Hummus is one of my favourite foods. I love making it, I love eating it. And once you have made your own, you’ll never bother buying it from a shop again. It’s much cheaper and can be lower in fat if you omit the oil.
The key ingredients are; chickpeas, lemon, garlic, tahini paste and olive oil, used in various quantities to suit your individual taste. Some people like a very lemony hummus, others a strong garlic flavour. Some cafes serve hummus thick like a pâté, other middle-eastern style eateries prefer it runnier as a dip.
Using dried chickpeas, cooked until they are really soft (in a pressure cooker if possible), creates the smoothest hummus. Opting for tinned chickpeas is great for speed and convenience, but the finished product maybe more course. You can boil chickpeas from a tin to make them softer, also.
I like to make different hummus every batch, using a variety of beans, like butter beans, kidney beans or mixed beans. You can also flavour it with chilli, pesto, olives or coriander and extra lemon for example. Recently I’ve started adding a couple of tablespoons of soya yoghurt to make the hummus extra creamy.
Last night I decided to try to create a flavour I’ve seen in the shops – Caramelised Onion. It was really nice and perfect served on some of our homemade focaccia bread. I used white onions, but you could also experiment with red ones, or a mixture, including shallots.
Caramelised Onion Hummus
Preparation/cooking time 30 mins plus cooling time for onions
2 tbsp olive oil
2 large onions, thinly sliced
2 spring onions, thinly sliced
2 tbsp brown sugar
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
Pinch of cinnamon
Main hummus ingredients
1 tin chickpeas, drained, or 400g/14 oz cooked
1 clove garlic, chopped
1 tsp tahini
1 tbsp lemon juice
3 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp soya yoghurt (optional)
Salt & pepper to taste
Pinch of paprika to serve
1. Heat the oil in a small saucepan and add the onions and a pinch of salt. Cook slowly, allowing them to soften, for 15-20 mins, on a low heat.
2. Then add in the sugar, vinegar and cinnamon and continue to cook slowly for a further 5-10 mins. Set aside to cool.
3. Meanwhile, place main hummus ingredients into a food processor and blend until desired consistency is reached. A hand blender is also ideal for this purpose and achieves a smoother texture.
4. When the onion is cooled, mix it in with the hummus, leaving a little spare to put on the top to serve, along with a pinch of paprika.