How to make perfect hummus.

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How to make perfect hummus.

Post by Iolar » Wed Jul 16, 2014 8:15 am

Please move this OP to Talk Politics if that is a more appropriate place.

Felicity Cloake wrote:Hummus may be simple, but that doesn't mean it's easy – there's an awful lot of disappointing dips out there. Take time to cook the chickpeas properly, and season ever-so-gradually, until the heat of the garlic, and the zing of the lemon suits your particular idea of perfection, and you'll remember just why this unassuming Middle Eastern staple stole our hearts in the first place.

Serves 4

200g dried chickpeas
1½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
6 tbsp tahini
Juice of 1 lemon, or more to taste
3 cloves garlic, crushed, or according to taste
Pinch of cumin
Salt, to taste
Olive oil, to top
Paprika or za'tar, to top (optional)

1. Put the chickpeas in a bowl and cover with twice the volume of cold water. Stir in 1 tsp of bicarbonate of soda and leave to soak for 24 hours.

2. Drain the chickpeas, rinse well and put in a large pan. Cover with cold water and add the rest of the bicarb. Bring to the boil, then turn down the heat and simmer gently until they're tender – they need to be easy to mush, and almost falling apart, which will take between 1 and 4 hours depending on your chickpeas. Add more hot water if they seem to be boiling dry.

3. Leave them to cool in the water, and then drain well, reserving the cooking liquid, and setting aside a spoonful of chickpeas as a garnish. Mix the tahini with half the lemon juice and half the crushed garlic – it should tighten up – then stir in enough cooled cooking liquid to make a loose paste. Add this, and the chickpeas, to a food processor and whizz to make a purée.

4. Add the cumin and a generous pinch of salt, then gradually tip in enough cooking water to give a soft paste – it should just hold its shape, but not be claggy. Taste, and add more lemon juice, garlic or salt according to taste.

5. Tip into a bowl, and when ready to serve, drizzle with olive oil, garnish with the reserved chickpeas and sprinkle with paprika or za'tar if using.

More here.

I generally add significantly more than a pinch of cumin. Sometimes I add smoked paprika. I always top it with sumac, none of that za'atar madness on my hummus. The za'atar is for the accompanying salad and/or pita. How do you like your hummus?
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Re: How to make perfect hummus.

Post by Iolar » Wed Jul 16, 2014 2:51 pm

How to make perfect baba ghanoush

2 large aubergines (about 650g)
Juice of 1 lemon, plus a little extra
2 tbsp tahini
2 garlic cloves, crushed
3 tbsp chopped mint or flat-leaf parsley
1 tbsp pomegranate seeds (optional)
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

Blacken the aubergines over a gas hob or barbecue, turning regularly with tongs, until completely charred and collapsed (you may wish to surround the rings with foil, as it can be messy). Allow to cool.

Slit the aubergines lengthways and scoop out the flesh in long strands, discarding the skins. Put in a sieve and leave to drain for 30 minutes, or squeeze out if you're in a hurry. Season.

In a serving bowl, stir the lemon juice into the tahini until it loosens up. Add the garlic and two-thirds of the chopped herbs, and season again to taste. Add a squeeze more lemon juice if necessary.

Mash the aubergines gently with a fork, and then stir into the tahini mixture. Top with the remaining herbs and the pomegranate seeds, if using. Pour a moat of oil around the edge and serve.

More here.

I don't make baba ghanoush with anything approaching the same regularity as hummus, but I love it. I add some pomegranate molasses to the lemon and tahini. I think it adds an intriguing flavour which piques even the most mundane eater's interest. I just grill the aubergine until it's blackened. Doing it on the hob is messy.
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Re: How to make perfect hummus.

Post by Iolar » Thu Jul 17, 2014 3:29 pm

How to cook the perfect falafel

(Makes about 25)
100g dried chickpeas
200g dried, split skinless broad beans
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
1½ tsp of Lebanese seven-spice (or ½ tsp ground black pepper and ¼ tsp each of ground cinnamon, ginger, allspice and nutmeg)
1 tsp salt
5 spring onions, finely sliced
4 garlic cloves, crushed
Large bunch of coriander, long stems removed, roughly chopped
Small bunch of flat-leaf parsley, long stems removed, roughly chopped
½tsp baking powder
4 tbsp sesame seeds
Sunflower or vegetable oil, to fry

Soak the chickpeas and broad beans in separate bowls of plenty of cold water overnight. Drain and tip on to a clean tea towel to dry.

Put all the beans and half the chickpeas into a food processor and whiz until smooth (be careful not to overload your processor). Add the spices, salt, spring onions and garlic and whiz again, until well combined. Finally, add the remaining chickpeas and fresh herbs and pulse until chopped and well combined, but not pureed – the mixture should still be lumpy with chickpeas.

Heat a little oil in a small pan over a high heat and fry a teaspoon of the mixture to check the seasoning. Adjust if necessary, then stir in the baking powder. Chill the mixture for at least 30 minutes.

Roll the mixture into small, flattish balls, about 5-6cm across, and roll briefly in the sesame seeds.

Heat 5cm oil in a deep pan to 180C/350F, then fry the falafel in batches and drain on kitchen paper. Serve with tahini sauce, toasted flatbreads and plenty of salad.

More here.

I usually just buy a box of Lebanese falafel mix from an Arab shop, Yurpeon antisemite that I am.
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