Monday, August 8, 2016

The Secret to Perfectly Creamy Hummus

I'm not gonna lie. Up until about two weeks ago, I truly believed it was impossible to make homemade hummus that could rival the taste and creamy texture of storebought Sabra hummus. I've made homemade hummus dozens of times, and it was just meh. I wanted to pretend like it was better because it was homemade. But deep down in my heart, I knew the stuff in the plastic tub was superior.

And don't even get me started on Mediterranean restaurant hummus. That stuff is perfection. And I just assumed it was some family-recipe secret thing that a gal of German-Scottish heritage, like myself, just wasn't privy to. The notion that I'd never make great homemade hummus was a sad fact I'd learned to live with.

Look at this perfect hummus! I made this! No plastic tubs involved!

But then, a couple weeks back, I had a party to go to. It was a "bring a snack" situation, and I didn't have time to make anything that would take longer than 10 minutes. So I did something I'd never done before. I googled "the secret to perfect hummus." And that's when I discovered the secret had been right there, on the internet, all this time. And here I am, adding yet another "hummus secrets" post to the World Wide Web in the hopes that it'll help some poor soul like me someday.

So what is that secret, you ask? You gotta peel the chickpeas! 

That's it. A few measly skins are all that's standing between you and tahini-chickpea heaven. First, you pop open a can of chickpeas, and then one by one, you use your fingers to pop off their translucent skins. It sounds like a ton of work, but they come right off. Peeling a whole can takes about 10 minutes or less.

Here's my perfect hummus recipe!

Creamy, Dreamy, Perfect Hummus

1 15-ounce can chickpeas, drained but liquid reserved
1/2 cup tahini
2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice 
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup reserved chickpea liquid
1/2 tsp. sea salt
2 Tbsp. olive oil
Paprika and fresh parsley, for garnish

Drain the chickpea liquid, but save it! You'll need it later.
Use your fingertips to gently pop off the skins of each chickpea. Discard the skins. Place the peas in the food processor. Add lemon juice, garlic, 1/4 cup reserved chickpea liquid, and salt.
Process until smooth and creamy. As the mixture is nearly done, drizzle in one tablespoon of the olive oil while the processor is running. 
Transfer the hummus to a serving bowl and drizzle with the remaining olive oil. Garnish with paprika and parsley.


Anonymous said...

Sounds awesome! Cook's Illustrated suggests using baking soda to soften the skins. You can basically wash the skins away instead of peeling them and there are methods for both dried and canned chickpeas.

Charlie Delaney said...

I've heard this advice a few times before, but I always wonder if that's what the actual secret is...because that seems like a huge amount of work when we're talking restaurant levels of hummus (or, damn, corporate levels). IS IT THE SECRET? Do all of these restaurants and companies have a magic chickpea peeling machine? What is THEIR secret? Because while ten minutes for a can of chickpeas for the home chef is possible every so often, it's not practical by any means.

Anonymous said...

Another trick I use, cos I'm too lazy to peel chickpeas, is heat to the chickpeas! I nuke them in the microwave before blending, and voila! Creamy hummus!

vegan peace said...

I've heard that peeling them helps, but I never knew if it was true. Now, next time I make hummus I will try peeling those little buggers! Thanks for being the tester!

Sophie said...

Serious Eats has a whole post on this. I tried his method and that was the creamiest hummus ever. I blended them right out of the pressure cooker (and cooked them with some carrots). They were delicious and creamy and I didn't spend half an hour peeling them!

Jennifer said...

My friend told me this and one day I gave it a go and shocked at how much it helps. But then I was like "but those skins probably have fiber.. and I am probably too lazy" and stopped XD I do like homemade hummus for bagels. Nice and thick to stay on. said...

Well this is a revelation! I will for sure be trying this when I have a proper kitchen again.

melissar said...

I've always loved restaurant hummus (esp. Greek places!). At a recent vegan food swap I went to, someone made hummus that tasted identical to a restaurant. I attached the recipe, its form a famous mediterrean place in Philly, Zahav. I am dying to try it, but figured I'd share it with you to try next! It has the baking soda trick for making it creamy.