Sunday, September 6, 2015

Homemade Hummus

When I lived in California, one of my (many) roommates would get hooked on a certain food for weeks at a time, eating - seemingly - nothing but that food until he found a new obsession, and the process would repeat. One of these was homemade hummus. He would pull out the blender every morning and mix up a unique, original recipe of hummus that he then consumed throughout the day with such gusto, it was gone by evening. So when Greg and I ended up with a mostly full jar of tahini after Greg made us some chicken shawarma for dinner one night, I immediately thought of my blender and a can of chickpeas (aka, garbanzo beans). 

Hummus is really, truly, ridiculously easy to make on your own. So easy, in fact, you may never buy commercial hummus again. I looked at a lot of different recipes, chief among them Alton Brown's, but in the end, I decided to mostly wing it like my old roommate. Here are the basic ingredients you need:
  • chickpeas
  • tahini
  • oil
Of course, this makes for some pretty bland hummus, so lemon juice and salt are usually also added. Garlic, too! In my experience, you can never go wrong with garlic. Since I did not have fresh garlic on hand when I mixed up my first batch, I used a generous amount of garlic powder. I also used lemon juice from a bottle rather than freshly squeezed, and canola oil because we were out of the ideal olive oil.

I feel I must caution that a lot of recipes call for two cans of chickpeas. This will make a lot of hummus. I only used 1 can and ended up with almost 2 cups of hummus. I divided it into two plastic containers designed to contain liquid, then kept one in the fridge and put the other in the freezer, which has worked out very well.

I sprinkled a little ground cumin on top of my hummus for some extra flavor. It was a tasty addition. I have also seen turmeric sprinkled on top and paprika and nutmeg. Though I cannot verify the tastiness of any of these things, they seem pretty solid. Other toppings include freshly minced garlic, red pepper or olive tapenade. You can add pretty much whatever you want to hummus. One of my favorite "flavors" of hummus is roasted garlic and chives. I recently tried a hummus with artichokes and spinach that was also delightful! 

And don't limit yourself to just pita chips. I spread hummus on a romaine lettuce leaf, add a slice of turkey and eat it like a sandwich. I also enjoy tortilla chips and fresh vegetables dipped in hummus. Water it down a salad dressing!

With an almost endless combination of ingredients to mix in with the hummus and things to put the hummus on, I totally understand how my former roommate was able to stay so entertained by it for so long.

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