Super Smooth, Cloud-like Israeli Hummus
More than ever before, there is no shortage of food channels and shows to indulge your every foodie whim. We cannot in good conscience mention these without noting that one of our all-time favourites is the Bizarre Food & Delicious Destinations series presented by Andrew Zimmern. Mr. Zimmern in fact, is the reason why we’re popping over to Paris one of these days to indulge in some freshly baked baguettes, galettes, crepes and Paul Bert’s Steak Frite. (We dare you to watch the Paris episode and not feel like you’ve always been Parisian at heart!)
Just the other night, we were binge watching again, and stumbled upon an episode about Israel (Obviously we also must go there, right now, too…). The programme featured halva to die for- in more flavours and varieties than ice cream, I might add- and the fluffiest, cloud-like hummus I’ve ever laid my eyes on.
Now, it is important to note that we often whip up a batch of home-made hummus, and happily play around with flavours and combinations. But never have I ever managed this super-smooth consistency. In addition, no matter how little garlic I add, it always ends up taking my breath away- in a hot, unpleasant burny kind of way. I’ve even tried roasting the garlic beforehand, to soften the blow. Alas, the burnnnn remained. As a result, we often omit the garlic completely. Somehow it then always feels like we’re trying to bake apple pie without cinnamon…
With a myriad of chunky, clumpy hummus variations behind us, we did what every self-respecting lover of food would do: hit the Google machine with all our might. We were surprised at how many magnificent tips and tricks there were out there. Our usual ‘add-all-the-ingredients-into-a-mixer-and-blend’ would simply not do anymore.
The new fluffy, cloud like version would include the following adaptations:
- Garlic (skins and all) to be blended with lemon juice, and then strained. This little trick is supposed to eliminate that hectic, burning garlic flavour.
- Chickpeas to be boiled with baking soda, well beyond the respectable consistency. This would aid in achieving the softer consistency. Some also recommended shelling the chickpeas, but ain’t nobody got time for that. (Should our attempt be a miserable failure, we’ll try again. Over a weekend. A long weekend.)
- Chickpeas to be blended while hot. Apparently blending the chickpeas while they are still hot, makes a massive difference in how smooth they go.
Here goes, our very first attempt at cloud-like, silky smooth Israeli hummus:
Recipe renders 3 cups hummus
Preparation time 1 hour
- 2 tins chickpeas (including liquid)
- Hot water to cover chickpeas
- Juice of 1 large lemon
- 2-4 cloves garlic (no need to peel or chop)
- 1 carrot, roughly chopped
- 1 small onion, halved
- 3 Bay leaves
- 1 tsp baking soda
- ½ cup tahini
- 2 Tbsp olive oil + extra to serve
- Salt to taste
- Cumin to taste
- Smoked paprika to taste
- Optional: Parsley to garnish
- Optional: Chickpeas or roasted chickpeas to garnish
- In a saucepan, combine 2 tins chickpeas (including the liquid in the tins), carrot, bay leaves, onion, baking soda and enough water to cover the contents. Over medium heat, boil the mixture for 15-30 minute until the chickpeas begin to soften and break apart.
- While the mixture is boiling (keep an eye on it, as it tends to froth up), combine the garlic cloves (with skins) and lemon juice in a blender, and blend to a smooth consistency. Strain the mixture to remove all the fibres.
- Remove the mixture from the heat. Remove carrots, onions and bay leaves. (our onions broke apart and cooked to a very soft consistency. As a result, some pieces remained in the mixture)
- Use a slotted spoon to scoop the hot chickpeas into a blender or food processor. Add olive oil. (The chickpeas were so soft and broken apart after cooking, that we managed an exceptionally smooth consistency with an immersion blender) Blend to desired consistency. If your mixture is too stiff, add some of the cooking liquid.
- Transfer the bended chickpeas to a mixing bowl and whisk in the strained lemon and garlic mixture and tahini.
- Add salt, cumin and paprika to taste.
- Set aside to cool completely. The mixture will thicken while cooling.
- Store refrigerated in a sealed container. The mixture will hold for up to a week when stored properly.
- The ‘garlic-blended-with-lemon-juice’ trick is amazing. No raw burning, garlic taste, just the gentlest, rounded garlic flavour. This is certainly a method we will also try in future for different recipes.
- Cooking the tinned chickpeas in baking soda makes them super soft, and renders a smooth, velvety texture with no effort at all.
- Blending the hot mixture worked like a charm. I was very surprised that an immersion blender did the trick, since the research we did suggested that a high-powered blender is the only way to get a smooth consistency.
I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as we do!