Hummus (bi tahini)

Servings : Serves 4-5

This dip is originally Arabic, and is made from cooked, mashed chickpeas, blended with tahini (sesame paste), olive oil, lemon juice, salt and garlic. It is a popular food throughout the Middle East and elsewhere.

I'm an absolute die-hard fan of hummus, and aside from having it with bbq/grilled meaty dishes for the most part, sometimes I enjoy having it just as it is with some toasted pita bread! Really satisfying and very very delicious.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups chickpeas, boiled or drained from the can
  • 1 1/2 tbsp tahini paste
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • salt to taste
  • 1 tsp red chilli powder
  • 1/4 tsp cumin powder
  • 1/2 tsp garlic paste
  • 1/4 - 1/2 cup water (or as needed)
  • 2 tbsp olive oil (plus more for serving)
  • yoghurt/sour milk/buttermilk (optional)

Instructions

Tahini Paste is normally sold, but I prefer making mine at home as it is fairly easy to do, and tastes better than the bought preserved ones. You can then store any leftover in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 4 weeks, or freeze for slightly longer.

All you need to do is roast about a quarter cup of sesame seeds, take them out when they just start releasing a bit of oil but before they turn brown. (about 5-10 mins at 180 C but toss them a little bit midway through the roasting) Then let them cool for some minutes and then put them in your processor and grind them with a bit of olive oil until you achieve a smooth paste.

If you want a smooth hummus, remove all the peels from the chickpeas before grinding. It's tedious but it gives a smoother result.

Now put the boiled chickpeas in your grinder/processor (reserve a few for garnishing purposes), then add lemon juice, tahini paste, olive oil, garlic paste, chilli powder, cumin powder, salt to taste and half of the water. Grind everything together until it becomes a smooth paste, adding water gradually until you have a smooth paste consistency. You can add sour milk or buttermilk or yoghurt in this if you want your hummus creamier! Taste and adjust flavours to suit your taste buds, some people prefer more tahini, or more lemon, or more garlic or chilli. Have at it! Add whatever you feel you like. 🙂

To serve, pour the hummus in a plate (a real Arab never puts hummus in a bowl) then use the back of a spoon to form indents on the surface. Drizzle some olive oil into the dips/indents to form little pools of olive oil on the surface. Garnish with the reserved chickpeas and you can sprinkle a bit of paprika powder on top if you want.

Enjoy with your toasted pita bread! 🙂

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