Fava Bean Dip)

1 year ago today, Orange and Fennel Salad and mom's airline care packages.
2 years ago today, oregano and How to Dry Herbs.


  1. Looks like a very healthy meal which I think my kids will like too. Gotta give it a try someday, maybe tonight with leftover tortillas instead.

  2. Wow! Homemade hummus. The texture looks not as smooth compared to store bought hummus which is nice. Better texture contrast. The spices and oils you add make this sound very tempting to eat :).

  3. SIS,
    I eat hummus with tortillas too. Crispy and soft.


    I have a cheap food processor. It doesn't puree food as finely as I'd like, but it does OK.

  4. Thanks for the tip about the tahini. I don't cook with it and I don't want to buy it just for a teaspoon for the hummus. YUM!

  5. Nikki,
    I love tahini. I just can't justify the expense for such limited use in my kitchen.

  6. Hey - that's nifty re sesame seeds. Having never bought tahini but wanting to make hummus (I have a stick blender now!), I can't quite bring myself to buy any of the tahini jars I see in the shops here because I can't work out if they're good or not. So, I might try this with sesame seeds ... we love hummus! I'll let you know how I get on :D

  7. i ADORE chickpeas. haven't made hummus before but i think i could slather this all over anything. hmm maybe except sous chef's stinky toes hehe

  8. Oanh,
    I'm cheap! And seriously, unless you're eating tahini dip, I don't miss the taste since the chickpeas overpower sesame seeds.

    I use hummus in place of mayonnaise in sandwiches sometimes. I'm not touching that comment on sous chef's toes!


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