Sunday, October 21, 2012

Hummus (Hummous)

Hummus or pronounced as Hummous in the Middle East, is a ground chickpea, tahini dip that goes great with almost anything! As a child, my dad would bring home Arabian Barbecued chicken or Chicken Broast on days we decide to eat takeout. In Riyadh, Chicken broast was a popular local fast food. A popular fast food joint was Maccoys, where the queues are sometimes so long, it goes far out of the store. Hummus is always a free accompaniment with any item on the grill.
After I left Saudi Arabia, I missed hummous so much that I started making my own. It comes close to what I used to get there, but I guess it will never match upto the magic of food back in Riyadh.
This is more of a taste and go recipe. You keep tasting it as you're grinding the ingredients and add whatever you feel the hummous needs more of.
If you're wondering what tahini is, it's a paste of ground white sesame seeds. I used to make my own tahini as well while I was in India, but you can find them easily in most grocery stores in the US.

Chickpeas - 1 cup, soaked overnight in water (about 8 hours)
Tahini - 2-4 tbsp
Garlic - 1 large clove, minced fine
Lemon juice - from half a lemon
Water - 3 cups (for boiling chickpeas)
Extra virgin Olive Oil - 2 tbsp
Salt to taste
Paprika - a pinch (optional)

Boil chickpeas with enough water in a pressure cooker, for about 6 whistles. Drain and store some of the remaining water. In a mixer, add the boiled chickpeas, tahini sauce, garlic, 1/4 cup drained water, salt and lemon juice. Grind till it becomes a coarse paste. Add olive oil and grind a bit more. Don't make it too fine like peanut butter, its good to have a few chunks of chickpeas for texture.

Store in a bowl. Sprinkle with smoked paprika and drizzle more extra virgin olive oil.

Hummous can be used as a dip for carrots, cucumber sticks, or pita chips, tortillas and crackers. Or as I said, you can eat it with fried or grilled chicken. Falafels and hummus are a killer combination! Smear it on toast or shawarma sandwich. Serve with accompaniments such as olives, pickled radishes, turnips, cucumbers, feta cheese. The choices are endless!