I never really used to eat hummus at all but this last year I have turned into a hummus-lover! It’s just such a great dip for some ciabatta with tomatoes or crisps and it’s such a delicious addition to some soda bread with salmon and radishes for lunch. And it’s a healthier alternative to other spreads like mayo for example. I’ve gone for a orange/red paprika hummus, but don’t worry, I will soon share a recipe for super creamy plain hummus as well!
According to livestrong.com “As a legume, chickpeas are considered both a vegetable and protein food, helping you hit two important food groups at once. These nutty beans are rich in a number of important nutrients that keep you well — including protein, vitamins and minerals — and they provide fiber too. Including chickpeas in your diet may play a role in reducing your risk of a number of chronic illnesses such as heart disease, diabetes and cancer.”
Medical News Today adds some more insight into the health benefits of chick peas: “The iron, phosphate, calcium, magnesium, manganese, zinc and vitamin K content present in chickpeas all contribute to building and maintaining bone structure and strength. Plus, the high fiber, potassium, vitamin C, and vitamin B-6 content all support heart health.
Also, Selenium is a mineral that is not present in most fruits and vegetables, but can be found in chickpeas. It plays a role in liver enzyme function, and helps detoxify some cancer-causing compounds in the body.”
Last but not least it’s a great source of protein for vegetarians.
For this recipe I decided to make the tahini paste myself, since it’s such an easy recipe already and I had the ingredients for it in my kitchen already. I really do recommend you give it a try too, and you can easily put any leftovers in the fridge to make some fresh hummus with homemade tahini later on again. You can keep the tahini for a month.
Now, don’t worry if you can’t find hulled sesame seeds (if you live in Ireland: you can get them in Holland & Barrett), you can also make them from unhulled seeds, but the flavour will be slightly more bitter, it’ll have a darker colour and it will be less smooth. But this can easily be fixed by adding an extra tablespoon of oil.
Makes: about 250g of hummus
- 3 tablespoons of tahini
- 250g chickpeas
- 1 lemon
- 1 large clove of garlic
- 2 teaspoons of paprika powder
- 2 teaspoons of cumin
- 5 tablespoons of olive oil
- 3 tablespoons of water
- Optional: some fresh parsley
- 140g hulled sesame seeds (available in Holland & Barrett)
- 3-4 tablespoons of neutral flavoured oil (canola, grape seed, light olive oil, ..)
- pinch of salt
Let’s start with the tahini paste. Heat a dry pan over medium heat and toast the hulled sesame seeds until they start to brown. Stir them frequently while they are toasting and remove them from the heat straight away as they start to get a light colour. Sesame seeds burn very quickly and easily so keep an eye on them the entire time and be ready to act quickly! Once they are toasted, let them cool down for a couple of minutes before adding them to a food processor.
Add 3 tablespoons of oil to your sesame seeds and let the food processor do the work for you. Scrape sides and bottom and process again until you have a smooth mixture, or add another tablespoon if you feel it’s not good enough yet. Clear out your processor and set the tahini paste aside.
Moving on to our hummus. Take 3 tablespoons out of your tahini paste and add them to your food processor along with the juice of your lemon. Process for a minute. Scrape the sides and bottom again and process for another half minute into a smooth mixture.
Add oil, spices and crushed garlic along with the chickpeas. Process for 2 minutes and add the water. Process again for another minute. Now it’s up to you to decide what kind of texture you prefer. If you want it really smooth you can add another tablespoon of water and process again, you can repeat it until you’re pleased with the result but keep in mind that the water will obviously make the flavour a bit more bland each time you add it.