Hummus with warm pita bread

Hummus is a lovely dish to serve up for a snack, or by itself can make for a light lunch, or it can even be used as a spread on sandwiches. Its versatility is upped only by its ease of production; you can make a batch in 15 to 20 minutes, or even less if you buy some Tahini sauce (explained later).

But what is this "hummus" thing? Well, "hummus" is actually the root for the arabic word for chickpeas (or garbanzo beans if you prefer). The real name of what we call hummus is ḥummuṣ bi ṭaḥīna which basically means "Chickpeas with tahini". As you have correctly deduced, hummus is a spread consisting of chickpeas and tahini. You can buy tahini if you can find it in a store near you, but I'll show you how to make it in case you can't find it. And even if you can find Tahini; it is ridiculously easy to make, so why not just make your own?

You will need:

  • 1 cup of sesame seeds
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 2 small cans, or 1 large can, chickpeas
  • The juice of one lemon
  • 3-4 cloves of garlic
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Paprika
  • Olive Oil
Lets start with the Tahini.

Add your sesame seeds to a skillet (without oil) and roast them for 4-5 minutes on medium heat.

As soon as the sesame seeds start turning brown, take them off the heat.

And add them to your food processor with a tablespoon of olive oil.

Now start the machine. We are going to be working this for about five minutes, don't worry if it seems clumpy at first, the sesame will take a few minutes to release its oils.

Just keep it working until you end up with a smooth paste.

Congratulations! You just made Tahini! I know, it tastes a little bland, but there is no salt or other seasoning in this. It makes for a great base for other things, like baba ganoush, and of course, hummus!

Now set this aside in another container and lets get ready to make hummus.

See that thing in the bowl? That is the liquid from the cans of chickpeas. We are going to use this liquid, so don't drain your cans into the sink.

Add the chickpeas, half the liquid, about 2 tablespoons of tahini, the garlic, the juice from the lemon, and about a teaspoon each of salt and pepper into the food processor.

And blend for 4-5 minutes. Once it has become a paste, feel free to taste and adjust as you need to. You can add more pepper and salt for taste, and you can add more of the reserved liquid if it is too thick. I like to add a tablespoon of smoked paprika, but that is up to you. I also added more salt and pepper. After making your adjustments, just re-blend until it is homogeneous. 

And, we're done! I like to serve my hummus in a shallow bowl, and dress it with fresh parsley, more paprika, and freshly ground black pepper. Also, drizzle just a bit of olive oil on top of the hummus. Finally, serve with warm pita bread.

As with all the other recipes we put on this site, this is meant to be easy to follow. We are hobby chefs who love to cook, and we are always up for learning new techniques. If you know of anything in this recipe which can be done a different way, whether for increased ease of preparation or better taste, please add a comment below!

Whipped up by Shyamal Addanki.

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