Hummus is basically the best thing ever, a smooth and tasty Middle Eastern dip/spread that works great with most vegetables but can stand up all on its own (on a giant spoon, if it’s up to me). Unfortunately, it can get pretty expensive – especially if you eat it in the quantities that my family does. I’ve wanted to make my own for a while, and finally decided to go for it with this super smooth and wicked spicy hummus. The only special equipment you’ll need for this kick-ass recipe is a food processor. While this recipe is intended to be really spicy, you can of course leave out the peppers and chili oil for a more kid-friendly variation.
1 16oz. bag frozen chickpeas (or 2 cups dry)
1/2 cup tahini (pure sesame paste)
1 small lemon, juiced
2 tsp. minced garlic
3 thai chilis, or other spicy red pepper
2 tsp. high-quality olive oil
2 tsp. high-quality chili oil
~ 1/3 cup water or reserved chickpea cooking water
2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. white pepper
paprika, to garnish
NOTE: If you are using dried garbanzo beans, place in a large bowl and cover with water (2″ over the top of the beans). Soak overnight in the refrigerator (at least 12 hours). Remaining steps are the same.
In a medium-sized pot, add the frozen chickpeas and just enough water to cover them. Heat on medium-high until chickpeas are tender and water is boiling. Rinse with cold water and let them sit until you can pick up the chickpeas without burning your fingers. The most time-consuming part of this process is peeling the chickpeas, but it is absolutely worth the wait to get that super smooth texture. Once the chickpeas have cooled down, rinse again with cold water (I found the peeling process much easier when they were a little bit wet).
I realize it sounds a little daunting, but peel your damn chickpeas! Pick one up between your thumb and index or middle finger, squeeze gently and pop that baby out. Toss the skin, and move on to the next one. This took a bit longer than I expected, but I set up my laptop on the counter with an episode of Ink Masters and just went for it.
In a food processor, blend just the chickpeas until it makes powdery clumps, stopping periodically to scrape down the sides. Add the tahini, lemon juice, minced garlic, salt, and pepper and blend again until pureed. While the machine is running, slowly add about 1/4 cup water (fresh or from cooking the chickpeas) and a teaspoon of olive oil. If you still aren’t satisfied with the texture, you can add a bit more water very slowly. I ended up using about 1/3 cup and it came out perfectly. Taste and adjust seasoning to your preferred flavor.
Finally, finely chop three Thai chilis (though I think any small, spicy red pepper would work), remove the seeds if you like, and add to the food processor with a teaspoon of chili oil and blend until smooth. I removed the seeds from just two of the peppers and it gave the hummus a perfect kick.
Transfer to a container and refrigerate for at least an hour. When ready to serve, drizzle with olive oil and chili oil.