Saturday, January 10, 2009


For the New Year party I also made hummus for the first time. I started with the recipe from the Red Mill bag of garbanzo bean flour.
3/4 cup garbanzo bean flour
2-1/2 cup water
2-3 garlic cloves
1/4 cup chicken broth (I skipped this)
1/4 cup sesame paste (I didn't have this, so I mashed 1/4 sesame seeds with a chop/blender)
1/4 cup lemon juice (I didn't have this so I added 2 TBS lemon grass instead)
1/8 tsp tabasco sauce (I substituted powdered cayenne pepper because I like it)
1/2 tsp ground cumin (I totally missed this - you'll see this come up later)
salt & pepper to taste (1/2 tsp sea salt and 1/4 tsp ground pepper)
1/4 cup olive oil

Which gave me this:
A hummus paste, or more accurately, lump. I wasn't sure that it was going to even work, and was short on time, so I abandoned it to the fridge until later. After all other appetizers were done, I did have time to work with it, and I had picked up tahini and lemon juice as well.

I spooned out about 1 cup of the lump and added 1 cup tahini, 1/4 cup water, and 2 TBS lemon juice and mixed until smooth. It is MUCH easier to get a smooth mix if you just mix the lump and the tahini together first, then add the water.
The flavor still was not right, so I added 1/4 tsp sea salt, mixed and tasted. Still not right. So I added 1/4 tsp more cayenne pepper and 2 more TBS olive oil. Good, but still not right. It needed some depth. It could use some more garlic, but I was going for at least one dish that wasn't garlicky.

SSB asked me if we had any Middle Eastern spices. I added 1/2 tsp paprika. Better, not quite there. There was a taste in my mind... what is it? CUMIN! It really needed cumin! So I added 1/4 tsp cumin, tasted and added 1/4 more. Perfect! Then I looked at the original recipe and noticed that it actually had cumin in the ingredient list and I had just missed it. Silly me!

Here is the final result. The little dish to the right is my trial dish that I used to try out a few variations before I made the changes to the main mix.

My final recipe for a batch was probably close to this:
  • 1/4 garbanzo bean flour
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup tahini
  • 1/4 cup sesame seeds
  • 1/4-1/3 cup olive oil
  • 2 TBS lemon juice
  • 2-3 garlic cloves
  • 2 TBS lemon grass
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper (1/4tsp for less heat)
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1/4 tsp ground cumin
  • 3/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp ground pepper
Put everything into a mixing bowl and blend using a chopping/blending handmixer until smooth. If it is too thick, add a little more liquid (lemon juice if you like a snappier hummus, olive oil if you like a super smooth hummus, or just water if all is good and you just need it so you can get a chip into it!). And of course, all spices are adjustable to taste. If you are not serving immediately, you should bring to room temperature before serving. This is great with flatbread chips/crackers, rice chips, or tortilla chips.

If you want a garlicky hummus, just add more garlic!

It was delicious! And I got lots of compliments at the party for it not only being really rich, but amazingly smooth! And I had so much of the original lump left over that I made it up for work as well, and it was a hit there too! I also had enough of the lump left to make another yummy goody that I will post about later.


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