Hummus is proof that some of the most delicious and nutritious foods are the simplest to make. Hummus is a creamy, thick spread that is made mainly from mashed chickpeas and several other healthy ingredients, which has become quite popular all around the world in the past few decades.
It has long been enjoyed in North African and Middle Eastern countries and nowadays it is commonly eaten across Europe and North America too. If you are new to hummus and are still wondering, “what exactly is hummus?” then read on so that you can find out what it is all about, how to prepare it.
The Rich History of Hummus
Hummus has a rich tradition. According to the ancient scriptures, hummus was first made and consumed in Egypt around the thirteenth century, however, the recipe that was at this time is different from today’s recipes due to the fact that it did not include tahini and instead used other nuts.
Nowadays hummus is still one of the major foods that are included in the diet of a large number of healthy populations around the world, primarily in the Middle East. In Turkey and Syria, it is often included in the mezzeh tables. It is eaten with bread for breakfast in Jordan and Palestine and is still enjoyed by many people in Egypt and most Arabic countries in a wide variety of meals.
Hummus can be used a healthy condiment option due to its creamy texture. For instance, cooks may use hummus instead of mayonnaise in deviled eggs recipes. It can also replace sour cream on tacos and baked potatoes and in dips. Instead of mayo, the health conscious individuals can spread hummus on sandwiches and chicken wrap. Hummus can also be used as a replacement of cream cheese replacement on bagels.
Hummus Nutrition Facts
When you look at the nutrition facts of hummus, you’ll see that it’s loaded with nutrients. A 100gram serving of hummus contains the following nutrients:
- Protein – 5 g
- Fat – 9 g
- Fiber – 5 g
- Carbohydrates – 20 g
- Vitamin B6 – 20 % RDA
- Vitamin C – 13 % RDA
- Folate – 15 % RDA
- Zinc – 10 % RDA
- Iron – 10 % RDA
- Manganese – 28 % RDA
- Phosphorus – 11 % RDA
How to Make Hummus
Making good hummus isn’t a trivial matter. The recipe might seem simple and the method of preparation easy, but it takes experience and skill to achieve the desired texture and taste.
Basic hummus recipes contain six healthy ingredients: garlic, chickpeas, sea salt, lemon juice, tahini and olive oil.
First, it’s important to ensure that the chickpeas are small, and have a smooth skin which is light-brown in color. Chickpeas of the Hadas or Bulgarian varieties and the small organic ones are the best. It’s very important to ensure that they’re fresh and to purchase them a grocery store or supermarket that has good storage conditions and a brisk turnover.
In contrast to the other legumes, the quality of chickpeas is normally measured by their ability to easily soften into a paste. As a result, they should be soaked for twenty-four hours in cold water and the water has to be replaced at least once. Some individuals add baking soda or baking powder to the water so that they can further soften the chickpeas. In this case, it’s important that you rinse them thoroughly prior to cooking them.
The chickpeas should be cooked for a long period of time over a small flame. Some individuals cook them all night in a huge pot with a lot of water. However, 3 hours of cooking are adequate to get the mashing job done. You should crush the cooked chickpea between your index finger and thumb so that you can assess how soft it is. When it’s reduced to a soft sort of puree –it is ready.
The chickpeas should be cooked without salt, however, you can add parsley, onion, and cumin seeds to the pot so that you can create a richer flavor. It`s important that you cook the chickpeas as close as possible to the time they`ll be eaten, and that you grind them while they`re still hot. You should reserve the water that you use to cook the chickpeas, and then add it gradually when you are grinding them, for a slightly-sweet result.
Hummus which has been kept in the in the refrigerator for some time will not be as tasty as fresh hummus. Another factor that you should take into consideration when preparing hummus is the freshness of the raw tahini that is critical for obtaining the sought-after taste. Fresh tahini will be soft sweetish, and light-colored. Overly thick, bitter tasting or dark tahini is either rancid or of low quality. Nabali or Syrian olive oil with a thick consistency and a dominant taste are required to make the hummus production experience complete.
Makes 4 or 5 servings
- 500 grams of small chickpeas of the Hadas or Bulgarian variety
- 2 grams teaspoon baking powder or baking soda
- 3 grams cumin
- 20 grams raw tahini
- 90 mls. lemon juice
- 10 grams salt
- 2 garlic cloves
- At least 800 mls. hot water (preferably the water used to cook the chickpeas)
- For garnish:
- Hot, whole cooked chickpeas
- Olive oil
- Sweet paprika
- Soak the chickpeas for twenty-four hours in a bowl of water with baking powder or baking soda. After twelve hours, replace the water but do not add new baking powder or soda. Drain the water and rinse the cooked chickpeas thoroughly.
- Transfer the cooked chickpeas to a pot and add water so that it reaches a level that`s 1 1/2 times the level of the chickpeas in the pot. Leave it to boil and skim off the foam which forms at the top. Reduce the flame and leave it to cook on a gentle boil for three hours. Confirm the softness of chickpeas by crushing one chickpea between forefinger and thumb. Drain and then reserve the cooking water.
- Traditionally, chickpeas are crushed using a pestle and mortar, but you nowadays people grind them in food processors or electric mixers fitted with dough hooks. Mash or grind together raw tahini, chickpeas, cumin, lemon juice, garlic, and salt. Add the water used to cook the chickpeas one cup at a time, while you are grinding the mixture, until you get the desired consistency.
- If the hummus isn`t eaten immediately, it will thicken within a short time. Before serving the hummus, sprinkle with sweet paprika and cumin and drizzle with a few drops of olive oil.
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Kanisha is a self-taught chef, writer, and founder of FortunateKitchen blog. This blog was launched with a goal to educate readers on recipe and kitchen techniques by providing tips on food related basics. Her mission is growing to fruition because of continued devotion in blogging about food preparation and ways of making exquisite dishes. It’s never easy considering she has to balance her duties as a blogger and the hectic life of being a mom. But because of her passion and curiosity for food blogging, she has managed to stay buoyant in the upper echelon of food bloggers.