Hummus – the essential Mediterranean dip has now become a universal dip, widely accepted across countries and cuisines, and Mediterranean cuisine always remains special to me, close to my heart. It is not the cuisine of particular country but of entire region which basked in its exotic landscapes or the food is so fresh here and vibrantly spiced, or may be its glorified past which still fascinates me today. Ancient Sumerian or Babylonian civilization has offered a lot to mankind, and equally fascinating history dating back to thousand of years has led to an interesting variety developed by diverse group of people.
Unlike other global cuisine, Mediterranean cuisine has close affinity with Indian cuisine, bonded over rich and varied spices, dried fruits and nuts, citrus fruits, and off course the chickpeas. May be for this reason it found a special place in Indian pantry, next to our very own mint and cilantro chutney, hummus is no more foreign to Indians, it becomes one of us.
So, when we decided to guest host CWS event – Chickpeas, hummus features on my top priority list, there are so many variations exist on this universal dip, but here I am posting my favorite one in two different flavours. To make a good hummus, you need a good tahini paste. First I tried to make tahini at home because it sounds so easy breezy to me, and I have used it in my hummus recipe, but the taste was different, nowhere close to my favourite Mediterranean restaurant. As I could not figure out the missing ingredient, I thought of trying it next time with store-bought tahini paste and then I felt the difference. May be the trick to make a good tahini lies in the processing of sesame seeds which I find difficult to achieve at home. So, I would rather suggest you to buy a good tahini paste from your middle Eastern grocery store, before proceeding further. Tahini is integral to hummus and you need really a good one to match the taste exactly like your favourite restaurant.
Hummus is very accommodative, it accepts all the flavours with pleasure, so I have infused the classic one with parsley and mint, with beetroot it attains all the more vibrant color which I am sure will excite you and my favourite one with roasted red bell pepper with sprinkles of hot paprika. Sun dried tomatoes takes the flavours of hummus to a new height, and waiting in queue are chipotle and roasted asparagus-artichoke duo. Off shooting from the traditional recipe of hummus, I have added a scoop of yogurt in it, to make it little lighter, without drastically altering the taste.
Recipe: Hummus in three different flavours
- Dried chickpeas : 1 cup
- Tahini : 2 tbsp
- Garlic (crushed & roasted) : 4 cloves
- Ground cumin : 2tsp
- Lemon juice : 1/3 cup
- Olive oil : 3 tbsp
- Cayenne pepper : a large pinch
- Paprika and fresh parsely to garnish
- Put the chickpeas in a bowl, and enough water and soak overnight. Drain and place in a large saucepan with enough water to cover the chickpeas by r inches. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for more than an hour or until the chickpeas are very tender. Drain well and reserve them.
- Combine the chickpeas, tahini, garlic, cumin, lemon juice, olive oil, cayenne pepper and 1 tsp salt in a food processor until thick and smooth.
- If you wish to make it little lighter, you can add one tablespoon of thick yogurt while processing it in the mixer.
- Season with salt or some extra lemon juice.
- If you are trying different flavour in hummus, add the chopped and skinned roasted bell pepper (one) or sun dried tomatoes along with the chickpeas.
- To make it extra spicy, add some hot paprika in it.
- Spread onto bowl, drizzle with extra virgin olive oil, sprinkle with paprika and scatter parsely over the top.
If you are using yogurt, then reduce the amount of lemon juice by half. Yogurt is optional to make the hummus lighter.
Preparation time: 20 minute(s)
Cooking time: 1 hour(s) 30 minute(s)
Diet type: Vegetarian
Number of servings (yield): 4
Culinary tradition: Middle Eastern