Not all crimes can be corrected, but I do my best in correcting crimes against hommus. I recently saw a cauliflower “hommus” recipe that contained cauliflower instead of chickpeas. Since “hommus” is the Arabic word for chickpea I’m pretty sure that we can call that a major infraction. It seems to be a trend to call anything containing tahini “hommus”. The real name for what we call hommus is “hommus b’ tahini”, meaning “chickpeas with tahini”. Although there are a variety of different hommus’, and there are regional variations throughout the Middle East.
So let me tell you some things about making the perfect hommus. Hommus only has four main ingredients, chickpeas, tahini, lemon and salt. There is no oil in the traditional preparation of hommus, just in its garnishing. Also we don’t use garlic in basic hummus (we have garlic in our “Hommus Beruti”. So, the main trick to the perfect hommus is in selecting the best ingredients and preparing them in just the right way. Of course, you need the perfect chickpea. We use Ord River chickpeas. You can use tinned chickpeas at home if you like and it will make a better hommus than you can buy in a store. We use Al Kanater tahini but there are many good quality tahini’s.
Not many Lebanese have a written down recipe for hommus, because it is basically to throw the key ingredients into a processor and just adjust lemon, salt and tahini to taste. But this is the recipe we roughly follow at home.
200 g dried chickpeas
200 ml good tahini
Lemon or citric acid to taste
Salt to taste
Soak chickpea overnight with a tablespoon of bicarb soda. Rinse chickpeas thoroughly in the morning and boil with plenty of water. At least 2 inches higher than the chickpeas. Bring to the boil and then simmer for about an hour. Chickpea should be firm but soft. Should be able to be squeezed easily between thumb and index finger.
Drain chickpeas but reserve a cup of the liquid
Using large food process (do in batches if needed) process chickpeas with a teaspoon of salt and half a teaspoon of citric acid (or lemon as required, also to taste).
Add tahini while processing. Make sure you stir tahini before you use it.
If you need to thin it down, use the reserved liquid.
Served dressed with olive oil and paprika