When my friend Jenna posted a link to Zahav’s famous hummus recipe a few months ago and claimed it to be the best, I knew I needed to give it a go. I thought I had settled on the best recipe ever. The one from Ottolenghi, but the thing about hummus that really gets to me is how abrasive raw garlic can be. Zahav’s recipe has a unique way of infusing the garlic in lemon juice first, then strain it out before adding to the mix. Genius! It also calls for an obscene amount of tahini which gives it an amazing silky texture. I gave it a go in my fantastic Geenis Power Blender (which is another important component to this story), and it delivered a hummus texture I had never encountered. Literally like whipped cream. The only downside is the quantity of tahini, which just does not suit my current healthier eating regime. I also wanted to add roast beetroot, because I love this flavour with hummus.
I set about roasting my beetroot via this easier method which slashes the cooking time and delivers a much juicier outcome. If you roast if for the full duration you get much drier and shrivelled beets that despite being tasty, are not as effective for this recipe and for my time schedule.
In the past, I had always made my hummus in a regular food processor, and I have a really good one, but the texture just didn’t get as smooth as I would have liked. The Greenis Power Blender, which makes nut butter effortlessly – and you can see how I did it here (with a video to show you how amazing it is), is the answer to my hummus dreams. This is a beast of a machine that takes the whole blending game to another level. This post is not sponsored by the way, they are however running a giveaway on my Instagram & Facebook page, so if you live in South Africa and want to win one, head on over and enter the competition to WIN A GREENIS.
I made the regular hummus part exactly as per Zahavs recipe and then I reduced the quantity of tahini to a ¼ cup from 2/3. You can add as much as you like if you want to indulge. Try and use the good stuff too. I bought a jar of the highest quality tahini from a shop called SUMSUM on my recent trip to Amsterdam. Its made in Jordan, was pretty expensive and is so damned delicious I’m trying to savour it. I then added a cup of roasted beetroot to the mix and the outcome was a creamy and super delicious hummus that is a shockingly bright pink.
I love to serve hummus with oven baked pita chips, and here I opted for whole-wheat. They are my living best way to scoop up mounds of this delicious dip. To garnish, I poured over some of the incredible new Tokara 2018 fresh-off-the-press olive oil which is another ingredient I just can’t get enough of at the moment. Luckily I bought 4 litres of the stuff to keep me going and can always pop past their deli to pick up more when I run out.
To make the toasted pita crisps, brush the halved slices of pita’s generously with olive oil and season with salt and pepper (sometimes I add a smattering of dried herbs too), and then cut them into triangles and roast them on a tray in the oven for around 8 – 10 minutes at 200C / 400F. Watch carefully as they can burn easily.
I’m sure it’s totally obvious, but this recipe is vegan & vegetarian.
Recipe – make a large bowl
- 1 cup dried chickpeas
- 2 tsp baking / bicarb soda, divided
- 4 garlic cloves, unpeeled
- 1/3 cup (or more) fresh lemon juice
- 1 tsp sea salt flakes
- ¼ - 2/3 cup excellent quality tahini
- ¼ tsp ground cumin
- 1 cup roasted beetroot
- Splash Olive oil, for serving & roasting the beetroot
- Other serving options: Handful chopped parsley or coriander/cilantro, paprika, toasted pine nuts, chopped pistachios or roasted macadamia/cashew nuts.
- To roast your beetroot peel and cut about 3 – 4 beetroot depending on size then cut them all into roughly the same size pieces, so in quarters for the smaller ones and in eighths for the bigger ones, and put them in a microwave bowl or large ceramic bowl. Added about 1/2 cup of water to the dish, covered and microwaved them on high for 5 - 6 minutes. You would adjust the timing according to quantity, but I feel that if you are going to go to the trouble of turning your oven on to roast them, you should at least fill the tray. You can use whatever leftover beetroot you have to enjoy with salads or sandwiches. Toss the cooked beets in a little olive oil, season with salt & pepper and roast at 190C for about 25 – 30 minutes.
- Put the chickpeas in a large bowl with 1 teaspoon of the baking soda and cover with plenty of water. The chickpeas will double in volume, and leave these overnight to soak at room temperature. I sometimes soak for 2 days but it’s not necessary.
- Put the soaked chickpeas in a medium pot and cover with water. Add the remaining 1-teaspoon of bicarb and bring this to a boil. Simmer for one hour (or a bit longer), scraping off any scum that might develop on the surface. Drain and allow to cool slightly
- Bash the garlic cloves with the salt in a mortar & pestle, (you can process in a food processor but I prefer this). Add the lemon juice and blend to combine. Allow this to infuse for around 10 – 20 minutes. Strain the juice from the garlic pushing all the liquids out the solids and discard.
- Put the tahini in a food processor or if you have a power blender, use that. Add about 4 tablespoons of ice-cold water 1 at a time and process for a few seconds. Add the lemon juice, cooked chickpeas, cumin and beetroot. Process for a few minutes until you have the consistency you desire. I usually add more lemon juice as I like it lemony, and season with salt & pepper to taste.
- Drizzle olive oil to serve, and any other garnish.
- Serve with whatever you like
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