Hummus is the ubiquitous Middle-Eastern dip of chickpeas and tahini. It's actually the Arabic word for chickpea, and this recipe for Hummus bi tahini is the most popular use of chickpeas in Middle Eastern cooking.
- 500 g dried chickpeas
- 2 tsp sodium bicarbonate
- 3 cloves garlic, peeled
- juice of 2 lemons
- 300 ml tahini paste
- good-quality olive oil, to serve
- Lebanese bread, to serve
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
You will need to begin this recipe 1 day ahead.
Soak the chickpeas overnight in water with the sodium bicarbonate.
Rinse the chickpeas under cold running water for 3-5 minutes. Add to a saucepan of boiling water and cook until incredibly soft. (You want to be able to turn a chickpea into mush by simply pressing it between your index and thumb.)
Drain the chickpeas, reserving the liquid.
Put the chickpeas in the bowl of a food processor and blend. (If the food processor is not blending properly, add small amounts of the reserve liquid to get it going.)
Continue blending until very smooth. Add the garlic and lemon juice, and season with salt. Blend again. Add the tahini paste, blend and taste. Tahini will make the dip seize up in the blender, so add a bit of cooking liquid (or lemon juice if it needs it), but not too much. It should be thick and creamy.
Transfer the hummus to a bowl, make a well in the centre and drizzle with good-quality olive oil.
Serve with Lebanese bread.