I recently realised that my blog must be the only vegan food blog in the world without a basic hummus recipe! Can you believe it? I hang my head in shame and dash off to peel my chickpeas…’WHAT?’ I hear you cry…’you PEEL chickpeas, you crazy woman?’ Yup, I’m afraid I do… 🙂
In my defence though, it doesn’t even take that long. It took me only 20 minutes to peel the chickpeas for this recipe. Plus, it’s actually quite therapeutic. I put nice music on and sit there peeling my chickpeas and talking to my cat…Is that strange?! The reason I peel them is because peeled chickpeas make a waaaayy nicer and smoother hummus! It’s really worth it, trust me.
Some hummus gurus advocate adding a teaspoon of baking soda to the cooking of the chickpeas to soften them (and make them cook faster). As I am not overly keen on increasing my baking soda intake on such a regular basis (yes, I eat a lot of hummus) I don’t actually do that.
Instead, I am a fan of using ice-cold chickpea cooking water (also known as aquafaba) to give my hummus “baby bottom smooth” consistency. It appeals to my food thrifter instinct and makes my palate happy without any need for lugs of olive oil.
Rinse your chickpeas after an overnight soak and put them into a large pot with plenty of fresh water. Bring them to the boil and simmer for about 75-90 minutes, until very tender and almost falling apart.
To make chilli oil, bring ½ cup of olive oil to a gentle boil. Take it off the heat. Stir chilli flakes and salt (if using) into the hot oil. Set aside to cool down before using.
Once cooked, fish the chickpeas out of the pot with a slotted spoon and rinse them under a stream of cold water to help loosen the skin. Let chickpea cooking water cool down completely (it’s best to refrigerate it for a few hours prior to using if you don’t need to make hummus straight away).
Now, it’s time to peel the chickpeas – you can skip this step at your own peril 🙂 . It is worth it though as it only took me 20 minutes to peel them and you get a much smoother hummus if you get rid of the skin. To peel them, simply rub them between your hands and then slip the skin off gently with your fingers. Once peeled, let the chickpeas cool down completely.
Use an upright blender. In my experience, it will give your hummus a smoother texture than a food processor. Divide your chickpeas into two batches. Put ½ cup of fridge cold liquid (water or aquafaba) into the blender, half of your chickpeas, tahini and lemon juice. Put the lid on and start trickling cold liquid in slowly while mixture is blending. Once your first batch is smooth and a little on the runny side, add in the remaining chickpeas and blend them in trickling in more liquid as needed. In order to help the motor work the thick mixture, make small circles with the tip of your spatula (in the direction of turning blades) on the surface of the revolving mixture (do not dip the spatula deeper than literally a few millilitres or else you will damage the blades). This will help to burst an air pocket under the surface and helps the motor to turn.
Season with salt, garlic, cumin and blend again until smooth and well seasoned throughout.
Serve with a drizzle of chilli oil, toasted bread or pita bread, olives, pickles and anything that takes your fancy. Store in an airtight container in the fridge, it keeps for about 3-4 days.