by Andrew Goodman

I am about to give you a fabulous basic recipe for home made hummus. It is adapted from a recipe by Leyla Kazim. Leila uses raw garlic in hers, which has a nice kick, but I prefer using roasted garlic for a more rounded mellow flavour which I think compliments the dish better.

Roast the Garlic

To roast garlic, take a garlic head, and remove any loose outside skin and chop the very top off the head so the tops of the cloves are showing (about a quarter of an inch).

Put the garlic bulb, cut side up, in some aluminium foil, and drizzle a couple of teaspoons of olive oil over the exposed garlic cloves allowing the oil to soak into the bulb.

This oil will keep the garlic moist and prevent it from burning. Wrap with foil and roast for 40 minutes to an hour at 180C fan (start checking at 40 minutes).

When cooked, allow the garlic to cool a little before squeezing the garlic cloves out of their cases. Roasted garlic will keep for 2 weeks in the fridge or 3 months in the freezer.

Shell the Chickpeas

The second recommendation I would make is to shell the chickpeas. You can use them just as they are out of the tin, but if you want a seriously silky smooth hummus, you need to take the shells off those badboys. It’s not ideal, but trust me, the results are worth it.

If you’ve ever shelled garden peas and felt inspired to shout to the heavens “kill me now!”, shelling chickpeas is an even worse proposition. It takes about 15 minutes of your life (per can) that you will never get back, to remove their hard outer cases, squeezing them between forefinger and thumb one tiny little chickpea at a time, much the same as you would squeeze a watermelon pip.

The shells are reminiscent of miniature prawn cases, and as they down’t breakdown in the blender, give the hummus a rougher texture.

After tasting the smoothness of the final product, I thought I was doomed to choose between a life of coarse hummus, or mind dulling work in the ‘chickpea shelling factory’.

There were even fantasies of some mystical mechanical steam-powered contraption which automatically removed the shells so we could all be set free from our rough hummun (sic) existence.

And then I came across this top tip on youtube in America’s Test Kitchen, which uses Chemistry rather mechanical toil to solve the problem.


Whether or not you opt to shell your chickpeas or to roast your garlic here’s how to make the hummus

You will need:

1 can of chickpeas (ideally shelled for a nice smooth hummus)
Save the liquid from the can when you drain them
2 cloves of roasted garlic (if using raw use 1/2 to 1 clove)
2 tsp tahini (stir the jar well)
1/2 tsp crushed sea salt
1 1/2 tbsp of lemon juice
3 tbsp of good quality extra virgin olive oil

Rinse the (ideally shelled) chickpeas, and pop them in a food processor with the two cloves of roasted garlic, 3 tablespoons of reserved liquid from the can, tahini, lemon juice and salt.

Turn on the food processor and gradually drizzle in the olive oil. Stop the food processor and scrape any bits off the side of the bowl to make sure that everything gets properly incorporated, and give it another minute or so to smooth out.

Place in a pretty serving bowl, drizzle on a little extra virgin olive oil, sprinkle with paprika, chopped parsley or coriander as is your liking to present.

I guarantee once you have tasted the silky smooth texture of your own homemade hummus, buying the shop bought stuff will never have the same appeal.

Bon Appetit!

Leyla’s recipe can be found here.


The Secret to a Silky Smooth Hummus