It is no secret anymore; hommos aka hummus has become international food. Everybody loves it!
As much as I like creativity in the kitchen, I refuse to make any hommos with other ingredient than chickpeas. Why name any vegetable or legume dish hommos only because ingredients are puréed and dressed with tahini, lemon and spices? Hommos means chickpeas in Arabic, and hommos bi tahini is the name of the dip prepared with puréed cooked chickpeas, garlic, lemon juice and tahini. There are different variations in terms of the toppings or in the flavors however, but all of them are prepared with chickpeas. Anything else like beetroot hommos or avocado hommos is a misnomer.
My homemade hommos is prepared from scratch like my grandmother. Like hers it is very creamy but not smooth, very flavourful and authentic, and with little fuss. Hommos has to taste good and appeal to one’s tastebuds, that’s all! Some like it more garlicky, some more lemony, and others with a little or a lot of tahini.
The secret to a very smooth hommos dip lies in the tenderness of the boiled chickpeas and the power of the blender. However, whatever home blender you have, it will never be as powerful as restaurants ones. So why bother? As I don’t mind the gritty texture of hommos dip, I don’t even peel chickpeas, as some argue that peeling them would help reach that so much “required” smoothnes.
If you lack the time or energy for the whole process of soaking and boiling chickpeas, you can buy preserved cooked chickpeas. Discard the liquids in the tin or jar, rinse and drain the chickpeas and purée them like in the recipe below using fresh water. Make your hommos and enjoy it served as a dip with crudités or as accompaniment to meat, chicken or fish.
Hummus bi tahini
- 200 g dried chickpeas soaked overnight in 1 litre cold water
- 60 ml tahini
- 3-4 tablespoons lemon juice
- 2 small garlic cloves crushed
- 1 teaspoon salt or to taste
- To garnish: sweet paprika 1-2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- Drain the chickpeas, add them with one litre water to a pressure cooker, put the lid on, and following manufacturer’s instructions, cook over low heat for about 45 minutes. Drain the cooked chickpeas in a colander, preserving the water. Let cool. Keep 1-2 tablespoons whole chickpeas aside for garnish.
- Purée the chickpeas with 5 tablespoons of the preserved cooking water in a big food processor until you get a thick smooth paste.
- Combine the puréed chickpeas, garlic, salt, lemon juice and tahini in the bowl and mix well. Adjust to taste if desired.
- Spread the hummus evenly in the platter, and with the back of a spoon push it up the sides to form a dip all the way around. Place the whole chickpeas in a little mound in the centre. Sprinkle with some paprika and drizzle olive oil in the dipped part of the hummus.