Friday, May 7, 2010


Ahh, I love it when the weather is (finally!) consistently warm and sunny. Trees are exploding with green, flowers are blooming - allergies aside, I'm a big fan of late spring. A large exception to this being the finals that have taken over my life, which coincide ominously with the wearing of shorts, sundresses and swimsuits. Keeping that in mind, I'm making an effort for my finals munching food to be something other than scotcheroos or mac'n'cheese, and hummus is one of my favorites. The best hummus I've found so far is from a restaurant in Iowa City called Oasis Falafel. It's creamy, a little nutty and just enough spice to make celery not seem so... bland and useless. This isn't their recipe, but basically the same ingredients go into all hummus recipes, so this is my attempt at it.

I've attempted to make hummus before and this recipe is absolutely one that you'll have to play with. It's a lot of guess and check to create something that suits your palate, and learning what to change for the next round. Another suggestion I would give is to let the hummus sit for a few hours or even overnight before calling it "done". As the spices have time to mix and settle together, the flavor will continue to change. So, like many relishes/salsas/soups/etc, this is best the next day and after.

Now that I'm a few days past the initial making of this particular batch of hummus, I'm ready to post the "recipe" and include a few suggestions on what could've made it better.


1 can of chickpeas, drained*
*Use the liquid from the can to thin the hummus, since it has more flavor than adding water
2 Tbs Tahini
3 gloves of garlic, minced
2 Tbs lemon juice
2 Tbs olive oil
2 tsp cayenne pepper
2 tsp paprika
salt to taste

1. Drain and rinse the chickpeas beans, making sure to keep the liquid from the can to thin the hummus.
2. Puree the chickpeas until smooth.
3. Stir in the Tahini, then add the olive oil and lemon juice until preferred consistency. Use chickpea liquid as desired.
4. Add the garlic and spices.
5. Mix well and enjoy!

I'm not quite sure what the best way to puree chickpeas is. I use my immersion blender because I don't have a food processor, though the hummus has a few chunks, so maybe someone with more grown-up toys can try it with the food processor and report back.

This time around, I used too much Tahini because I was trying to use the little extra I had left over. It's not bad but this batch has a woodier taste than I prefer, so I would recommend starting with 2 Tbs and seeing what you like.

As far as using the olive oil, lemon juice and chickpea liquid amounts, it again depends on your personal taste and consistency preference. Add some and taste it as you go. The same is true for the seasonings, though those will pick up over time-- so be careful before throwing lots of potent spices at it, they may be more than you intended the next day.

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