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  • Writer's pictureChef Dylan

BEST HUMMUS EVER




This dreamy creamy hummus is lusciously light with bright zingy lemon, a little bite of garlic, cracked pepper finished with fluffy nutty tahini and extra virgin olive oil.

My hummus is silky smooth and pairs perfectly smeared generously over warm pitta bread, toasted Turkish bread or use it as a dip with fresh raw carrot sticks or as a snack with some sea salted crackers. You can rest assured, however you use it, this is the only hummus recipe you will ever need.


Did you know? Hummus is the Arabic word for chickpea. Chickpeas have been around for thousands of years due to being one of the earliest crops grown in Mesopotamia and was commonly eaten on the streets of Ancient Rome. Greek philosophers Plato and Socrates even made reference to hummus and how nutritious it is in their writings. Modern nutritionists tend to agree and have found them to be low in fat and yet high in protein and chickpeas have huge amounts of dietary fibre. They are also rich in minerals, vitamins, B vitamins especially, and amino acids as well as manganese.


Chef Dylan tips: 1.The chef secret is to ‘overcook' the canned chick peas until super tender but not too mushy though. 2. Baking soda raises the ph of the water which helps breakdown the chickpeas for a delightfully smooth puree. 3. Rinsing the chickpeas after cooking removes the baking soda flavour and stops your hummus getting a film on top. 4. Use ice cold water. 5. Allow the lemon and garlic to sit for 10 minutes as this takes the sharp heat out of the raw garlic. 6. Buy good quality tahini.


Surfeit cafe Cronulla Sydney 2003

I pull the docket from the rail and place it next to the plate of the last order for the morning and ring the little bell which lets the waiters know food is ready to leave the kitchen. Its 11 am which means I have 3 hours to start getting the prep done for the next day. I pick up my clipboard and glance at my long list. The first cab off the rank is my version of hummus. The kitchen door swings open and the owner Meagan comes swanning in, she is in a good mood and is wearing a beautiful smile.


She picks up the plate and as she spikes the docket she turns to me and says “The customers have really been enjoying your food since you took over Dylan”. “Thanks Megan” I say cheeks blushing red “Can I have a quick chat in the office once you deliver those plates please" I say softly. “Sure” she says now with the smile gone “You better not be leaving me” she adds half jokingly but her eyes say she is serious. She returns and opens up the office and waves me in. As I sit down I can feel my heart racing and my palms are sweaty. I try to wipe them on my pants but they clam straight back up again.


Megan takes a seat. She can tell I’m nervous. “Ok don’t just sit there like a church mouse. Spit it out. What do you need to talk to me about Dylan?” I clear my throat and try to speak but nothing comes out, looking down at the floor I cough again “Well umm I’ve ahhhh as you know, I’ve been working here as the head chef for the last 3 months”. “Yes go on” says Megan. “Well ahh it has gotten a lot busier and ummm well you see I’m still on a 3rd year apprentice wage”. “Yes that’s right”. “Well I was thinking that since I have a bit more responsibility now and people seem to like the few tweaks I’ve made to the recipes”. “Uh huh”.


My is heart pounding it feels like its about to explode “I was thinking I could get a pay rise”. “A pay rise!” she says surprised”. “Well. I don’t know about that, it's a pretty tight ship at the moment. What sort of a rise are you thinking?” I take a deep breath, this is it. The moment I have been dreading “Say 50 dollars a week?” I mutter “50 more a week!” she says raising her eyebrows “Ok well, let me talk to my sister, I should be able to let you know tomorrow. Is there anything else?”. “No that’s it” I say rising to leave “Ok then I’ll let you know tomorrow”. “Thanks Megan”. As I close the office door I feel relieved like the world has just been lifted off my shoulders. I go to the store room to get the food processor out to start making the hummus.


PREP TIME: 5mins

COOKING TIME: 20 mins

SERVINGS: 4-6


INGREDIENTS

  • 1 x 400g can chickpeas, rinsed and drained,

  • 1/2 tsp baking soda

  • lemon juice from 1 ½ to 2 lemons,

  • 1 medium clove garlic, roughly chopped

  • 1 tsp SPARTAN

  • 1/2 cup good quality tahini

  • 2 to 4 tablespoons ice water, more as needed

  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin

  • 4 tbs tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

METHOD

  1. Place the chickpeas in a medium saucepan and add the baking soda. Cover the chickpeas by several cms of water then bring the mixture to a boil over high heat.

  2. Reduce to low and continue gently boiling for 20 minutes (or until the chickpeas look bloated their skins are falling off, and they’re quite soft).

  3. Drain the chickpeas in a strainer and run cold water over them for about 30 secs to a minute then set aside to drain excess water.

  4. Meanwhile, in a food processor whack in the lemon juice, garlic and SPARTAN.

  5. Process until the garlic is very finely chopped then let the mixture rest so the garlic flavour can mellow, at least 10 minutes.

  6. Add the tahini in next and blitz up on high until the mixture is thick and creamy, stopping every now and then to scrape down any tahini stuck to the sides and bottom of the processor.

  7. Keep the food processor running and carefully drizzle in 2 tbs ice water. Scrape down the food processor, and blend until the mixture is ultra smooth, pale and creamy. (If your tahini was extra-thick to begin with you might need to add 1-2 tablespoons more ice water.)

  8. Add the cumin and the drained, cooled extra soft chickpeas and blitz till smooth.

  9. While blending, drizzle in the olive oil. Blend until the mixture is super smooth, scraping down the sides of the processor as necessary ~2 minutes. Add more ice water by the tablespoon if necessary to achieve a super rich and ultra creamy texture.

  10. Taste, and adjust as necessary - I always add another ¼ teaspoon of spartan for more overall flavour (because us chefs love seasoning) and another tablespoon of lemon juice for extra zing.

  11. Scrape the hummus into a serving bowl or platter and use a spoon to create nice swooshes on top.

TO SERVE


Top with garnishes of your choice and serve. Any leftover hummus keeps well in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 1 week.

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