Our basic hummus recipe is smooth and rich in tahini, just as we like it, and can be kept in the fridge for up to three days. You can simply spread it over a plate, drizzle it with olive oil, and eat it with a pita or bread. You can also play around with the recipe to transform it into the exciting centerpiece of a seriously substantial meal, which is how it is mostly enjoyed in Jerusalem. If you prefer to stick to the basic recipe, you can vary it by folding in cooked and crushed chickpeas for texture, adding some ground cumin, or adjusting the amount of lemon juice and tahini to your taste.
1 ¼ cups dried chickpeas
1 teaspoon baking soda
6 ½ cups water
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons light tahini paste
4 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
4 cloves garlic, crushed
1 ½ teaspoons salt
6 ½ tablespoons ice-cold water
The night before, put the chickpeas in a large bowl and cover them with cold water that is at least twice their volume. Let them soak overnight.
The next day, drain the chickpeas. Place a medium saucepan over high heat and add the drained chickpeas and baking soda. Cook for about 3 minutes, stirring constantly. Add the water and bring to a boil. Cook, skimming off any foam and any skins that float to the surface. The chickpeas will need to cook between 20 to 40 minutes depending on the type and freshness. Sometimes they will have to cook even longer. Once done, they should be very tender but not quite mushy, breaking up easily when pressed between your thumb and finger.
Drain the chickpeas. You should now have roughly 3 cups. Place the chickpeas in a food processor and process until you get a stiff paste. With the machine still running, add the tahini paste, lemon juice, garlic, and 1 ½ teaspoons salt. Finally, slowly drizzle in the iced water and allow it to mix for about 5 minutes, until you get a very smooth and creamy paste.
Transfer the hummus to a bowl, cover the surface with plastic wrap, and let it rest for at least 30 minutes. If you’re not going to serve the hummus straightaway, refrigerate it. Make sure to take it out of the fridge at least 30 minutes before serving.
Reprinted with permission from Jerusalem: A Cookbook by Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi, ©2012. Published by Ten Speed Press, a division of Penguin Random House.