Updated: Nov 11, 2019
This simple recipe will have you making tasty, creamy hummus at home. It is definitely worth the effort, especially when ready-made hummus is not available.
We should all be making our own homemade hummus. That’s something I would never say in the States, but here in Uganda not all of us have access to ready-made hummus. Luckily, homemade hummus is easy to make and the ingredients are readily available in many Kampala supermarkets. We eat it by the spoonful at my house and my toddler especially enjoys it.
The keys to creamy hummus are to overcook the chickpeas and to add water to make it smooth. I begin my hummus process by opening a can of cooked chickpeas, covering them with an inch of water, and cooking them an additional 20 minutes on the stove so they are nice and plump and soft. Adding baking soda to the water makes a big difference in helping soften the chickpeas for hummus. I know this sounds like a pain, but if you want smooth hummus this is a necessity. You can do this step while you juice lemons and measure out your ingredients. If you are looking for more things to do you can always cook chickpeas from scratch to get them to the right consistency, but this is a good shortcut.
Don’t be shy about adding a few tablespoons of chilled water as you blend the hummus. The result will be the texture of hummus you buy in the stores and will not make the hummus runny. I like to use an immersion blender (also known as a stick blender) because I think it is both easier to use and clean. A a regular blender also works, especially if you want to double the recipe. Thanks to the overcooked chickpeas, you will get a nice consistency either way.
Get the right texture for your hummus by using soft, plump chickpeas. Cooking canned chickpeas with baking soda is a good shortcut.
This recipe is a great starting place for a well-balanced, classic hummus and you can tweak things according to your tastes. I like a good amount of fresh lemon juice and I like to be more conservative with the garlic. One helpful hint for those of us in East Africa is that the green local lemons are just as tasty as yellow lemons. This is good news since these are considerably cheaper and easier to find than imported yellow lemons. Tahini is available at most major supermarkets for a reasonable price. Look for it with the peanut butter, it may be called tahina.
Cost - Benefit
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes
Servings: Yields about 2 cups
One can (400g) chickpeas
½ teaspoon (2.5 mL) baking soda (bi-carbonate soda)
One medium garlic clove
¼ cup (60 mL) fresh lemon juice (from about 3 lemons)
1 tablespoon (15 mL) olive oil
1/3 cup (80 mL) tahini
½ teaspoon (2.5 mL) salt
½ teaspoon (2.5 mL) ground cumin
Chilled filtered water for blending (I usually use 2-3 tablespoons, or about 30-45 mL)
Start by draining and rinsing your canned chickpeas, covering them with fresh water in a medium pot, and boiling them with 1/2 teaspoon baking soda for 20 minutes. This helps make them soft and removes some of the skins. After 20 minutes, drain and rinse with filtered water. Drain again and let cool.
While your chickpeas are cooking, roughly chop the garlic and combine with the lemon juice to mellow the flavors a bit. You can put these directly into your blender if using one or into a bowl if using an immersion blender.
To the lemon juice and garlic add olive oil, tahini, salt, and cumin. Blend until thick, smooth, and well mixed, scraping down the sides of the container as necessary. Add the cooked, cooled chickpeas and some chilled water. Blend until smooth, adding more chilled water by the tablespoon if necessary. Taste and adjust flavor if necessary. Serve with veggies crackers, or chapati chips.