Hummus

Hummus. Houmous. Hummous. Hommos. Humos. Hommus. Hoummos – it's delicious however you spell the name. When I first went vegan I used it in the place of butter and now a sandwich made without it feels like a sandwich half-made. I also love it as a snack – a plate of veggies with a pot of hummus in the middle is a great way to stave off any mid-afternoon hunger pangs.

I don't discriminate when it comes to hummus – supermarket versions are really very good (and usually additive-free) – but nothing will ever beat homemade. Thankfully, it's super easy to make and you can mix it up to suit your tastes: if you hate garlic (or it's a date night), don't put it in; if you're feeling fancy, you can add roasted red peppers or caramelised onions.

© Helen Pockett

Many swear by soaking their own dried chickpeas overnight, but I'm less scared of BPA than I am of poisoning myself with under-soaked beans so I use canned.

There is also some debate about whether or not chickpeas should be skinned before use – important phytonutrients, including the flavonoids kaempferol, myricetin and quercetin, reside in the seed's outer coat. But Google said that de-skinned chickpeas would make for smoother houmous. For umm... scientific purposes, I made it both ways. It took 25 mins to slip 400g of peas out of their skins and I can't say it made all that much of a difference ... in fact I preferred the houmous made with chickpeas that were still wearing their little jackets.

© Helen Pockett

© Helen Pockett

INGREDIENTS

400g can of Chickpeas
60ml Lemon Juice
60ml Tahini
30ml Water
1 clove of Garlic
1 teaspoon Himalayan Salt
30ml Olive Oil

© Helen Pockett

METHOD

1. Put the tahini and lemon juice into a food processor. Set to a high speed and blend for 30 seconds. Scrape down the sides, add 30ml of water and blend for another 30 seconds.

2. In a mortar, place one clove of garlic and one teaspoon of Himalayan salt. Use the pestle to grind the garlic and salt into a paste.

© Helen Pockett

© Helen Pockett

3. Add the garlic/salt and 30ml of Olive Oil to the tahini/lemon juice/water. Process on a high speed for one minute. 

© Helen Pockett

© Helen Pockett

4. Over the sink, drain the chickpeas through a sieve and rinse well with cool water.
(This is the time to peel them if you want to.)

5. Add half the chickpeas to the food processor and blend for one minute. Scrape down the sides, add the rest of the chickpeas and blend for another two minutes, or until the houmous is reasonably smooth.

© Helen Pockett

Serve with crudités, as above, or with falafel-stuffed pitta breads, or add to mashed potatoes. Kept in an airtight container in the fridge, the hummus will last for about four days. 

600g | £2.20 | 30–60 mins


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