Hummus makes the me a very happy bunny. After besmirching it for years, wondering what all the fuss was about those little pots full of beige clay the supermarket fridge shelves were full of, I dived into a pot being broke and hungry and man alive, was one heck of a hummus habit born!
I do believe I must have toasted and polished off a pack of pittas with that one little pot, within a day of opening it. I’ve more than made up for the years I spent not knowing the satisfaction of this unassuming beige dip since then. And just in case you are as crackers about chickpeas as I am, then you need the recipe for Instant Pot Hummus Three Ways.
Once I’d gotten a taste for hummus from store bought pots, it wasn’t long before I started experimenting and making my own. It’s so worth the effort to cook your own chickpeas rather than using a can. I think the flavour and texture are superior plus you can make exactly as much as you like. A 400g tin of chickpeas makes too much for us two to get through but 50g dried ones means two generous lunches/snacks each over 48hours. Perfecto.
I used to add my olive oil to the hummus, discarding the cooking liquid which is now known more fashionably as aquafaba. What a fool I was! It wasn’t until I read in Ottolenghi’s Jerusalem that he uses the liquid to thin the purée and reserves the oil for drizzling at the end that I changed my method and let me tell you – it’s magic.
Talking about small tweaks that make a massive difference – adding just a touch of ground cumin and ground paprika make those chickpeas sing. Start with the smaller amount of cumin as you’re using these spices as seasoning, not as flavours in themselves – you want a well rounded out flavour to your hummus with a hint of earthiness, not the full on grassiness of too much cumin overpowering the dip.
The next crucial ingredient for really tasty hummus is sea salt. I am a bit of a salt-phobe and only add it when a dish wouldn’t be the same without it. Hummus is one of those dishes. It would be super bland without any salt and really quite unpalatable. I love Malden sea salt – it’s the only salt I have in actually.
Lemon juice brings some zing and tahini, a sesame seed paste, brings extra richness. I measure it out in generous rounded tbsp and actually, I prefer the darker, unhulled version for more flavour. Now you see how “plain” hummus really isn’t all that plain at all.
When I fancy a change or am making a few batches to serve at a party for instance, I will do two other flavours alongside the plain. The first is the simplest – pesto topped hummus. Blitz up a batch of pesto and simply spoon some glossy snooker bay green basil, cheese and pine nut purée on top.
It does require blending Middle Eastern meets Italian delights together but frankly, it tastes just wonderful (dip a focaccia in it and you’ll be in heaven!) so don’t let it worry you. A third option would be to take a couple of spoonfuls of my homemade Nandos sauce and blitz it into the chickpeas making Peri-Peri Hummus. It’s hot and spicy and if you enjoy roasted red pepper hummus, then you simply have to try this one!
How do you like you hummus? What’s the magic ingredient that brings yours to life?
Thick and smooth, luscious hummus topped simply with good olive oil, a few reserved chickpeas. Or be a renegade and top with fresh pesto or even blitz a little of my homemade Peri-Peri sauce in for a hot and fiery hummus! Plus cooked this way, you'll get lots of useable aquafaba, for all your vegan egg white substitute needs!
- 50 g dried chickpeas
- 2 heaped tbsp tahini
- 1 clove garlic, peeled
- 1/4 tsp smoked paprika
- 1/4-1/2 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 1 lemon, juice thereof
- 1-2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tbsp fresh pesto
- 2 tbsp toasted pine nuts
- 2 tbsp Peri-Peri sauce
Begin by covering the chickpeas with 2-3 inches of cold water and leaving overnight to soak. 24 hours is great but 12 will do.
Drain and rinse your chickpeas then add to the inner pot of your Instant Pot and cover with another couple inches of fresh cold water. Set to Manual and adjust time to 30 minutes, leaving to do a NPR.
Strain the cooked chickpeas reserving the liquid in a jug or bowl - you will only need a small amount but the rest can be reduced and used as aquafaba in vegan recipes. I take out a spoonful of whole chickpeas at this point and leave to garnish the hummus with at the end.
Add the chickpeas to a food processor with the twin blades attachment (or a blender) and add the tahini, garlic, paprika, cumin and half the sea salt, then start blitzing. It will be thick and a little gritty but with the motor running, drizzle in about 2 tbsp of fresh lemon juice.
Measure out about 100ml (a scant half cup) of the reserved cooking liquid and again, with the motor running, drizzle it in very slowly, stopping to check the consistency and scrape the bowl down periodically. I always add at least 50ml but more often than not add the full 100ml - just note that once the hummus is chilled, it will be a lot thicker than it is right now so unless you like it very thick indeed, err on the side of caution and add a little more than you think.
Taste to ensure you have the balance of flavours right - you may want more salt (it drinks it up!) or more lemon juice. If making Peri-Peri Hummus, you need to drizzle in the 2 tbsp of Peri-Peri Sauce before chilling it. Blitz again if you need to tweak then scrape the finished hummus into a bowl, cover and chill for at least 2 hours.
For plain hummus, top with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and scatter with the reserved whole chickpeas.
Or if you prefer, spoon on the 2 tbsp of pesto before adding the toasted pine nuts.
Will keep in the fridge for 48 hours covered well in the fridge.
To make Aquafaba:
After using as much of the cooking liquid as you need to make the hummus, return the rest to your Instant Pot and press Sauté. Cook until reduced in volume by a half to a third (use the volume markings inside the inner pot to guide you).
Chill overnight in the fridge to allow it to thicken up before using. It can be frozen at this stage.
Top Tip - if you want extra thick aquafaba, you could cool the chickpeas in their cooking liquid for 12 hours before straining and making the hummus and aquafaba.
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