Chickpea hummus, also called hummus bi tahina, is a cold puree with a slightly toasted aftertaste in which the delicate taste of chickpeas and sesame paste (tahina) meets the sour taste of lemon. It is considered the symbol of peace because it unites cultures that are very distant from each other even if united by the common Middle Eastern root.
Hummus is a typical dish from all over the Middle East, from Syria to Lebanon, from Palestine to Israel, and the recipe varies from country to country depending on local influences. It is almost always the union of chickpeas, sesame cream, lemon juice, garlic and salt, but you can also find other ingredients, including parsley, paprika, chili pepper, cumin and Greek yogurt. If you want to know the most correct method to prepare an authentic hummus bi tahina, I invite you to read this article, where I will show you all the steps to follow to get a tasty cream to serve for a tasty appetizer or as a snack.
Chickpea hummus recipe
- 300 g of chickpeas;
- 2-3 tablespoons of homemade or ready-made tahina;
- half a lemon juice;
- 3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil;
- 1 teaspoon of salt;
- a tuft of fresh parsley;
- – 1/2 clove of garlic.
- 50 g of sesame seeds;
- 2 tablespoons full of sesame or grape seed oil;
- salt to taste.
1. Before cooking the chickpeas, soak them in 600 ml of cold water for at least 12 hours. Choose a large enough container because, as the hours go by, the chickpeas will absorb the water and grow in volume. After the necessary time has elapsed, drain the chickpeas and wash them carefully under running water. If you don’t have much time or if you forgot to leave the legumes to soak, you can use canned chickpeas as an alternative.
2. Boil the chickpeas in salted water for about two hours, or until they become tender, then drain them leaving aside a little ‘cooking water that you will need later to dilute the dough. In the traditional recipe you use the pressure cooker, which allows you to reduce the cooking time.
3. Proceed by preparing the tahina (if you decide to buy the one on the market, skip this step). Distribute the sesame seeds in a non-stick pan and toast them over a low heat until they are just golden brown (2-3 minutes). Stir continuously to prevent the seeds from browning and don’t get distracted even for a moment because the sesame seeds burn very easily. Alternatively, you can roast them in the oven for 5 minutes at 180°. Now transfer them to a blender, operate the machine and, when they start to be pulverized, add the sesame oil (or another oil with a neutral and light taste) flush, adjust salt and continue to blend until the ingredients are reduced to cream.
4. Peel the garlic clove, remove the inner core and chop it very finely or crush it with a pestle. Take the tuft of parsley, wash it, dry it and chop it finely.
5. Transfer the boiled chickpeas into the glass of the blender and add the chopped garlic, tahina, lemon juice, extra virgin olive oil and salt and operate the apparatus until you get a smooth and homogeneous cream, without lumps, similar to a puree. If the mixture is too thick, add a little chickpea cooking water to adjust the consistency.
6. Flavour the chickpea hummus with a handful of fresh parsley, which will give the dish an aromatic and refreshing note, and sprinkle the cream with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil. Serve as an appetizer generously spread on Arabic bread, pita or simple croutons. It is also good with vegetables (carrots, celery, etc.) and meat.
Some secrets for preparing chickpea hummus
If you want an even more velvety cream, after having cooked and drained the chickpeas, remove the skin by rubbing the legumes between your hands.
Mortar and pestle are a valid alternative to the blender to prepare tahina and chickpea hummus because they prevent the ingredients from overheating, preserving the active ingredients at their best.
For a creamy and lighter version, add a little Greek yoghurt to the sauce.
Those who love spicy flavours can serve hummus with a sprinkling of sweet paprika. In the version called Kammounye, a tablespoon of cumin (kammoun) is added. Although not everyone likes it because it alters the taste of the chickpea cream, this ingredient makes the taste more intense.
Chickpea and tahina hummus is kept in the refrigerator for 2-3 days, preferably in a hermetically sealed container.