I know…I know! I’ve had this blog for months and I’ve still never showed you how to make hummus! That’s a Middle Eastern staple. This should have been one of my first recipes on the blog. Alas. I do have to admit…hummus is not the end all, be all for me so I don’t ever make it for myself. GASP! WELL, I grew up with it and it’s just as ordinary as peanut butter to me in a way.
When I was a child, most Saturday mornings my father would set up an “Arabic breakfast”. Sundays were reserved for pancakes ;-). We would lay a blanket on the dining room floor and adorn it all homemade fried eggs and potatotes (batata fi baid), hummus, foul (similar to hummus, but made with fava beans), za’atar (a spiced sesame mixture), fresh extra virgin olive oil, salty olives, pickles and labne. Oh, and there was always fresh tea brewed with dried sage leaves (meramieh). We ate everything with pita bread and by our hands. We sat on the floor and there was no silverware in sight.
When hummus started becoming a staple you could find in any grocery store, I got so excited. I tried every brand. I found them all super disappointing. Most have this horrible, gritty texture. It’s because they leave the skin on the chick peas when they mash them. BIG NO-NO. Also, a lot of brands naturally have this weird cumin flavor when it’s not even listed in the ingredients. Yuck. Once you have it fresh, it’s hard to have it any other way.
My recipe is super easy and will yield the fluffiest, creamiest, buttery hummus you will never try from a store bought tub.
Palestinian/Syrian/Lebanese Style Garlic and Lemon Hummus
SO, here’s the short cut. You can go to your local Middle Eastern market and buy PRE-MASHED chickpeas. Hard work already done! So, that’s what I do pretty much all the time. If you realllllllly want to do it from scratch, make sure you take all of the skins off of the chick peas before you blend them and add in 2 extra tbsp of tahini into the food processor when you’re blending to give a super creamy consistency.
“But, wait, Amal, I don’t live near a Middle Eastern market!” No joke…I literally found these cans in my Dominican bodega in Washington Heights next to the Goya black beans. I was bewildered! Or, you can order them online!
Assemble your cloves of garlic. I made a double batch, so I used 6, but hey, if you want to make this Garlic Lover’s Hummus, more power to you. Using the flat surface of a knife, mash the garlic until the peels come loose and transfer them to a mortar and pestle.
Mash until you have a nice even consistency.
The next step is to empty the cans of chickpeas into a mixing bowl with the garlic. Just be careful who’s around to listen to cans opening because they might think it’s time to be fed!
Next, add in 2 tbsp of tahini. Make sure your tahini is well stirred from the jar, or else you’ll be putting in mainly sesame oil!
Next, add the juice of 2 lemons and salt to your liking. Be careful of the pits!
At this point, you should mix the hummus together. It’ll have a nice consistency, but it’ll still be a little gritty. Here’s where the magic comes in…the secret ingredient is….
Yup. Start with a couple tablespoons and mix it together. You’ll see that the hummus instantly will start to whip and fluff and become creamy. Start in smaller increments because you can’t work backwards if you put too much in!
And, there you go! I brought this to a picnic at Tanglewood and it had rave reviews! I garnished it with sumac (a lemony spice), pine nuts and fresh parsley for a bright contrast.
You also don’t have to use lemon and garlic in this! Do any combo of flavors! Full recipe is below. Enjoy!
Double Recipe (Serves 8-10)
- 2 cans hummus tahini (found in Middle Eastern Markets) OR 2 cans drained chick peas with skins removed (follow prep instructions above)
- 2 lemons
- 6 cloves garlic
- 2 tbsp tahini
- 3 tbsp water, or more
- salt to taste
- sumac, pine nuts, parsley for garnish
In a mortar and pestle, grind peeled garlic cloves until mashed. In a large mixing bowl, empty contents of hummus cans. Add in the garlic, juice of 2 lemons, tahini and salt. Combine. Incrementally add in water to create a smoother consistency until it is nice and whipped. transfer into a serving dish and garnish!
Enjoy and comment! Let me know you’re reading :).