This recipe is the result of years of research, experimentation, and testing and is, I believe, as close as you can get to real Middle Eastern hummus in the western kitchen. Hummus may be the perfect food containing a balance of protein, healthy vegetable based carbohydrates, and unsaturated fat. It contains vitamin C, iron, B6, folate, fiber, and micro-nutrients. Although it is high in calories (about 300 in 4 oz (120 ml), it is very filling and a little goes a long way. It contains no added sugar and is gluten free. When combined with a healthy dipper like carrots or celery, it has a good ratio of nutrition to calorie density. I eat it nearly every day.
If you have a kitchen scale that can be set for grams, use it to measure by weight. It’s more accurate than cooking by volume, but the volume method will fine be if you don’t have a scale.
1/2 pound of chickpeas (225 grams)
1 teaspoon of baking soda (5 grams)
6 tablespoons of lemon juice, the juice of about two lemons (100 ml)
4 cloves of garlic crushed (12 grams)
2 teaspoons of kosher salt or 1 1/4 teaspoons table salt (8 grams)
1 cup of tehina (225 grams)
100 ml of ice cold water
Rinse and soak the chickpeas overnight or for 12 hours in enough water to cover them well. They will absorb a lot of water. You can soak them up to 24 hours. Beyond that they will start to ferment and stink.
After soaking, rinse the beans again with fresh water, drain and place in a large pot. Add enough water to cover well and the baking soda and bring to a gentle boil. Watch the pot carefully. It will tend to foam up and boil over if you don’t keep an eye on it. Maintain a gentle, low boil, skimming the white foam from the top and discarding.
Cook until the chickpeas are very soft. The time varies but will probably be about 45-60 minutes. The beans are done when you can mash them easily in your mouth with your tongue with almost no resistance. There should be no hard bits inside. They should be very soft but don't cook them to the point where they are mush and completely broken down. Pour into a colander and drain well. Cool until room temperature or just warm. Set aside a few spoonfuls of chickpeas to use as a garnish when you serve if you wish.
Place the chickpeas into a food processor or a good blender and process to a thick paste. With the machine running add the lemon, juice processing until smooth. Add the salt and the garlic and continue to process until completely smooth.
With the machine running slowly add the tehina and continue to process. Once it is completely mixed, and with the machine still running, add about 7 tablespoons (100 ml) of ice cold water. Stop and check the consistency. Add more ice water as needed to get the consistency slightly thinner than you want it. The hummus will thicken when it rests and more when refrigerated. Let it rest at least an hour before serving. If you won't be serving it for more than a few hours, refrigerate.
I like my hummus on the thick side but if it is too thick for your taste, simply stir in a little water a tablespoon at a time until it is the consistency you want.
When you are ready to serve, spread a layer of hummus on a plate and swirl with the back of a spoon to smooth it. Garnish with the reserved chickpeas, fresh, chopped parsley, and a drizzle of olive oil. You may also top with a variety of toppings from sautéed mushrooms to caramelized onions. Smoked paprika is a favorite of mine. Serve with fresh warm pita or other bread and eat Middle Eastern style by wiping the hummus off the plate with the bread. Or dip fresh cut veggies for a less filling and fattening snack. With protein, unsaturated fat, healthy carbs, fiber, and, vitamin C, I am convinced it is one of the best things you can eat and one of the tastiest. A batch keeps well in the refrigerator for a week though it keeps getting thicker. Add a little water as needed to suit your taste.