I’ve become a bit of a hummus fiend at the moment, and have been experimenting with a few different variations: harissa mixed in, with/without tahini, dried/canned chickpeas; next – roasted beets. This middle eastern condiment is so versatile, the possibilities of adding and omitting ingredients are endless.

Two things when I started out with this: I didn’t have any tahini on hand, and I had pita breads reaching the end of their shelf life. Eating them with sriracha was an option, and a pretty good option at that, but something set me down this path.

What tahini is, is basically a sesame paste made of toasted sesame seeds, olive oil, salt and occasionally, sesame oil. Simple. A homemade version had to work, right? I’ve been making hummus all this while using the bottled paste; organic, and very good quality. But once you make yours from scratch, you’ll realize that it’s not nearly on the same playing field as homemade. The sesame seeds, freshly toasted, is magic.

Hummus is at its prime when eaten right away. The moment it comes out of the blender, sprinkled with cumin and paprika and anointed with a generous drizzle of olive oil. In an ideal world that would be the only way to eat it, but surprisingly, it freezes very well too. Hummus for days!

HUMMUS WITH SESAME SEEDS (NO TAHINI)
 
Serves: 2½ cups
Ingredients
  • 2 cups cooked* chickpeas (Garbanzo beans)
  • ¼ cup sesame seeds
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 2 tbsp lime juice
  • ½ tsp sesame oil (optional)
  • ¼ cup olive oil (plus extra to top with)
  • A pinch of cumin (optional)
  • A pinch of paprika (optional)
  • Salt
Method
  1. *If using canned chickpeas, just drain the liquid and use.
  2. *If using dried chickpeas : soak ¾ cup of dried chickpeas in plenty of room temperature/cold water and soak them overnight, at least 6 - 8 hours. They will expand to more than double their size, so make sure to cover by several inches of water. Rinse and discard the water.
  3. Place them in a pot and cover with at least 2 inches of cold water. Bring the water up to the boil, then simmer for 50 - 60 minutes until they soften (cooking time of dried chickpeas varies vastly;some might take up to 2 hours). A good trick to check their doneness is to take one out and smush it between your fingers. You want them to be just tender, not completely falling apart. Once done, drain the chickpeas and drop them in an ice bath. Remove their skins and discard.
  4. Place the sesame seeds in a small pan and toss them until lightly coloured and toasted, about 1 minute. Reserve 1 tsp for garnish, and toss the rest into a blender. Pour over olive oil and sesame oil and blend until smooth.
  5. Add the chickpeas, garlic, lime juice, and salt to the sesame paste and blend until smooth. Add water to loosen out the hummus to get your desired consistency.
  6. To serve, decant the hummus into a bowl. Pour over a generous glug of olive oil, and sprinkle with cumin, paprika and reserved sesame seeds.
Notes
Freezing instructions : Hummus freezes very well; spoon into air-tight containers or zip-lock bags. To thaw, let it sit in the refrigerator for a few hours.

 

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