Wednesday, March 18, 2015

The Wonderful Paste, Hummus!

Well, I said I would put up a recipe for this wonderful food and here it is. I ran across this recipe a few years ago and adapted it for my own use. It is a truly good recipe and well worth the time it takes to make. Easily the equal of anything you can get at a Middle Eastern restaurant or even in the Middle East, and certainly better than anything you'll get from a grocery cooler. If you have access to a Middle Eastern store , (like our local grocery/eatery, Al Basha, in Fishers, IN), I would encourage you to get your ingredients there. Especially if they carry good quality ingredients from the Middle East. It will make a difference in the final product. I use a Syrian tahini and a Turkish olive oil and am fortunate enough to have access to Al Basha's great fresh baked pita. Terroir makes a difference in almost any recipes. So, without further ado, here you are.


Hummus

1 cup dried chickpeas
1/2 cup tahini
Juice of 1 lemon
2 garlic cloves
1/2 tsp cumin
1 Tbs plus 1/4 tsp baking soda
Salt (to taste)
Olive Oil
Fresh Italian Parsley
Paprika (optional)

Directions:

Rinse chickpeas in cold water to remove any dirt or dust. Place chickpeas in  2 qt. pan and cover with water, adding 1 Tbs of baking soda. Let soak overnight.
Drain soaked chickpeas and rinse.
Return to pan and cover with water. Add remaining baking soda. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to a simmer. Cook uncovered for 1-1 1/2 hours, adding more water, if necessary. Cook till chickpeas are soft and easily squashed. Drain, reserving a portion of the cooking water. Give chickpeas a quick rinse to remove any foam or skins. Let cool to room temperature.
Place cooled chickpeas in a food processor and pulse till well chopped.
Add lemon juice, tahini and cumin. Mix all ingredients. Taste. Add salt to taste and mix till smooth. If the paste is too thick add some of the reserved cooking water and mix till the desired consistency is achieved.
Remove hummus to small plates or bowls. Create a small, shallow well and add olive oil. Garnish with chopped parsley or paprika. Serve with pita bread and olives or your favourite scooping food, (some folks in the Middle East like to use onion petals). Enjoy!

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