Wednesday, 14 October 2015

Making hummus from scratch

Mmm, hummus! Originally from the Middle East, hummus has gained popularity in Western countries over the last few years - probably because it's delicious, healthy, and completely vegan and gluten-free. Whether you use it as a dip (sliced raw peppers are great), a sauce, a toast topping, salad dressing or anything else you can think of, the good news is that it's easy to make at home, too.

You can buy cans of chickpeas in most supermarkets - Aldi does a can for only 37p! However, if you have dried chickpeas on hand, it's pretty easy to use them, too (this will help you avoid any preservatives used in the canning process). You WILL need to plan this around 14 hours before you actually want to eat the hummus, though! Also, you'll need a blender or food processor.

All you need:
Either 1 can of chickpeas OR 125g dried chickpeas
2 cloves of garlic
2 tbsp of tahini (available from health food shops or supermarkets - it's made of sesame seeds)
1 lemon
A pinch of salt
3 tbsp olive oil

1. Soak the chickpeas overnight (12 hours), with at least an inch of water covering them.

2. Drain the water and fill a saucepan with a fresh batch of water (again, 1 inch covering them). Add a pinch of salt and bring to the boil. Leave on a medium heat, simmering, for 90 minutes (yeah, sorry guys!) - keep checking back to make sure there's still
enough water in the pan. If not, add more, otherwise your chickpeas might start sticking to the pan and burning.

3. Throw the chickpeas, garlic, tahini and olive oil into a blender or food processor. Cut the lemon in half and squeeze its juice into the mix.

4. Blend! You may want to add water, as this will create pretty thick hummus. However, if you accidentally add too much water, you can thicken it again with chickpea flour, if you have any. Also note that leaving it in the fridge for a while will help to set it and a slightly less runny consistency.

Optional - if you want to add some exciting flavour to your hummus, add it to the blender! Ideas include sweet chilli sauce, a whole chili, turmeric, cumin, lime juice, tomatoes, coriander or mint!

Leave refrigerated and serve as you like. A lot of restaurants add a load more oil on serving, and use it as a dip for breads - mmm!

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