Time to do away with those pre-made dips and spreads. Follow Danny Elsoury’s guide and make your own preservative-free silky hummus.
First Things First
A shout out to our Middle-Eastern friends for creating this fantastic wonder dip that has now become a modern day fridge staple. A part of Middle- Eastern cuisine for eons, Hummus is made of five key ingredients- soft chickpeas, lemon juice, tahini, salt and a whole lot of olive oil.
We caught up with Chef Danny Elsoury of Zizo (one of the most authentic Lebanese restaurants in Delhi) to understand the technique behind this wholesome Mediterranean dip, as he brings on the table, the perfect hummus recipe from his hometown.
1. Soak & Pressure Cook Your Chickpeas
Soaking dried chickpeas overnight in cold water should be the first thing on your to-do list and as a rule of thumb never go for canned chickpeas. After soaking your chickpeas in water, work ‘em in a pressure cooker for upto two hours until they’re cooked really well.
2. Pinch The Skin
If you like your hummus to be smooth and creamy as opposed to coarse and grainy, do invest some extra time in pinching the skin off each of the chickpeas. This might seem slightly torturous but hummus yielded from these bared chickpeas is nothing less than magic—smooth as mayo!
3. Use Softening Agents
Despite 12 hours of soaking and two hours of pressure-cooking your chickpeas, they still might not be soft enough. So what’s chef Danny’s little secret? Soda bicarbonate. “Soda bicarbonate while cooking your chickpeas in the pressure cooker will make them ultra-soft,” says Chef Danny.
In fact chefs of the likes of Israeli-born Yottam Ottolenghi to Nigella Lawson all endorse the use of this wonder ingredient. Make sure to not add too much bicarbonate, as that will make the chickpeas taste unpleasant and soapy.
4. Always Add Tahini
Tahini (sesame butter paste) is the second most important ingredient in a classic hummus. It enhances the earthy and nutty flavours of the dip, and prevents your hummus from tasting like a bland chickpea mash.
But in case you’re allergic to or detest the strong sesame flavor, don’t worry, you can always substitute with other nut butters (almond, peanut or cashew butter), flaxseeds, sunflower seeds or even, sesame oil.
5. The Secret Ingredient
Chef Danny Elsoury’s secret ingredient to his perfect hummus blend is ice cubes! Just add a cup of ice-cubes while blending your hummus and this will make your hummus exceptionally smooth and silky.
6. Flavour It
You can get a bit creative here and add fun flavours or condiments to your dip to give it a little taste twist. At Zizo, the Spicy Hummus is blended with an incredible roasted pepper paste called Chatta, which adds all that spice and tanginess to a basic bowl of hummus.
Some other flavours you can use to pimp up your hummus include caramelised onions, sun-dried tomatoes, Harissa, tuna, olives, rosemary infused olive oil and even hot bacon!
7. Top It Right
Finally garnish your hummus with olive oil, parsley leaves, smoked paprika, olives or some soft-boiled chickpeas.
Photos Courtesy Of: Madishetty Manasa