Hummus is a gutsy meal, served in a bowl for one to tuck into with a spoon. This recipe by John Gregory-Smith adds baking powder, which softens the chickpeas, making for a smoother finish.
Serves: 6 as part of a meze
Preparation time: 1hr 40 mins plus soaking
250g dried chickpeas
2 tsp baking powder
Juice of a lemon
2 cloves garlic
Extra virgin olive oil to serve
Flatbreads to serve
1 Tip the chickpeas into a large saucepan and cover with water. Put a lid on and leave to soak overnight.
2 Drain, rinse, then tip into a clean pan and cover with water. Add the baking powder and bring to the boil over a high heat. Skim off the foam.
3 Reduce the heat to low and simmer, skimming off any scum as you go, for 1-1.5 hrs, or until the chickpeas are tender. Drain over a bowl, reserving the cooking liquor.
4 Wash the chickpeas thoroughly in cold water and drain well. Put a handful of them to one side for garnish and tip the rest into a food processor. Add the lemon, garlic, tahini, 75ml cooking liquor and a good pinch of salt. Blend until smooth. If the mix it too thick, loosen with a little more cooking liquor; add tahini to make it richer. Salt to taste.
5 Tip the hummus into a serving bowl. Using the back of a spoon, create a well. Add the remaining chickpeas. Pour over the olive oil and add your choice of topping — I like a handful of chopped fresh parsley and a pinch of paprika.
Food and travel journalist John Gregory-Smith is the author of four books: Orange Blossom & Honey, Turkish Delights, Mighty Spice and Mighty Spice Express