Hummus

2 Apr

Hummus

I’ve got this week off, so I decided to get cracking and make some of the things I’ve been meaning to try for a while. One of those things was – I reckon you’ve guessed it by now – hummus. I had a Google to try and find a really good recipe and through the Guardian (it would be the Guardian for hummus, wouldn’t it?) came across a how-to on one of my favourite blogs, Food Stories, written by Helen Graves, she of 101 Sandwiches fame.

I decided to go with Helen’s recipe as I basically just have the biggest girl crush on her. Ever. Like, I would give up chocolate and my house for her. And she’s got really nice hair and good taste in earrings in her Twitter picture. (As I typed that last sentence I got into position crouched in a bush so I could stare through her living room window.) (Are we still on for that drink Helen? Call me!)

I started this knowing it was a little bit of a ballache, as you need to shell each individual chickpea by hand after soaking them overnight, but that didn’t seem like too much of a big deal. But I am warning you now. It takes some time. Get Netflix ready and have your boyfriend pour you a pint of alcohol and create a super long straw by sticking two together for you. Half way through I thought I might cry but once I tried the hummus… Oh my God. Totally worth it. You probably won’t be making this ALL the time, but shop-bought hummus will always make you a little sad face after eating this.

As Helen points out this does make quite a lot but as you’re putting a bit of time into it you may as well. Give it away to friends! To neighbours! Become that creepy person with all the hummus!

You need:

  • 325g dried chickpeas
  • 1 teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda
  • Around half a jar of tahini
  • ½ a teaspoon of cumin which I have just realised I forgot
  • 2 lemons
  • 2 big cloves of garlic or maybe three little ones
  • Salt
  • Olive oil
  • A blender or food processor

In a large bowl, cover the chickpeas with cold water and the bicarbonate of soda. The bicarb stops the crap in tap water from make the pea’s cell walls become a FORTRESS and stopping them from softening. Or something. Leave them overnight and they pretty much double in size.

The next day, rinse the peas in cold water, stick them in a pan, cover with water and bring to the boil. You now have to stand at the stove for ten minutes skimming all the crap off the top, which I think may be the starch? Please someone correct me if I’m wrong as I’m just using the guessing section of my brain which rarely works out well. While tinned chickpeas usually smell like cat food, at this point I thought the whole thing smelt like horse. Not horse poo or anything, like an actual horse. Drain, fill the pot up with water again and bring back to the boil, this time let them simmer for an hour or more, until they’re nice and soft.

It’s time to set up your production line. Once the chickpeas have cooled enough for your to handle them you need to remove their little jackets.

Please notice the straw

Sadly you can’t see my magic straw

It took a while but I did manage to find a knack to this. If the skin hadn’t split I nipped the top off (where the shoot would grow from – you’ll know what I mean if you look) and then squeezed the skin from the bottom and it slipped off. I can’t tell you exactly how long the whole thing took but I managed to really catch up on my Dawson’s Creek. Man, I love Pacey.

You’ll be left with these beautiful little buggers, which you will probably want to throw at someone by now.

HummusDollop about six tablespoons of tahini and the juice of one of the lemons into the blender and blitz until it forms a peanut butter-ish paste. Add the garlic and salt (and I imagine the cumin) and whizz again. Add the chickpeas a handful at a time along with a splash of cold water. I found it easier to add them only when the last lot was properly combined.

Half way through my blender started smelling like burning and making a noise like a sad hippo so I transferred the whole lot to the food processor. I don’t know why we have both of them knocking around but to be honest I think the blender is out of action now anyway.

The whole time you are doing this, keep trying it. You might find you want more lemon (hence the second, emergency lemon), or garlic, or salt.

Once all the chickpeas have been added you want a nice, big, long sloop of olive oil to go in there. As soon as you taste it after this you’ll know why you bothered doing this yourself.

Hummus

Keep it in the fridge until you’re ready to use it. When I was 17 I worked behind the bar at a restaurant in Chiswick called Annie’s, and I became obsessed with popping into the kitchen to eat well-toasted strips of pitta bread with hummus drenched in good olive oil, so that’s what I had for lunch today, along with a sprinkling of smoked paprika because that’s how my Godmother does it. It was bloody amazing.

Hummus(And I’ve just realised all my hummus photos became the poor man’s version of Helen’s with my garnish. What a loser.)

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3 Responses to “Hummus”

  1. katedh April 2, 2014 at 9:22 am #

    Shelling chickpeas ranks somewhere close to cleaning the oven on my list of things that life is too short for. But any excuse to watch Pacey I will take.

    • Sarah Duggers April 2, 2014 at 9:46 am #

      It became weirdly relaxing after a whole. Pacey is just the best. I’ve… Urm… I’ve never seen it before soooooo…

    • Sarah Duggers April 2, 2014 at 10:07 pm #

      I would like to make a comment on how much mascara Jack wears: it is a lot. A. Lot.

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