Here’s the recipe to my favorite Lebanese Hummus dish.
Before you start, you need to watch this video http://youtu.be/cLGUFaizAHs in the background while preparing your hummus paste.
- 2 cans of garbanzo beans (or 1 cup of raw garbanzo beans soaked in water & baking soda the night before. It takes more cooking time but I recommend it)
- 3 TBS of Tahini (preferably bought from an international deli. I recommend Cortas, Al-Wadi, Mid-East brands. The ones from whole foods are sometimes tricky also other tahini from safeway that I didn’t like)
- Lemon Juice of 1 1/2 lemons and separately 1/2 a lemon
- 1~2 garlic cloves peeled and crushed (Omit if you don’t like garlic)
- 2 pinches of Cumin Powder
- Half-teaspoon of Salt (more salt for none canned garbanzo)
- 1/4 teaspoon of all spices mix. (brown color mix)
- A pinch of paprika (or more. Depends on how spicy you want it. Omit if you or your guests don’t like spicy food)
Put the Hummus beans (Garbanzo beans) in boiling water until they become soft and you’re able to crush them easily with two finger (don’t burn your fingers), then turn off the heat and leave them sitting there for a bit, (don’t strain them from the water). Ultimately, you should wait until the beans are warm leaning towards hot before mashing them.
In a food processor:
- Mince the garlic with salt first (Pulse it 3 to 4 times)
- Strain out garbanzo beans (don’t throw away the water, you might need it later) and process them together for about 10-15 seconds (or until the mixture stops moving).
- Add tahini, lemon juice and spices.
- Rerun the food processor and let them get all mixed up (~15 seconds)
- Use a spatula to mix the pieces that are stuck high on the sides
- Rerun for 5~10 seconds, et voila.
If you’re lucky, they’re ready, and you’re done. 99.99% of the time, I’m not lucky and it takes some practice beyond this point the get them to be perfect, nevertheless here’s some pointers to master it:
Perfect hummus is when it’s super smooth like cream (in Lebanon, some restaurants peel off the garbanzo skin to make it even smoother). I don’t remove the skin because you’d lose a lot of the nutrients.
Alright, let me highlight some of the issues that I’ve faced throughout my hummus making journey and my workarounds, I’d love to hear an alternative solution in the comments.
Problem: Texture is not smooth, hummus feels thick. You don’t want your hummus to be dry, because it will get worse by the time you serve it.
Fix: Taste it. If it can handle more lemon, then add a bit of lemon and mix again then re-evaluate.
Problem: It still looks dry and I’ve added enough lemon.
Fix: Use some of the water that was used to cook the beans.
Problem: They feel too soft, I can even see lots of liquid on the surface.
Fix: A thin layer of water/lemon juice is fine. Hummus will tend to dry up a bit. If it’s too soft then add some tahini (start with 1 TBS), mix, then re-evaluate
Problem: It tastes too lemony
Fix: Water it down with some the water that was boiled in. Start with small amounts, mix then re-evaluate.
Problem: The tahini taste is too dominant.
Fix: Add more lemon/water. Start with lemon juice.
Problem: Tahini, Lemon, spices all taste perfect but I feel like something is missing or it’s a bit blend.
Fix: Add some salt… (but I’m trying to stay away from sodium: fine, fine, add another pinch of cumin. pinch of paprika, pinch of all-spices)
Problem: I’ve put too much garlic and I have a date.
Fix: You’re kinda screwed. I’m not sure how you roll with the ladies but here are your options:
option a) Start over
option b) Serve it as is, it kinda sets the standard from the beginning. If she’s cool with it then she’s a keeper (Recommended)
option c) Don’t serve the hummus (leave it at room temperature, in your sad microwave. So if things don’t work out then you can destroy some before you continue with your miserable life)
Problem: I’ve put too much paprika and it’s too spicy.
Fix: Suck it up and eat. Goat milk, plain yogurt, milk will help ease the pain.
Hummus is best served at room temperature or warm. I like it warm. Put it in a bowl, carve a fountain with a spoon, sprinkle some olive oil and (optionally), chopped Italian parsley for looks.
Taking it to 11
On a medium heat frying pan, throw a bit of butter, some pine seeds (pine nuts, pine… whatever you want to call them) until dark brown then sprinkle them on top of your hummus dish.
Don’t get frustrated if it doesn’t work out the first time, experiment and learn. I still mess it up… sometimes