Not to knock canned chickpeas – they are convenient, tasty, and work, but when it comes to making the best hummus, dried chickpeas are where it’s at. If you need hummus now, making it with a can of chickpeas is great – it takes all of 5 minutes and zero preplanning, but making hummus with dried chickpeas just tastes sooo much better. The downside is it requires two days of foresight and two hours to make. However, the result; a creamy hummus with the perfect flavour and texture is well worth it!
I’m not going to pretend this is a novel method or recipe – I’ve heard and seen variations of making hummus this way plenty before. Let’s be honest – most hummus recipes are near identical, there’s little room to get creative when making a basic hummus that doesn’t include using different legumes (which in my mind makes it as much of hummus as using cauliflower as a pizza base makes it a bread) or the addition of vegetables. To keep this version simple, I omitted the tabasco and paprika that I normally add to hummus and found it didn’t actually need it.
In the past I would soak dried chickpeas overnight – about 12 hours. After listening to this podcast I learnt that chickpeas need up to two days of soaking time. This helps them cook A LOT faster. It cooked in one hour instead of the three it usually takes. As per the instructions on said podcast I soaked my cup of dried chickpeas in 3 cups of water. I added baking soda to create an alkaline environment which helps make the chickpeas more soluble and thus able to cook faster. I also added a generous heaping of salt – which start adding flavour to the chickpeas prior to cooking. This requires planning but all you need to do is add everything to a container, cover it and leave it on your counter for two days.
I chose to drain the chickpeas prior to cooking them and to cook them in new water. You don’t have to. There’s differing opinions on whether not using the same water to soak and cook them makes them less gassy.
I cooked them along with an onion, garlic, and bay leaf – for flavour. Only the garlic got blended into the hummus, the onion and bay leaf were discarded. The onion and bay leaf also flavoured the cooking water, which ends up being used. Cooking the garlic removes that sharpness (and it’s strong scent), it becomes sweeter leaving the hummus with a very subtle garlic taste, no smell and one which I much prefer.
Traditionally you don’t add olive oil to the hummus, but rather drizzle it on top with some seasoning like paprika, dukkah or zaatar. And so that is what I did.
The Secret to the Best Hummus
- 1 cup dried chickpeas
- 3 cup water
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 tablespoon Salt
- soaked chickpeas
- 7 cup water
- 1 onion peeled
- 3 cloves garlic peeled
- 1 bay leaf
- cooked chickpeas
- 3 cloves garlic reserved from the cooking step
- 1/4 cup reserved cooking water
- 1/4 cup tahini
- 2 tablespoon lemon juice
- Salt to taste
- extra virgin olive oil
- Zaatar / paprika / dukkah
- Crackers, bread or vegetables
- Add 1 cup of dried chickpeas, 3 cups of water, ½ teaspoon baking soda and 1 tablespoon of salt to a container. Cover it and let it sit on a counter for two days. If your kitchen is very hot, place it in the fridge, otherwise leave it on the counter.
- Two days later drain the chickpeas – they should have tripled in size. Add them to a pot with 7 cups of water, a peeled onion, 3 peeled garlic cloves and a bay leaf. You do not ned to cut the onion – it is there only for flavour and will be discarded. Leaving it whole (or cut into halves) will make it easier to remove it once it’s softened.
- Bring to a boil, then lower heat and simmer for 60-90 minutes. The chickpeas are ready when (according to Samin) you can eat 5 in a row and they are all creamy in the middle. Keep an eye out on the water, if it drops below the level of the chickpeas, add some more to cover them.
- Remove from the stove and allow to cool completely.
- Once cooled, remove the bay leaf and onion.
- Drain the chickpeas BUT reserve ¼ cup of the cooking liquid.
- Add the chickpeas,3 cooked garlic cloves, ¼ cup reserved cooking liquid, ¼ cup tahini and 2 tablespoons of lemon juice to a high-speed blender. Blend until completely smooth. Add salt to taste.
- If you want, you can save a few of the cooked chickpeas to top the hummus.
- Spoon the hummus into a large bowl and drizzle with olive oil. Top with zaatar, paprika or dukkah.
- Store covered in the fridge for up to a week.