Rich Homemade Hummus

Posted by on Wednesday Jan 18th, 2012 | Print

It’s slow cooker week here on BGSK and SKC! All week long, we’re teaming up with Kelsey Banfield, The Naptime Chef , to bring you the first ever Slow Cooker Challenge. Don’t forget to enter the giveaway, and read on for another great slow cooked recipe!

For a lot of quarter-life cooks, store-bought tubs of hummus are subsistence-level forms of nourishment, akin to cereal and peanut butter, or, in Alex’s case, sardines.

For the slightly more domestically inclined, we’ve offered loads of hummus and hummus-like recipes that entail just opening a can or two and blending. (Here’s chipotle hummus, white bean dip, and black bean dip.)

But there is more to our beloved dip than even this.

Have you ever been to a really good Greek or Middle Eastern restaurant–or better yet, to Greece or the Middle East? The kind of cafe where not only the pita, but also the hummus, comes out warm, and the dip is fluffy and creamy and slightly tangy?

This kind of hummus (I like the ones at Balaboosta, Taboon, and Waterfalls Cafe) is best made from dried chickpeas, which get cooked to creamy perfection, blended with generous spoonfuls of tahini, olive oil, and lemon, and served still warm.

Now I know dried beans are cheap and good, and I do buy them from the bulk bin occasionally and take the time to cook them up. But not as much as I’d like. To make a pot of beans, you have to commit to being around for a while. You more or less have to watch the beans cook (and we all know what happens to a watched pot, right?), tasting them every 30 minutes to monitor their consistency, removing them from the heat when they’re neither too hard nor too soft. It’s hard to time this perfectly, since cooking time depends on the freshness of your beans, which you have no way of knowing.

The slow cooker solves one part of this problem: not having to leave the house with the burner on. But if you are away, and your beans get overcooked, you won’t confidently be able to use them in a bean salad. Fortunately, beans for hummus need not be attractive; they can even be a little falling apart. You don’t have to obsess over their texture.

So the end process for perfect creamy hummus that’s not such a crazy commitment goes something like this: the night before  you want to eat hummus, soak some chickpeas. The next morning, put the beans in the slow cooker on low and leave them all day. When you get home, simply blend the softened beans with the remaining hummus ingredients, and you’ve created an exquisite warm dip that’s a far cry from the purchased stuff. Go all quarter-life with it and dip pita chips in while you stare at the TV. Or make it the deserving center of a mezze platter for friends.

From my kitchen, albeit small, to yours,

Cara, THE QUARTER-LIFE COOK

**Recipes**


Rich Homemade Hummus
Serves 8

Ingredients

2 cloves garlic
2 teaspoons salt
juice of 2 lemons
3 1/2 cups Freshly Cooked Chickpeas (Recipe Follows)
1/2 cup tahini
1/4 teaspoon cumin
about 1 cup olive oil

Place the garlic and 1 teaspoon of salt in a food processor. (If you have a mini prep, you’ll have to do this in two batches.) Process until the garlic is pureed, then add the lemon juice. Pulse again.

Reserving a few chickpeaas for garnish, add 3 1/2 cups of chickpeas (that’s about what the slow cooker should have yielded) and 1/4 cup of their cooking liquid. Add the tahini, the cumin, and 1/2 cup olive oil, and pulse to create a dip, adding more tablespoons of cooking liquid as you go as necessary to make a smooth paste. Drizzle in most of the rest of the olive oil and the second teaspoon of salt, tasting as you go until the hummus is rich and creamy.

Scrape the hummus into a bowl. Top with a few chickpeas, drizzle with a little more olive oil, and sprinkle with cumin. Serve with warm triangles of pita.

Freshly Cooked Chickpeas
Makes about 3 1/2 cups

If you don’t have a slow cooker, you’ll just have to babysit your beans. After they’ve soaked, place them in a pot with a few inches of water to cover. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 1-2 hours, until the chickpeas are very soft.

Ingredients
1 1/3 cups dried chickpeas, soaked overnight*
2 cloves garlic
2 teaspoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt

NOTE: If you’re trying to speed up the pace, you can skip the overnight soak. Instead, place the chickpeas in a pot, cover them with two inches of water, and bring to a boil. Turn off the water and let them sit for 1 hour. Then proceed with the recipe.

Place the soaked chickpeas, the garlic, and the olive oil in a slow-cooker. Add water to cover the chickpeas by at least 4 inches, then place the lid on and turn the slow-cooker to low. Cook for about 6 hours on high or 12 hours on low, until the chickpeas have almost no resistance when you bite into them. Add the salt, then cook until they’re completely soft. Turn off the slow cooker and drain the chickpeas, reserving the liquid in a bowl. (Store any extra chickpeas in their liquid in the fridge.)

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  • Tammy

    If you ever need a hummus taste tester, you know where to find me!!! 

    • http://www.biggirlssmallkitchen.com/ BGSK

      I was totally thinking of your hummus habit as I wrote this post!

      • H al-qatami

        Hello from Kuwait ,we eat Hummos a lot and I do them at home can I just give you a small hint ????i
        If you want a better result add 2-3cubes of ice when u put it through the blender it will give you much creamier result 👍👍👍👍

      • http://twitter.com/OneBiteWorld Rachel Mount

          I am late to this post (hello google search!) but I now really want to make hummus. Tammy, I promise!

  • http://thriftathome.blogspot.com/ Margo

    I like the idea of warm hummus!

    Why do you add stuff to the chickpeas when you’re cooking them?

    • http://www.biggirlssmallkitchen.com/ BGSK

      Margo–its deliciousness really can’t be understated.

      Adding the garlic to the cooking chickpeas amps up the flavor–the oil gives the chickpeas extra silkiness.

  • Moonbat

    Great recipe. I actually use electric pressure cooker. The beans are done in a flash….

    • http://www.biggirlssmallkitchen.com/ BGSK

      Ah–instant gratification! The one thing the slow cooker can’t deliver :)

  • Shawn190

    The guy below here with the ice cube comment definitely knew what he was talking about! Great HUMMUS!!!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000296150354 Patrick Dalton-Castle

    I tried your recipe today using my slow cooker and my Vitamix blender. . .  this hummus recipe is delicious!  I had great results!

  • http://www.facebook.com/juliajolliff Julia Boebel-Jolliff

    Thanks for the freshly cooked chickpea recipe. That will be a great resource as I make hummus all the time! Thanks for sharing.

    • http://www.biggirlssmallkitchen.com/ BGSK

      You’re welcome! Hope you make it often.

  • enico

    Hummus is NOT a Greek dish, it is only middle eastern.

  • Amanda

    Hi Kara,I just y made this and it is DELICIOUS, although next time I will use more lemon (I only had 1 lemon in my fridge). Anyway how long will this homemade stay good for in the fridge? Thanks!!!

    • http://www.biggirlssmallkitchen.com/ BGSK

      Should stay good for about 1 week. Glad you enjoyed!

  • Carlee

    Easiest thing I think I’ve every made. Re-read the recipe twice to make sure I didn’t miss anything because it seemed way to simple

    • http://www.biggirlssmallkitchen.com/ BGSK

      The ease is part of the charm!