Ok ok I know, I admit I’m on a bit of a chickpea roll at the moment. Apologies to readers out there who don’t share my enthusiasm on the humble chickpea. I always have tins in my store cupboard so am constantly thinking of new ways to use them. This recipe is certainly not a new one – in fact I was convinced I had popped it up on my blog a couple of years back, but I was thinking of my baba ganoush recipe – click here, which if you haven’t tried….shame on you. Seriously give it a go. You’ll thank me for it.
Going back to the more ubiquitous hummus – or the more affectionate name that we call it in our house ‘whole mouse’….it is equally straightforward to make. The only unusual ingredient that you may not have come across, but that you can easily get hold of at any major supermarket, is ‘tahini’, which put simply is sesame paste. It’s most commonly used in North Africa, the Middle East and the Levant. You’ll find it sitting next to the peanut butter in most stores. In my opinion you do need this necessary ingredient to give your hummus a more authentic taste so please don’t leave it out.
The other key ingredients are olive oil, fresh lemon juice, lots of lovely garlic, cumin powder, salt and a little iced water. How easy!
Now you can jazz things up a bit, which I often like to do by adding one of the following: paprika, sumac, zataar, fried onions or shallots, fresh herbs, roasted beetroot, roasted carrots, cumin powder, black or green olives, turmeric, chilli flakes, sun dried tomatoes….the list is endless. Play around with flavours and find a new version to suit you. I’d love to hear from you if you find a new combination that’s a hit!
I’ve kept things simple for my one today by simply adding some fresh pomegranate seeds to give a ruby red jewel effect. I like the fresh sweetness of the seeds with the hummus. It works really well and looks really pretty too. We eat with our eyes and nose as well as our stomachs after all.
Serves – at least 6 (see bowl in photo)
2x400g tins of chickpeas (if you want it extra smooth and silky you need to peel the chickpeas, but totally fine if you don’t)
3 tbsp/100ml tahini
2 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
1/2 tsp cumin powder
1 lemon, juice only (if it is a small lemon you may need 2)
3 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil (plus a little extra to drizzle at the end)
5 tbsp iced water
salt to taste
pine nuts, paprika, pomegranate, fresh parsley, crispy shallots
1. In a blender add the tahini, lemon juice and a couple of tablespoons of iced water. Blitz for a minute.
2. Strain the chickpeas and then add them to a blender along with all the ingredients except the olive oil.
3. Blend the ingredients adding the olive oil gradually until smooth.
4. Taste and add more salt/lemon if needed.
5. Place in a bowl and scatter the pomegranate seeds on top along with a drizzle of olive oil.
The photo above I have not peeled the chickpeas but the one below I have. You can see the difference in the smoothness.