How to make Hummus from scratch...

I'm in that category of people that love hummus, and can it it with almost anything! I simply love that stuff! The only problem  - it's quite expensive when bough ready made, and from supermarket, as the one from delicatessen etc. was never within my tiny budget. And you're getting such a small container for such a big price. But what is hummus anyway? Few simple, and cheap, ingredients blended together. The devil is in the balance, in the right quantities of those few ingredients. So, I set out to make my own! WHY I didn't make it sooner?!?! It's simple, soooo quick (even if you chose to peal the skins of chickpeas, which I always do) and you're getting quite a big batch, even from one can of chickpeas.

The below quantity of ingredients is to my taste, it works for me. First batch of hummus had too much tahini in it, next one was too acidic because of me being too generous with the lemon juice, but throughout some trials and errors I've found my perfect "mix", so feel free to experiment, add more lemon juice or tahini, depending on your individual taste. Extras like coriander and cumin - that was a tip I got from one of the chefs, from the restaurant I work in. I'm planning on making hummus with some caramelized onion, and also one with some grilled/roasted red pepper. It's a great dip/spread to experiment with and find your own favourite!

Out of all the ingredients the only one that you'll have to invest in is the tahini, the bigger size jar is a little pricey, but it will last you for quite long time, as you need only few tablespoons each time you'll be making hummus. Chickpeas are one of the cheapest canned pulses you can buy, and all the seasoning you probably have at home already - so no reason not to make your own version of this popular meze dish!

Hummus is brilliant as a part of your "party spread/table", with just some carrot and celery sticks, crackers on the side, it will be ideal finger food. Also nice as a little nibble when watching TV (that's usually how and when I eat it ;) ) or a light starter.

How to make it...

- 1 can (400 g) chickpeas (roughly 2 cups drained, cooked chickpeas)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil (extra virgin might be too strong for hummus)
- 2 tablespoons tahini
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice (from about 1/2 lemon), plus more if you like it
- 1 clove of garlic, roughly chopped
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 handful fresh coriander

Drain the chickpeas into a strainer and rinse under cool running water. Tip - if time and patience allow you, pinch the skins from each of the chickpeas, this will make your hummus way smoother, almost velvety. Some prefer their hummus "grainier", if that's the case leave the skins on.
Combine the chickpeas, olive oil, tahini, lemon juice, garlic, salt, and coriander in the bowl of the food processor or blender. Process the hummus continuously until it becomes very smooth, 1 to 2 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed to integrate any large chunks.
Taste and add more of any of the ingredients to taste. If your hummus is stiffer than you'd like, add more lemon juice or olive oil or simply water, to thin it out and make the hummus creamier.
Scrape the hummus into a bowl and serve with pita chips, olives, olive oil (if you haven't used any in the hummus itself, I know some people make hummus with water instead of oil), sprinkled with some paprika or with raw vegetables. Hummus will also keep for up to a week in a sealed container in the refrigerator.


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