Our kitchen has a large window that faces into our building's courtyard. Across the courtyard from our apartment, but directly in front of our kitchen window, are the balconies from another building. One of these balconies belongs to a couple who, each and every single day, bring all of their blankets, pillows, and rugs outside to shake them out and then hang them to air. The other day I looked up from what I was doing, saw this happening as usual, and thought to myself, people are weird. Also: what could they possibly be doing in there to get so dirty so often?
Naturally, I'm having this thought as I'm standing on my kitchen table taking a picture of a bowl of hummus. I know, right? People are weird.
You know what else people are up to? Peeling chickpeas. Peeling. Chickpeas. Why? Because peeling chickpeas gives you the most ridiculously bonkers smooth hummus you'll ever have. And I'll tell you, I was pretty upset the first time I made hummus with peeled chickpeas. Not because I had spent 15 minutes of my life peeling garbanzo beans, but because the hummus was So. Dang. Good. I knew I had sentenced myself to a lifetime of peeling peas. Ugh.
But! Chickpea peeling is fairly meditative work, and as I was midway though peeling a batch, cursing myself for even trying the technique in the first place, I remembered something that changed everything. Folks: CHANA DAL!!! Chana dal is split chickpeas. Split chickpeas that are ALREADY PEELED. You might be able to find a bag of chana dal at your regular grocery store, but if not, an Indian market or Asian grocery store (this is where I found mine) is a safe bet. Go get yourself a bag, cook 'em up, make the craziest, smoothest hummus you've ever had in your life, and roll your eyes at all the chickpea peeling weirdos in the world. But then be nice and let them know there's an easier way. Chana dal for the win!
Game Changing Hummus Recipe:
Aside from the naked chickpeas, this hummus recipe differs from others I've tried before in a few other ways. First, the chickpeas are pulsed into a fine powder before any other ingredients are added. Next, there is no oil in the recipe. And lastly, there is more tahini than I have ever used before. All of it adds up to a mighty fine hummus. You can adjust the amount of liquid to make it thinner or thicker, and use more or less lemon and garlic as you like. I tend to tread carefully with the garlic, as the flavour might seem mild at first, but will bloom over time. Also! Not all tahini is created equal - if you use a coarser tahini, your hummus will not be quite as smooth. If you can't find chana dal you can use regular chickpeas. I recommend you peel them. I'm sorry, but I really do.
1 ¾ cups cooked chana dal or peeled cooked chickpeas
½ cup tahini paste
2-4 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice (I use 4)
2 cloves of garlic, roughly chopped
½ - 1 teaspoon salt, to taste
¼ cup reserved chickpea cooking water, or water
Place the cooked chana dal or peeled chickpeas in a food processor and pulse for about one minute. Add tahini, lemon juice, garlic, and salt, and pulse the food processor to combine. With the food processor running, add chickpea cooking water one tablespoon at a time, until the hummus reaches your desired consistency. You will need to stop and scrape down the sides a couple of times. Transfer hummus to a bowl, drizzle with a bit of good olive oil, and serve with pita, crackers, and veggies.
Chickpeas are a super food! They’re a very good source of folate, protein, dietary fiber, phosphorus and iron. The fiber in chickpeas is mostly insoluble, which is really good for our digestive tracts. You can read more about the health benefits of eating chickpeas here.
All text and photos © The Muffin Myth 2013