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I remember coming into the kitchen at Crick once, during my Oxford semester, to discover a gigantic pot of mashed goo simmering on the stove. Apparently, Rebekah and company were making hummus. Wow, I thought, when do they have time to write essays? I was impressed, though.
Hummus is indeed a subtle and delicious blend of pure awesomeness, and I would eat it like icecream if I had the means. Sadly, even the basic Sainsbury’s hummus didn’t often fit into my shockingly limited budget (thank goodness for all the fruit and snacks at tea time!). I might’ve taken a cue from Rebekah and made it myself, if I had known then how easy it actually is. Thankfully, now I do.
I have no idea how much hummus costs in the store, but the cost of homemade is minimal, for maximum flavour and nutrition impact.
Homemade hummus involves two main steps:
1. Preparing and softening the chickpeas
2. Blending the chickpeas with desired flavours
Easy Homemade Hummus
1. Rinse the chickpeas and put in a pot. Cover with water, stir in about 1 T baking soda, and let soak several hours, or overnight. Try to change the water at least once during this time, rinsing the chickpeas and adding more baking soda. The baking soda will help to soften the water and eliminate gassy effects. In the morning, or when the peas have about doubled in size, change the water and cook the peas on low for 1- 1 1/2 hours, or until soft.
2. Drain and rinse the peas and put them into a blender or food processor. Add the juice of the lemon (save the rind for lemon zest in other recipes), cumin, some salt, a tablespoon or two of olive oil, garlic, and tahini. Blend all together. Taste. Add additional lemon juice, cumin, or anything that needs it. Store hummus in the fridge, or freeze it.
For a garden hummus, add fresh herbs like parsley or cilantro. For a spicy hummus, add red pepper flakes, chili powder or cayenne.
*tahini is a paste made from sesame, and can be omitted from the recipe if you don’t have it on hand. Look for it in the ethnic section of your grocery store.