I have a problem with commercial hummus: the price tag.
Depending on the brand and flavor you get, you pay $2 to $4 for a 10-ounce container in the supermarket. For something as basic as hummus, that seems like a rip off! A can of chickpeas for half the price gives you a similar amount, or even more, of hummus. Even better, if you start with dry chickpeas, which I bought for 89 cents for a 4×8 inch bag, the savings can be huge. I don’t think anyone minds that!
This is my family’s hummus recipe. To make hummus from scratch, minor planning is needed. One day before you plan on making it–or the night before–soak the dry beans in a generous amount of water. Keep checking them because they absorb the water and you might need to add more. As a rule of thumb, the longer they soak, the less time it takes to cook them.
After being soaked for 12 to 24 hours, discard the water, rinse, and place in a saucepan. Add fresh water and boil for 15-30 minutes, until soft but not mushy.
At this point, you can use as much chickpeas as you want to make hummus, and, since you will have a lot of them, portion and freeze the rest in freezer bags. You’ve already more than tripled your savings.
In this recipe, I used 4 cups of chickpeas and stored 2 cups in my freezer. You can make less and adjust the ingredients accordingly.
- 4 cups cooked chickpeas, reserve the water used for boiling
- 2 fresh garlic cloves, minced with mortar and pestle
- 4 tbsp lemon juice (about one lemon)
- 3 tbsp tahini sauce
- 1/2 tsp salt (or to taste)
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- Optional spices and seasonings
Place all ingredients in a blender, and blend until smooth. Add as much water as necessary, 1/2 to one cup, that was used to cook the chickpeas. The secret to a smooth hummus is adding the right amount of water. A good blender helps too!
At this point, you can add any extras you like, such as roasted peppers or pine nuts. I prefer my hummus plain. For extra spices or seasonings, I like to serve hummus sprinkled with cumin and paprika, and drizzled with olive oil. Another option I learned from my husband’s family is zaa’tar, which is a Palestinian/ Arabic spice mix made of thyme, sesame seeds, and sumac. You can also garnish it with finely chopped parsley, pine nuts, and/or few whole chickpeas.
Before I forget, if you’re looking for a healthy breakfast, consider hummus. It’s actually a breakfast food in the Middle East. Add few slices of cucumbers and tomatoes, and serve with warm whole wheat pita bread. Use it instead of mayo for sandwiches or a side with grilled kabobs. Try heating hummus a little too. It’s good warm.