This simple recipe for hummus will never allow you to purchase store-bought hummus again! What's best is this hummus recipe will allow you to make two different kinds of hummus - plain and beetroot, in one go, and one is super pink - bonus!
Hummus is the quintessential Middle Eastern dish made primarily from chickpeas and makes a yummy spread, a delicious dip, and is seriously good for you. The humble chickpea is high in protein and fiber, and a rich source of vitamins and minerals. You would be crazy not to try this simple recipe for the best hummus!
I remember not loving hummus when I was younger as I found it too dry and pasty - it was always store-bought. Fast forward a few years, I tasted real hummus that was rich, creamy, and dreamy and was instantly hooked. Furthermore, last year I went to Tel Aviv and indulged in so much of the popular mezze, that I had to share my take on it here. Most of the ingredients you need are likely already in your pantry. The recipe is simple and doesn't take much at all. The only ingredients used in the hummus are chickpeas, lemon juice, tahini, garlic, and salt with a little ice water. And the only equipment you need is a food processor.
This recipe is for classic hummus, then adding a roasted beetroot to half of it to create the stunning pink beet hummus. Not only does this look visually incredible, but it tastes so yummy and comes along with all of those health benefits beets offer.
To start, soak dried chickpeas in a bowl of cold water for at least 12 hours. The chickpeas will expand so ensure there is enough water to keep them covered. Let's talk about dried vs canned - cooking dried chickpeas instead of using purchased canned ones provides less sodium, better flavor, and more control over the texture of the finished chickpea, so try to avoid using canned.
First place the beetroot in the oven, on the highest setting (around 250C) for forty minutes or until tender. When the chickpeas have soaked for twelve hours, place them in a pot with a teaspoon of baking soda and let this heat for a few minutes. Creamy hummus comes from chickpeas without the skin so by doing this step, the skin disintegrates during cooking and easily washes away, a great tip from Yotam Ottolenghi's Jerusalem. Then add water and let them boil for thirty-five minutes, or until cooked. You will know when they are ready when they crush in your fingers without being too mushy.
As the chickpeas cook, a layer of frothy foam will appear on the surface of the water - keep removing this. Also remove any chickpea skins that rise to the top. While the chickpeas and beet cook, prepare the rest of your ingredients. Juice two lemons giving you six tablespoons of lemon juice and set aside. Peel five cloves of garlic, measure out your tahini and put some ice cubes in a small bowl of water to have ice cold water. This will be used to thin the hummus.
Check on the beet and remove it from the oven when tender. Allow the beet to cool down completely before peeling the skin.
To make the hummus, drain the chickpeas in a colander after swirling them around to remove any further skins, under the tap. Transfer the drained chickpeas to the food processor, saving a handful for garnish later (optional). Blitz the chickpeas until it becomes a thick paste. While the food processor is still running, add tahini, 5 of the 6 tablespoons of lemon juice, garlic, and salt. Let this fully combine then start to add the ice water, one tablespoon at a time, careful not to add too much it becomes runny. I usually need around 7-8 tablespoons but found this varies on whether the chickpeas are small or large. Taste the hummus to ensure it has enough salt to your liking, then take out half of this mixture and set aside. Cut the peeled beetroot in half and add to the food processor then blitz. You may need to scrape the sides to ensure everything is combined. While the food processor is still running, add in the reserved tablespoon of lemon and more ice water if necessary, although I don't usually need to at this stage. The beet hummus is now also ready.
Now for my favorite part - plating. Although it is hummus two way, I like to separate it out in three dishes - one for the regular hummus, one for the beet hummus, and another for a combination. Spoon the hummus into the plate and start to push most of the hummus to the outer edges using the back of a spoon. For the combination, push all of the hummus to the outer edges of the dish then place a heaped spoon or two of the other hummus into the center and swirl the spoon around to neaten. Then go wild with the toppings! If you are not fussed about toppings then simply add good quality olive oil into the hollow that you created. I love using a mix of toppings on each plate to create a different look. On the plain hummus I have added the reserved chickpeas I did not add to the food processor, fresh parsley, pomegranate seeds, paprika, and olive oil. To the beet hummus - fresh parsley, nigella seeds, red chili flakes, pine nuts, and olive oil. And to the combination - rose petals, pumpkin seeds, sumac, nigella seeds, and olive oil. Meat eaters can add lamb on top or any preferred meat for that matter as well.
Serve with warm fluffy pita or use it as a dip for your veggies. In Tel Aviv hummus is always served with white onion quarters, where the onion slice is used as a scoop for the hummus - it may sound strange but it tastes so good! What toppings will you add to yours?
Hummus - Two Ways
Prep time: 5 mins once chickpeas have soaked for 12 hours Cook time: 40 mins Yield: 6 Origin: Middle Eastern Author: Anika Pannu
1 and 1/4 cup dried chickpeas
1 small-medium beetroot
1 teaspoon baking soda
6 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
5 garlic cloves
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
good quality olive oil (optional)
toppings of choice (optional)
1. Prepare the chickpeas by soaking them in cold water for at least 12 hours.
2. Preheat the oven to 250C or the highest setting for the beetroot.
3. Drain the chickpeas then add the chickpeas to a pot with 1 teaspoon of baking soda and heat for 3 minutes until the skins start to come off, scooping out any loose skins.
4. Add approximately 9 cups of water to the pot and let the chickpeas boil for around 35 minutes or until cooked. Remove any foam and skins that gathers at the surface with a sieve.
5. Place the beetroot in the oven and let it cook for 40 minutes, or until tender. Once cooked, remove the outer skin.
6. Once the chickpeas have cooked, drain them and place them in a food processor and blitz until they become a thick paste.
7. While still running, add 310g tahini, 5 tablespoons of lemon juice, 5 cloves of garlic, and 1 1/2 teaspoons of salt until combined.
8. Add a tablespoon of iced water at a time, to loosen the hummus. Keep adding the water until it reaches the desired consistency, around 7-8 tablespoons.
9. The plain hummus is ready so take out half of the hummus and set aside.
10. Then add the cooked and peeled beetroot to the food processor and blitz.
11. Add the reserved tablespoon of lemon juice. If the mixture is too thick, add a tablespoon of iced water.
12. Once combined, beet hummus is ready.
13. Let it rest to reach room temperature, 20-30 minutes, before serving.
14. To serve, add olive oil and toppings of choice.