What Is Hummus? And Much More Information
Most people have an idea of hummus; those beige-tinted bread spread that you fill a pita bread or dip carrots and other vegetables, but have no idea what it is, where it comes from and how it is made. What is hummus and how can you make hummus?
What Is Hummus?
Hummus is an Arabic dip or spread that is made from chickpeas. The peas are boiled and mashed. Then mixed with tahini (a paste made from sesame seeds), olive oil, lemon juice, garlic and salt.
Chickpeas are a vegetable that has been grown in the Middle East and India for thousands of years and are the basis for hummus. What is hummus? How to make hummus How to eat hummus What are the hummus ingredients? are a few questions that will be discussed in this article.
Chickpeas are a sweet and nutty legume that become incredibly creamy when blended, especially if you add a few spoonfuls of sesame tahini and a healthy splash of good olive oil. Lemon juice gives the blend a tart balance, while garlic adds its own twist.
It’s great with just these six ingredients (plus salt and pepper), but you can experiment with other ingredients like sumac, cumin, and smoked paprika as well.
Only a few basic ingredients are needed to make hummus. The popularity of hummus has led to more varieties entering the market. However, the base of hummus consists of 6 ingredients. At the bottom of this article is a recipe with the quantities per ingredient.
- Chickpeas. Chickpeas or garbanzo beans) are the base for hummus. The soft beans are mashed into a smooth paste. You can use canned or homemade chickpeas. Home-cooked and cooked chickpeas have a slight edge when it comes to taste. We have also written an article about cooking and preparing chickpeas, which you can read here.
- tahini. Tahini is a paste made from ground sesame seeds, a clove of garlic, lemon juice and chopped parsley. Tahini makes the hummus incredibly tasty. You can buy tahini in the store or you can make it yourself. If you want to make hummus without tahini, just omit it. A chickpea puree without tahini is still very tasty. Just add more olive oil. Another option is to use a natural unsweetened creamy peanut butter instead.
- Fresh lemon juice. This is really important for excellent hummus, fresh lemon juice. Bottled lemon juice doesn’t taste nearly as good.
- Fresh garlic. Fresh garlic adds a bit of spice and body. A small toe is enough, it should not dominate.
- Paprika powder. Paprika powder and salt helps to release the flavors. The paprika adds a little more spiciness to the hummus.
- Olive oil. Olive oil finishes the texture of the hummus, making for a smooth puree. Also add a little olive oil when it is served, because the eye wants something too!
These are the basic ingredients of hummus.
Making hummus is not that difficult. It’s a matter of mixing everything together. According to an old recipe, there is an order in mixing the ingredients, but that is no longer followed so strongly today.
A food processor is very easy to make hummus.
First the tahini and lemon juice go into the mixer. Mix these together. Instead of a liquid, it now becomes a cream.
Now put the rest of the ingredients in the mixer and let it do its work for a minute. Add a pinch of salt and if you find the hummus too thick, add a few spoonfuls of water and mix again.
Now put the hummus in a nice bowl or plate, put some whole chickpeas and parsley on top. The ‘finishing touch’ comes from the oil foil. Sprinkle the hummus with a little olive oil.
Sometimes you read that you have to remove the skins from the chickpeas before making the hummus. However, this is not necessary. The skins also give off flavor and you don’t have to remove them for a good hummus.
Types of Hummus
Traditional hummus requires 6 ingredients and a little water and salt, chickpeas, garlic, tahini, olive oil, cumin and lemon juice.
However, due to the popularity and the associated demand for hummus, there are also experiments with other ingredients and new types of hummus oriented to Western tastes.
Types of hummus and varieties that can be found in the supermarket:
- Pumpkin Hummus
- Hummus sundried tomato
- Spicy hummus
- Beetroot with hummus
- Hummus tomato basil (Italian style!)
- Curry hummus
- Hummus with vegetables
And so on, and so on. There is plenty of choice in the store. However, when you look at the ingredients list, you see all taste and color enhancers, preservatives and other chemical products. That is why we prefer to make hummus ourselves. It’s not a lot of work but oh so tasty and fresh.
There are also types of hummus whose base is no longer chickpea, but a different type of bean. This is also a variation on the traditional hummus.
There are endless ways to use hummus: as a dip along with whole wheat bread or crackers, spread on a sandwich along with vegetables, as a dressing on salad or cereal, and even as a healthy substitute for butter.
Because of all the different types of hummus now available in almost all supermarkets, finding and using hummus has never been easier.
How to Store Hummus
Store-bought hummus is easy, just follow the directions on the label.
Fresh homemade hummus has a limited shelf life. Since only natural ingredients are used, the hummus can be kept for three days in the refrigerator, but in a sealed container.
Freezing hummus is not recommended, the structure will change and when it is thawed, it will never taste as good as freshly prepared.
Finally, the ingredients list for making traditional hummus.
- 350 g organic chickpeas in a jar
- ½ lemon
- 1 garlic clove
- 1/2 tsp cumin powder
- 3 tbsp tahini sesame paste
- ½ tsp salt
- 5 tbsp water
- 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- Optional ½ tsp mild paprika
The preparation is described above under the heading ‘ Making Hummus ‘. Before using the chickpeas, rinse them under the tap.