Monday, March 25, 2013

Hummus happy

In Beijing, foods like hummus can be found at foreign markets but it is super expensive, so making your own hummus is definitely the way to go, seeing as you can buy a can of chickpeas for 8 kuai  (just over 1 us dollar – kuai is the slang for yuan/rmb). But it is one of those things that is worth skipping store bought anywhere I think! This hummus is very smooth, creamy and delicious. The trick is peeling the chickpeas and lots of Tahini.

Hummus ingredients:
1 can chickpeas (450 g)
5 tablespoons tahini paste
1 large clove of garlic
Lemon juice of half a lemon (or to taste)
Reserved chickpea water

Drain the chickpeas out of the can and save the water.

Now you want to remove the thin outer shell of the chick peas – it’s a bit labor intensive but very easy! Gently squeeze the chickpea with your index and thumb and the shell pops right off. I did this while watching Community so it didn't feel tedious at all.

After they are all shelled, put them in a food processor and grind until it's coarsely ground up - scraping down the sides as you go along.

Add the Tahini paste, garlic, salt and lemon juice and blend again. Careful with the salt as the chickpea water may be a bit salty, depending on the chickpeas you buy.

Now add half the chickpea water and blend. It'll become much more easy to blend and you’ll start seeing the consistency, add the rest if needed and blend so it's blissfully smooth. Add more salt or lemon to taste.

Transfer to bowl or container and chill in the fridge for at least a few hours to let all the flavors come together. Serve drizzled with a generous amount of olive oil.

Homemade pita chips
perfect with hummus or anytime

- Buy some good pita bread and slice in half (like you are going to make a pita sandwich) so you have two evenly thin slices. A lot of pita bread is already sliced; mine was very unevenly sliced, which was ok but the thicker bits are harder to crisp up. Then cut into chip sized/hummus dipping pieces.
- Drizzle olive oil in a pan and spread the pita chips flat over medium heat.
- As they start to crisp up, move them around the pan so they don't burn. (for thicker pieces I also used a spatula to press them down so they would toast more thoroughly)
- Sprinkle with sea salt and toss in the pan to finish.
You can also throw in black pepper or rosemary or chili flakes to make a more seasoned chip; get creative! 

Go get hummus happy! xo

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