30 September 2012

Homemade Hummus

Recently, I spent the weekend down in Christchurch/Timaru for my cousins engagement party, which was a lot of fun.  While I was there, my other cousin, who is very healthy and inspirational in her dedication to exercise (most unlike me... perhaps that doesn't run in the family haha), and I got talking about food, and cooking and such.

The topic of healthy snacks came up, and I'm trying to be healthier at the moment for various reasons.  We talked about hummus, and how it was a great snack, with crackers, and carrot sticks, and other vegetables in stick form.  I complained that hummus is sooooooooo expensive and my parents (who I still live with) would never buy it regularly in the groceries because it is a "luxury good".

Then she goes "why don't you make some?".  LIGHT-BULB MOMENT! We already had some dried chickpeas at home from the bulk bins (MILES cheaper than the canned ones in brine), and all I needed was tahini paste (sesame seed paste stuff).  Everything else we pretty much had already!  Including a food processor that isn't used much... so yay!  A use for it!

1 cup dried chickpeas (makes [supposedly] 2 cups of hydrated chickpeas)
1/4 cup tahini
1/4 cup lemon juice (or less, to taste)
2 cloves of garlic, crushed (or about 1/2 tsp pre-crushed garlic)
1-2 tablespoons of olive oil
1/2 teaspoon of ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon of cayenne pepper (although go lightly on this actually... it's stronger than I thought!)
pinch of freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon of salt
1/3 cup of water
parsley and olive oil to garnish

  • Soak chickpeas in lots of water in a large jug/bowl overnight, changing the water once or twice if you can
  • Drain, then bring chickpeas to boil in a large pot with lots of water and a dash of salt
  • Simmer for 30 mins
  • Drain and let them cool, but try to make the hummus while they are still warm - apparently it blends better :)
  • Put all the ingredients into the food processor (or blender) except chickpeas, oil and parsley
  • Pulse/blend for approx 5 seconds to mix
  • Add chickpeas
  • Blend until it is the consistency you want - people usually go for a 'sour cream' thickness
  • Taste and season accordingly
  • Transfer to a serving bowl
  • Chill in the fridge for a few hours/overnight
  • Eat!
 So with this recipe, I learned about cayenne pepper.  And how much NOT to put in haha.  It came out very spicy.  Mum and Dad liked it a lot, so they ate it, and I also pawned some off to my friend... I hope she liked it... I haven't heard from her though... oh dear.  Sophie I'm sorry if the spicyness was too much, but I did write the warning in the status on FB asking if anyone wanted some really spicy hummus! ;)

I'm definitely making it again, cos it's relatively simple, and dried chickpeas from the bulk bins are really cheap... definitely cheaper than buying ready made stuff.  The only other cost was the tahini paste, but now that I spent NZ$8 on the jar, it'll last many hummus' to come.  :)

I'm really looking forward to playing with flavours.  I know they do pumpkin and kumara (sweet potato for non-NZ followers) from the brand I like, so I might try recreating it!  Watch this space!

ALSO: This recipe makes A LOT.  Great for if you're having a party.  If I was to make it again, I'd halve all the measurements.

Recipe Inspiration:  http://greekfood.about.com/od/appetizerssalads/r/hummustahini.htm

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