The Perfect Hummus
Hummus, in Arabic means Chickpea. Here is a recipe for Hummus, chickpea and tahini dip, which has become one of the most popular dips the world over.
Original Lebanese Tahini and Za'atar are available at SWEET BEIRUT
• 200 gr dried chickpeas
• 1 1/2 tsp bicarbonate soda
• 6 tbsp tahini
•Juice of 1 lemon, or more to taste
• 3 cloves garlic, crushed, or according to taste
• pinch of cumin
• salt to taste
• Olive oil to top
Paprika or Za'atar to top
Put the chickpeas in a bowl and cover with twice the volume of cold water. Stir in 1 tsp of bicarbonate of soda and leave to soak for 24 hours.
Drain the chickpeas, rinse well and put in a large pan. Cover with cold water and add the rest of the bicarbonate of soda. Bring to the boil, then turn down the heat and simmer gently until they are tender - they need to be easy to mush, and almost falling apart, which will take between 1 and 4 hours depending on your chickpeas. Add more hot water if they seem to be boiling dry.
Leave them to cool in the water, and then drain well, reserving the cooking liquid, and setting aside a spoonful of chickpeas as garnish. Mix the tahini with half the lemon juice and half the crushed garlic - it should tighten up - then stir in enough cooled cooking liquid to make a loose paste. Add this, and the chickpeas, to a food processor and whizz to make a puree.
Add cumin and a generous pinch of salt, then gradually tip in enough cooking water to give a soft paste - it should just hold its shape, but not be claggy. Taste, and add more lemon juice, garlic or salt according to taste.
Tip into a bowl, and when ready to serve, drizzle with olive oil, garnish with reserved chickpeas and sprinkle with paprika or Zaatar.