It's impossible to think about Middle Eastern food without drooling over the thought of fresh, homemade hummus.
- ½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 1 cup (200 g) dried chickpeas
- ½ cup (140 g) hulled tahini
- juice of 2 lemons
- 1 small clove garlic, crushed
- ½ tsp salt flakes, or to taste
- extra virgin olive oil and sweet paprika, to garnish (optional)
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Soaking time: overnight
1. Dissolve the bicarbonate of soda in a large bowl of water, add the chickpeas and soak overnight. Rinse and drain.
2. Place the chickpeas in a medium-sized saucepan and cover generously with water (the water should be double the amount of chickpeas). Cook over high heat. Once the water starts to boil, reduce the heat to low and remove any scum that may have appeared on the surface. Cook for about 40 minutes, or until the chickpeas are tender and can be crushed between two fingers. Drain and allow to cool.
3. Place the cooled chickpeas in a food processor and blend until as smooth as possible. You may need to add a couple of splashes of water to bring the chickpeas together if they start sticking to the side of the processor. Add the tahini, lemon juice, garlic and salt, and blend until well combined.
4. At this point, the dip will become quite thick and difficult to blend. Gradually add enough water to thin it out to a smooth paste – start with 2 tablespoons and take it from there. Don’t add too much, or it will turn into a sauce. Taste and add more salt if preferred.
5. Transfer the hummus to a shallow bowl and finish with a drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkling of sweet paprika. Serve with bread and other sides.
6. Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to four days.