Ever since the puppy melted the food processor on our glass-top stove, I have been forced to consume store bought hummus, which is loaded with salt, oil and (often) sugar, most likely added to distract you from the distinctly chemical taste, which sets up residence on the roof of your mouth.
However, the chemical hummus can now be evicted, as my husband recently purchased a new food processor. While I still have to wait until my sell-out-chick-lit manuscript becomes a best-seller before I can afford a Vita-Mix, I am extremely happy with the Siemens FQ1, which, being a German brand, should last for years, barring any further occurences of the labrador trying to cook.
Charlie Learns How to Make Hummus
As much as I would LOVE to turn this into a blog about my Chocolate Labrador and how cute he is while staring at the food processor, I will show some control over my lab-session (as my son calls it) and leave you instead with the BEST HUMMUS RECIPE EVER.
Obviously, being a white girl from MidWestern America currently living in Germany, where ‘spicy’ means adding extra black pepper, this recipe is not my own. It comes from Jerusalem: A Cookbook, by Yotam Ottoleenghi & Sami Tamimi. If you don’t own this book, you should. While there isn’t much ‘healthy’ food in here, and it certainly is NOT vegan, the recipes DO inspire you, and many of them CAN be altered for your particular needs. So, without further ado….
The World's BEST Hummus with Tongue Tingling Harissa
The Raw Materials
1 1/4 cup (250g) dried chickpeas
1tsp baking soda
6 1/2 cups (1/5 liters) water
1 cup Tahini
4 tbsp fresh lemon juice
4 cloves garlic, crushed
6 1/2 tbsp (100ml) iced water
BEFORE YOU DO ANYTHING: The night before, cover the chickpeas with cold water (twice their volume) and soak overnight. Trust me, it’s worth the wait. Don’t use canned! *Note: I usually double this recipe so I can have enough for an entire week. Of course, I eat it every single day.
COOKING DAY: Drain the chickpeas. In a medium saucepan (I use my cast iron, enamel pot–but that’s just me) turn up the heat to HIGH and add the drained chickpeas and baking soda. Stir constantly for about 3 minutes. Add water and bring to a boil, skimming off the foam. Cook between 20-40 minutes, until chickpeas are very tender, but not mushy, and break easily when pressed between your fingers.
Drain the chickpeas. I let mine cool a little, then add to the food processor. You should now have about 3 1/2 cups. Process the chickpeas in the food processor until you have a stiff paste. Then, with the machine still running, add tahini, lemon juice, and garlic. (You can also add 1 1/2 tsp salt, though we choose not to).
Finally, slowly drizzle in the iced water and watch the magic, letting it mix for about 5 minutes or until you get a very smooth, creamy paste.
Transfer to a bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and let it rest for 30 minutes. If you need to, you can refrigerate until needed, but pull it out of the kuhlshrank 30 minutes prior to serving.
In Israel, even gas station hummus was good, and there were a multitude of varieties. My personal favorite came with a spicy red sauce on top. While I’m not sure if Harissa is the same stuff, it is pretty close. I omit the caraway (as it makes my stomach feel weird); and I omit the oil & salt for dietary reasons; and I add extra chilies for a little more spiciness. A little dollop of this is perfect on top of hummus. *Note, I make a bigger batch than normal because I have a bigger family than ‘normal.’
The Raw Materials
3-4 red peppers (blackened)
1/2 tsp coriander seeds
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1 red onion, coarsely chopped
3-4 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
5-6 hot red chilies, seeded and coarsely chopped (or use only 1, depending on how hot you like it)
2 tbsp tomato paste
2 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
Slice peppers in half, seeding them and place face down under a very hot broiler, until blackened on the outside and completely soft (10-15 mins). Transfer to a bowl and cover tightly with plastic wrap. Allow to cool completely then peel, discarding the skins.
Meanwhile, in a deep frying pan, over low heat, lightly toast the coriander and cumin for about 2 minutes. Remove to a mortar and use a pestle to grind to a powder.
Fry the onion, garlic, and chilies on medium heat for 10 to 12 minutes, until nearly caramelized.
Now, add everything (including the peeled peppers) to the food processor, mixing until smooth. (I prefer mine just a little bit chunky).
Place a scoop of hummus on a plate, make a little divot in the top, and add a dollop of Harissa. Serve with cucumbers, raw red peppers, flat bread (if applicable) or your favorite gluten-free crackers and enjoy a little taste of the Middle East in your Western kitchen!
Gratuitous Labrador Photo–I couldn’t help it! He’s smiling in this one!