Thursday, February 12, 2009
One of the most famous Mediterranean foods is hummus. Hummus has become so popular in America, it is very accessible in regular supermarkets. It is sold already prepared in small tubs. I still think homemade hummus is the best. This dish can be a perfect appetizer or a nice lunch full of nutrients.
In my household in Turkey, hummus is rarely prepared for some reason. Maybe my mother does not like hummus much; I really don't know. Although, it is prepared and consumed all over Turkey. My husband’s family prepares it very frequently though. Therefore, my husband actually made this dish (his second time). I had never made hummus myself, as I was not a big fan, however I am very much liking it now. This was prepared on a cooking get together with friends mentioned in the previous post. Of course the whole thing was a collaborative effort, as I boiled the chickpeas and our friends peeled them. My hubby was the one who determined the ingredients and completely decorated it himself without my help (except the crackers). I think he has acquired better decoration skills than myself!
You can decorate hummus with tomatoes, with olives and various spices. It is all up to you. Depending on your taste, you may increase or decrease the amount of tahini. Some people like hummus with more tahini and some like it with less. As you are adding the tahini, taste the hummus until you acquire the right taste for your palates.
Note: You do not have to peel the chickpeas; they will still taste good and will be pureed smoothly even with the peel. I tried it recently with the peel after writing this recipe and it worked well. To my surprise, the hummus was very smooth even without peeling the chickpeas.
2 cups dried chickpeas
1 cup tahini (or ½ cup depending on how much you like tahini)
5-6 garlic cloves
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tsp salt
½ tsp paprika
9-10 black olives for garnishing
10-15 crackers for garnishing
2-3 sprigs fresh parsley
1/3 cup hot water
Soak the chickpeas overnight in a deep bowl full of water. The next day, pour the water out and wash the chickpeas. Place the chickpeas in a large pot and cover with water. Boil for about an hour or until the chickpeas are soft but not mushy. Run the chickpeas under water and cool. Peel the skins of the chickpeas (if you prefer). After boiling, the skin of the chickpeas will come out easily. All you have to do is take each chickpea and give it a gentle scrub between your thumb and forefinger. The skin will come off easily.
Put the chickpeas, the garlic and the salt in a food processor. Process until the mixture is pureed adding the hot water gradually in order to create the right texture. Pour the water from the feed tube. After the chickpeas are pureed add the tahini in the processor with the chickpeas. Once everything is integrated, spread the hummus in a large flat plate with a spatula. Drizzle olive oil on top by making a circular shape with the oil drizzle. Sprinkle some paprika and decorate with parsley and black olives. Place the crackers around the round plate and serve at room temperature. The beauty of this dish is that you may decorate it any way you like. There is no limit to the decoration.