I have a problem with commercial hummus: the price tag.
Depending on the brand and flavor you get, you pay $2 to $4 for a 10-ounce container in the supermarket. For something as basic as hummus, that seems like a rip off! A can of chickpeas for half the price gives you a similar amount, or even more, of hummus. Even better, if you start with dry chickpeas, which I bought for 89 cents for a 4×8 inch bag, the savings can be huge. I don’t think anyone minds that!
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This is my family’s hummus recipe. To make hummus from scratch, minor planning is needed. One day before you plan on making it–or the night before–soak the dry beans in a generous amount of water. Keep checking them because they absorb the water and you might need to add more. As a rule of thumb, the longer they soak, the less time it takes to cook them.
After being soaked for 12 to 24 hours, discard the water, rinse, and place in a saucepan. Add fresh water and boil for 15-30 minutes, until soft but not mushy.
At this point, you can use as much chickpeas as you want to make hummus, and, since you will have a lot of them, portion and freeze the rest in freezer bags. You’ve already more than tripled your savings.
In this recipe, I used 4 cups of chickpeas and stored 2 cups in my freezer. You can make less and adjust the ingredients accordingly.
- 4 cups cooked chickpeas, reserve the water used for boiling
- 2 fresh garlic cloves, minced with mortar and pestle
- 4 tbsp lemon juice (about one lemon)
- 3 tbsp tahini sauce
- 1/2 tsp salt (or to taste)
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- Optional spices and seasonings
Place all ingredients in a blender, and blend until smooth. Add as much water as necessary, 1/2 to one cup, that was used to cook the chickpeas. The secret to a smooth hummus is adding the right amount of water. A good blender helps too!
At this point, you can add any extras you like, such as roasted peppers or pine nuts. I prefer my hummus plain. For extra spices or seasonings, I like to serve hummus sprinkled with cumin and paprika, and drizzled with olive oil. Another option I learned from my husband’s family is zaa’tar, which is a Palestinian/ Arabic spice mix made of thyme, sesame seeds, and sumac. You can also garnish it with finely chopped parsley, pine nuts, and/or few whole chickpeas.
Before I forget, if you’re looking for a healthy breakfast, consider hummus. It’s actually a breakfast food in the Middle East. Add few slices of cucumbers and tomatoes, and serve with warm whole wheat pita bread. Use it instead of mayo for sandwiches or a side with grilled kabobs. Try heating hummus a little too. It’s good warm.