Warning: This is a bit of a silly post. We’ve all been there. The place where you just want the savory tastes of hummus playing across your tongue like so many angel fingers strumming a harp. The marriage of chickpeas with lemon and garlic and tahini calls to you with its siren song. The spell is broken only by the cold reality of your hummus-less state.
Hummus is an Arabic dish with a long history and a heavy present: in May 2010, Lebanon saw the creation of the largest bowl of hummus ever, according to the Guinness Book of World records. It was 11.5 TONS of hummus in one place. If only I could have been there, armed with pita bread and other dippers. It’s unlikely anyone’s going to find 11.5 tons of hummus in one place, but at least in the US, the growing popularity of hummus means that it’s in many grocery stores.
However, if you don’t see hummus at your store, or you’re just so f-ing hip you can’t see over your pelvis (RIP Douglas Adams) and want to DIY everything, hummus is relatively easy to make at home. I speak from experience: one time, I was running a retreat for my graduate program and we decided that hummus would make an excellent snack or sandwich spread for the retreaters, so being the extremely clever person that I am, I volunteered to make enough hummus for 50 people for three and a half days. Yeah, I know I’m bright. On the one hand, I got good at making hummus in bulk. On the other hand, I ran my food processor nonstop for about 12 hours. That’s behind us now and here’s what you need to make a more normal amount of hummus:
2 16 oz cans of garbanzo beans (Also called chickpeas, but “garbanzo” is more fun to say. Oh and while we’re hanging out in the parenthetical, you can just soak some dried beans and be cool, but cans are faster so here I am.)
2/3 cup tahini (stir this stuff ““ it separates like whoa)
4 or 5 cloves of garlic
¼- ½ cup water
¼ cup olive oil
¼- cup lemon juice (fresh squeezed or not, whatever you have, and you can add more to taste)
½-1 teaspoon salt
Throw all of that into a food processor and just let it run. Seriously, just let that concoction get as smashed up or chunky as you like. I like chunky sometimes, sometimes I want to be smooth as butt-ah. Either way, it’s pretty great. Oh and I know that tahini might be hard to find. If you can’t find it, it’s probably best just to omit it, but uh, you could try peanut butter? That’s what I’ve heard, but word of caution ““ I’ve never tried it and it could be a disastah.
If you’re feeling fancy, you can throw some roasted pine nuts as garnish, or make a little well to pour some more olive oil into or dust the sides with paprika. You can also add things like roasted red bell peppers or nacho cheese in at the food processor stage and voila! Fancy pants flavored hummus. I’m a fan of plain myself, but to each their own.
How do you eat your hummus? Have you made it? What do you like to throw in? Where’s the garbanzo in your life?