A smooth, warm hummus, topped with a hearty paste of dried broad beans, is a popular Middle Eastern breakfast or lunch dish. Often served with warm pita and raw onion, this dish is deliciously low-cal and insanely satisfying. Adapted from Ottolenghi’s amazing Plenty, there isn’t a better recipe to observe. And if you’re in London anytime soon, make it a point to drop by any of his restaurants for a first hand taste of his genius.
1.       500g dried chickpeas
2.       1½ tbsp baking soda
3.       250g tahini paste
4.       25ml lemon juice
5.       3 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
6.       Fine sea salt
7.       8 tbsp cooking liquids (see step 2)
To serve:
1.       1 tsp paprika
2.       6 tbsp roughly chopped parsley
3.       1 medium onion, cut into 6 wedges
1.     First, soak the chickpeas overnight. Place in a large bowl, cover with double the amount of cold water, add a tablespoon of baking soda to the chickpeas and set aside. Next day, drain and rinse.
2.    Put the chickpeas and remaining baking soda in a medium saucepan, add double the volume of cold water and bring to a boil. Simmer gently for two to three hours, adding water as necessary to keep them immersed. By the end, the chickpeas should be soft and easy to mush. Drain them, retaining the cooking liquid. Transfer the chickpeas to a food processor, add the tahini, lemon juice, garlic and a teaspoon of salt; blitz until smooth. Add some of the cooking liquid and process again – you want it very soft, almost runny, so it just holds its shape. Add salt to taste, and keep warm.
3.     To serve, spread the warm hummus on individual plates. Drizzle the remaining oil and lemon on top and around. Sprinkle with paprika and parsley, and serve the onion on the side.
1.       As an alternate, I like spruce up the pita by toasting it lightly and then, with a pastry brush, glazing one side of the pita with extra virgin olive oil, and drizzle over some tart sumac, for perfect pink pitas.
2.       Instead of cooking the chickpeas for 2-3 hours, an efficient alternate would be to us a good old pressure cooker. If you’re not familiar with using one, here are a few guidelines.
3.       Hummus makes for a fabulous packed lunch- specially in between some good quality whole grain bread, with cos/lettuce and some fresh tomatoes and a sprinkle of za’atar or sumac. Heaven!
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