So I have attempted to make hummus several times. It seems so easy. Canned chickpeas, tahini, garlic, lemon, whiz everything in a food processor. And every time its been disappointing. Sometime ago I finally pinpointed the crux of my too lumpy hummus, chickpea skins. I didn’t even realize chickpeas had skins until as instructed I pinched those little buggers and a little thin film peeled away. And most vexing of all is that I could find no shortcut for pulling those stupid little skins off, there was no trick or shortcut, you just had to peel the skins off the chickpeas…one by one. So needless to say I didn’t try to make hummus again for a long time. Until I found myself with too much time on my hands, a can of chickpeas, lemons I had to use and a tahini jar I forgot I had.
After seeing Joy the Baker’s recipe for Creamy Avocado Hummus and her honest account of it taking 20 minutes to peel 2 cups of chickpeas I decided that maybe just making a smaller portion of hummus was the answer. Ultimately ended up making the whole can of chickpeas because didn’t really have any plans for the rest of the chickpeas anyways…and I’d say it took a solid 15 minutes.
Anyways I don’t mean to sound discouraging. It’s not something I would do after a long day of work but if I was having people over for dinner / bringing it to someone else’s house I wanted to impress / going all out and making an intense Mediterranean dinner I would set aside the 15 minutes to peel the chickpeas and do it right. After all we were quite pleased with the results. The end product is velvety smooth and tastes so creamy that you’ll feel like you’re eating something super buttery and rich instead of fairly healthy chickpea puree (with protein and fiber!…well some of the fiber was probably in the chickpea skins but still).
IMPOSSIBLY CREAMY HUMMUS:
1 can of chickpeas
1/4 cup tahini
2 lemons, juiced
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1/4 cup ice cold water
1/4 cup plain fat free greek yogurt
salt to taste
good quality olive oil
Optional: cayenne pepper, paprika and parsley to top with
1. Peel the chickpeas by lightly pinching each one until the filmy layer comes off. Have a bowl filled with water nearby where you can dip your fingers in after peeling the chickpea so that the skin will easily float off in the water as they can start sticking to your fingers.
2. Once all peeled put the chickpeas in a food processor until smooth.
3. With the processor still on add in the tahini, greek yogurt, lemon juice, garlic and 1/2 teaspoon of salt.
4. Lastly drizzle in the ice water. Process until very smooth.
5. Taste and if necessary add more salt (1/4 teaspoon at a time) and lemon juice.
6. Transfer to the container you want to serve out of, top with cayenne/paprika/parsley if desired and then generously drizzle with olive oil to finish.
This was loosely based on this lovely Yotam Ottolenghi & Sami Tamimi’s Basic Hummus. In this recipe they actually don’t peel the chickpeas but instead cook them from dry with baking soda. Which although is less labor intensive than the peeling takes a lot longer with soaking the chickpeas overnight and then cooking them for 20 – 40 minutes. Another big difference is that in this recipe, as in most traditional hummus recipes, there is no greek yogurt. I added in the greek yogurt to sub in for some of tahini as tahini is very caloric. One cup of tahini has 1,424 calories! So by decreasing the amount from 1/2 cup to 1/4 and subbing the rest of the volume with plain fat free greek yogurt we save 326 calories from the final product.
Tahini is ground sesame seed paste if you are not familiar with it, and despite its intense fattiness you definitely need some tahini for richness and for the flavor in the hummus. If you are going for full flavor and not particularly caring for calories go for the full tahini volume. I will say that I did not really miss it in the lightened version and the greek yogurt definitely imparts its own creaminess.
All you need are some pita chips, maybe a tabbouleh salad and definitely some pan-fried halloumi cheese and you have a fantastic Mediterranean appetizer spread…
FYI the final product has around 1,050 calories for the entire bowl (provided you didn’t go too crazy with the olive oil) which adds up to about 28 calories per tablespoon! It easily serves 4-6 people as an appetizer.