Hummus is one of my favorite dips and spreads – but it can be very hard to find it for less than $2-$3 a container. I usually try to buy it when it’s on clearance or when I have a coupon and can find it under $2. Otherwise, I generally pass it up. So I decided to try and make homemade hummus – it turns out to be much cheaper and I had heard that the homemade stuff beats the store bought stuff as far as flavor goes (it usually does).
Dried garbanzo beans are a lot cheaper than canned. Look for them in bulk.
I have raved about the book Make the Bread, Buy the Butter a couple months ago and in it there are great instructions for making homemade hummus. I started with dried garbanzo beans, which are much cheaper than canned.
Add plenty of water – more than you think, they’ll soak it up.
I soaked one pound of dried garbanzo beans over night in plenty of water. The older your beans, the longer you need to soak them. It’s recommended you buy them from a store that you know rotates stock fairly often because the fresh ones are the best. If I was in a hurry (and didn’t want to soak overnight) I could have done the “quick soak” method which calls for boiling the dried garbanzo beans for two minutes and letting them sit at room temperature for two hours.
The next morning I drained off the soaking water and put the beans in a medium pot, with fresh water and brought it to a boil. I let them simmer for a good 60 to 90 minutes – until fork tender. If you have really fresh garbanzo beans they could be soft in as little as 40 minutes.
Once you have your garbanzo beans ready to go, here’s the hummus recipe:
4 garlic cloves, peeled (I ended up using five)
4 cups drained cooked chickpeas (garbanzo beans) or you can used canned
Some of the liquid from boiling the garbanzo beans
2 teaspoons cumin
Pinch of ground coriander
5 tablespoons tahini (You can find tahini in health food departments, the local Olympia co-op sells it in bulk or you can order it online from places like Amazon or VitaCost which offers a $10 sign up credit. It’s a little spendy – but a little bit goes a long way so it should last you for many recipes.)
Juice of three large lemons (I ended up using four)
3 tablespoons good olive oil, plus more if you need it
Optional: Paprika sprinkled as a garnish
In a blender or food processor (see food processors on Amazon) puree all the ingredients until it’s creamy – give it longer than you think it needs. Make it the consistency you like by adding cooking liquid from the chickpeas and additional olive oil. Add salt to taste and additional lemon juice if you want more of that flavor. Ta da! You have hummus. It’s great with carrots, pita bread, on sandwiches or even spread in these feta, tomato wraps.
Overall it was a pretty easy process. Soaking the beans didn’t require much effort and I let the garbanzo beans simmer while I was cleaning – so they didn’t require too much attention. I learned I don’t like hummus that is warm – which it is was after they had simmered and then were blended – but after a little time in the fridge I felt like the flavors melded and it most resembled the stuff you’d get at the store – but better!
Although this was the first time I soaked beans for a recipe – I plan to venture into other bean recipes using dried beans. They are so much more affordable than canned beans and can add bulk to your meals without a lot of cost.
I’d love to hear if you have a hummus recipe you enjoy or if you have a favorite recipe that starts with soaking dried beans!
If this kind of things makes you giddy, I recommend checking your local library or Amazon for Make the Bread, Buy the Butter: What You Should and Shouldn’t Cook from Scratch.