We take a close look at hummus and all the flavour variations the Food24 team can’t get enough of.
The best hummus never fails to be effortlessly luscious and creamy, yet somehow light and fluffy, all in one satisfying bite! From a moreish dip to a humble spread, the Middle Eastern delicacy is loved all over the world today for its delicious fresh taste and sheer versatility.
And so here are some tips for making creamy hummus at home and some of the Food24 team’s favourite flavour variations to try.
We also spoke to the acclaimed chef, food author and food lover, Sophia Lindop, to get the ultimate creamy hummus scoop! See some of Sophia’s expert tips below.
Creamy hummus tips:
- Soft peeled chickpeas make the creamiest hummus
When it comes to making hummus, Sophia Lindop favours tinned chickpeas: “They make the process quick and easy. Always drain the chickpea liquid (aquafaba) and set aside whilst rinsing the chickpeas under cold running water, then remove all the visible outer skins.”
Peeling the chickpeas first is crucial to creating hummus with an ultra-smooth finish! Easily peel the chickpeas by rubbing the drained tinned chickpeas between two clean dish towels to gently remove the skins. Discard the skins before placing the chickpeas in a blender.
If you are cooking chickpeas from scratch, make sure to cook them until they are very soft and tender. Here’s how: soak the dried chickpeas overnight in plenty of water and ¾ tsp bicarbonate of soda. Drain well after soaking, and then simmer for 30-50 minutes or until soft in a medium saucepan filled with plenty of water and ½ tsp bicarbonate of soda. While simmering, gently agitate the chickpeas with a slotted spoon. This will allow the skins to be released and rise to the surface. Then skim the simmering liquid and discard the skins before adding the chickpeas to the blender.
- Add ice blocks when blending
Add some ice blocks to the chickpeas and other ingredients before blending. This will help incorporate air into the mixture while it is blending, which will help produce a really light and airy hummus. P.S. Only add ice if you are using a high-speed blender; if you don’t have a high-speed blender, use 1-2 tbsp of ice water instead.
“The combination of the tahini, lemon juice and cold water (ice cubes), along with a good blender, will result in a smooth, light and creamy hummus,” says Sophia.
- Allow the garlic to sit in lemon juice before blending
“Garlic and cumin complete the flavour compilation for hummus,” says Sophia, but if you find the flavour of raw garlic overpowering, let the freshly minced garlic sit in lemon juice before adding it to the blender. This will allow the strong flavour to mellow out, thereby eliminating that harsh raw garlic aftertaste.
- Blend, adjust and blend again
Put all the ingredients in a food processor and blend until smoothish, taste and adjust to your own preferences. Don’t be shy to add more tahini, lemon juice, garlic, cumin or flavourings; it’s your hummus and should be made according to your tastes! Then blend again until the hummus is very smooth and lusciously creamy. This may take a few minutes, so be patient and trust the process.
“If more liquid is needed, you can use more of the aquafaba to get the right consistency, or even add another ice cube,” says Sophia, when it comes to achieving the perfect hummus consistency.
A special note on olive oil from Sophia, when it comes to the blending of creamy hummus: “A good-quality olive oil isn’t only essential to drizzle over hummus, but adding about 20ml to the hummus during blending also adds to the creaminess of the result!”
- Don’t skimp on quality ingredients
Hummus, by nature, is a simple dip or spread to make, so make sure to source good-quality ingredients. Always opt for extra virgin olive oil, a good-quality tahini, freshly ground black pepper and freshly squeezed lemon juice. Your hummus will be left tasting fresh and delicious.
“Don’t skimp on the tahini – it helps with a smooth texture,” says Sophia. “And remember, not all tahini is created equal – use a good-quality, smooth tahini. Rather pay more for the real deal than compromise!”