We all love Hummos - Hummos bi Tahini

Everyone knows hommos, the tangy chickpea purée. Hummos means chickpeas in Arabic, whereas the creamy mélange is called hummos bi tahini. There is no doubt that hummos is now hip and its identity is claimed by many. When the Israelis called it theirs, the Lebanese competed to create the largest Hummos plate and entered it in the Guinness Book of Records.

Hailed as healthy, it is sought by many and supermarket shelves are brimming  with different brands and flavours. Unfortunately most shop-bought pastes are packed with additives. Yet, a simple unadulterated hummos, contains tons of goodness. I like to make my own and always have cooked chickpeas in the freezer ready to use.

Hummos bi Tahini

250 g chickpeas, soaked overnight and cooked
2 garlic cloves
2 ice cubes
1 tablespoon olive oil
Juice of 2 to 3 lemons
50 ml tahini
Sea salt
A dash of extra virgin olive oil

Preparation time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 90 minutes
Serve 4 to 6

  1. Soak the chickpeas overnight with a teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda.
  2. On the next day, strain the soaked peas, rinse and place them in a large pot. Cover with plenty of fresh water and bring to the boil.
  3. Cook on medium to low heat for approximately 1½ hour. (If you are using a pressure cooker reduce cooking time by at least ½ hour). The chickpeas should be soft.
  4. Strain the cooked peas, set aside about 100 ml of the cooking liquid, and discard the rest. Allow them to cool down before going on to the next step.
  5. Transfer the rest of the chickpeas to a food processor but reserve a tablespoonful to use as garnish at the end.  
  6. Add the garlic and 2 ice cubes. Process for about 5 minutes. The mixture will be quite thick.
  7. While the machine is running, add the lemon juice and olive oil. Keep processing. By now, the mixture should be creamy and smooth.
  8. Add the tahini. This will immediately thicken the mixture, which will become quite dense. If that is the case, add a tablespoon of the reserved cooking liquid. Process for a while longer; if it is still too thick add another until you get the perfect balance: soft, creamy and smooth.
  9. Add salt to taste.
  10. Serve in a round dish. With the back of a spoon make a swirl in the centre of the chickpea paste.
  11. Drizzle some olive oil in the ridge, sprinkle with paprika and place the reserved chickpeas in the centre.