Tuesday, 13 December 2011

Simple Hummus

One of my favourite comfort foods any time of year is a homemade hummus recipe that anyone can make! Although some people object to eating uncooked garlic, there are some advantages to this. Having lived in Korea for nearly 2 years, I have become accustomed to using garlic as a staple ingredient. Koreans  use it in their annual kimchi preparation which is currently well underway! But the smell of cabbage and garlic will not be fazing me. With winter in full swing, it is always a battle to keep coughs and sneezes at bay. Using garlic before you feel a cold coming is commonly know to help boost the immune system. It has been said that taking a dose of garlic, can shorten the symptoms and help you get back on your feet.
With this in mind, and the fact that I have recently acquired a massive bag of dried chickpeas, I thought I would try introducing the world to my simple hummus recipe.

2 cups (150g) cooked and drained chickpeas or canned chickpeas, drained
3 garlic cloves
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup (120ml) squeezed lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon of cayenne pepper
1 cup (240ml) cold water
sea salt
optional fresh rosemary and balsamic vinegar to taste

A note on dried chickpeas
1. Soak your dried chickpeas over night and then boil with a little salt for around 2 hours until soft.
2. Drain away any froth during the boiling process.
Alternatively you can use canned chickpeas if you don't have the patience, but I really enjoy the anticipation. Either way your chickpeas are ready to roll!

The Hummus itself
1. Put the garlic, lemon and olive oil into a blender and process until the garlic is pureed.
2. Add the chickpeas, cayenne pepper and gradually add a little water to help blend the ingredients into a thick paste. Add a little more water if necessary to help the blender push round the drier ingredients.
3. Add sea salt to taste.
4. As for flavouring, I have tried adding fresh rosemary or a table spoon of balsamic vinegar to the mixture and blending for a further 30 seconds. This can really add some flavour to your hummus.
5. Sprinkle with a little cayenne pepper to present and serve with crudities or freshly baked flat bread as a light snack or deliciously tempting appetiser.

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