It has only been in the last 4 or 5 months that I started liking hummus. When we moved to California, our friends immediately introduced us to a local Middle Eastern hole-in-the-wall restaurant. Their hummus, served with fresh pita bread, is responsible for my conversion.
For Judah’s birthday party, I decided to try my hand at making my own hummus. After searching for recipes, it seemed like an easy feat, yet I was nervous about the outcome and serving it to guests for the first time. My nerves were completely settled when a few of the party guests exclaimed how good it was and immediately asked for the recipe. One lady was excited when I told her I would send some home with her after she shared with me how much she liked it. (Although, I completely forgot to package some up for her when she left!)
A few things about this recipe. You may not be familiar with the ingredient, tahini, which is a paste made from ground sesame seeds. It is a common ingredient in popular Middle Eastern dishes. I have found it in the peanut butter section at my grocery store. If tahini is unavailable at your store, you can substitute with natural peanut butter. Although the two are not interchangeable in flavor, it surprisingly works for the hummus.
I went ahead and used natural peanut butter because it was much cheaper than the tahini. For either the tahini or the peanut butter, you will find that the oil separates from the paste, so you will need to carefully stir it first. Tips for stirring include using a thin utensil such as a knife or end of a wooden spoon, turning the (tahini) can upside down and opening from the bottom, or dumping it all at once into your food processor to mix. It can be messy, but one of these tricks might help.
Another tip for this recipe is regarding the chick peas. You may not know that chick peas are also called garbanzo beans. I didn’t know this until my recent holiday trip to Maryland where my mother in law picked up the ingredients for me to make some hummus. When I was looking in her pantry for the chick peas, I only found garbanzo beans and noticed the picture on the can looked the same. I quickly learned that they ARE the same! My discovery made this already cheap dip even cheaper for me because the cans labeled “chick peas” at my store are almost $1.00 more than the cans labeled “garbanzo beans!” Joy!, joy!, joy! now that I can buy the cheaper option! 🙂
I’m excited to try different variations of hummus down the road. I’ve already got my eye on Roasted Red Pepper and Roasted Garlic flavors. Are there favorites you’d like to share?
- 1 (14 oz.) can chick peas (or garbanzo beans)
- 1/3 cup tahini or natural peanut butter , stirred well
- 2 1/2 Tablespoons lemon juice
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil , plus more for drizzling
- 3 cloves garlic , peeled
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- pinch of cayenne pepper
Drain and rinse the chick peas, reserving 1/3 cup of the liquid. Place all ingredients, minus the chick peas, but including the reserved liquid, in a food processor fitted with the blade. Process until the garlic is well chopped and blended. Add the chick peas and blend until smooth and at desired consistency. Add more salt and cayenne pepper to taste. Cover with plastic wrap and let stand for 30 minutes to allow the flavors to blend before serving. Drizzle with olive oil and serve with pita bread or vegetables. Store in the refrigerate.
Source: Adapted from One Particular Kitchen