Foodstyle Review Magazine

The hummus art 

Hummus bi tahini (chickpeas with sesame paste) is something many can make, but few make it well.

The challenge is - any hummus recipe is only a guideline, because of the nature of chickpeas - bland. The basics are: Cooked chickpeas, tahini, lemon juice, and garlic. It is wise to also add a little sesame oil, chilli, and season thoroughly with salt and white pepper. Any olive oil goes over the finished mixture as a garnish, not into the mixture.

It is impossible to provide extract measurements for these ingredients. The flavour will vary from one day to another; typically dependant on factors never quite understood in the food arts, suffice to say (as we like saying in this magazine) taste, taste, taste the mixture and add stuff and season (especially with salt) until you like it.

We notice that Middle Eastern hummus recipes usually remove the skins while Western recipes don't bother, but it makes for a far smoother mixture. Removing the skins is no easy task.

Soaking the chickpeas over night with a little baking soda helps. As the chickpeas simmer, scoop off the translucent, jelly fish-like, skins with a sieve. When the chickpeas are cooked, flush more skins away by running hot tap water through them.

Blend (or blitz) the cooked peas with all the other ingredients in a whizzer. As for the quantity of tahini paste – that is a personal choice. Some tahini brands can be bitter.

Basic recipe ratio
1 cup cooked chickpeas after soaking overnight
1/2 cup lemon juice
1/2cup tahini paste
2 garlic cloves crushed
1/2 cup of chickpea cooking liquid (strained)
1tsp sesame oil
1 tsp of finely chopped chilli pepper
White pepper and salt
Garnish: Olive oil, paprika, and finger toasts.

Spring 2015

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