Hummus is a dip that is beloved globally and has Middle-Eastern origins. Commonly made with cooked chickpeas, tahini, garlic, lemon, and salt; its uses are many and varied. Hummus, in its simplest form, is the perfect accompaniment to a Middle-Eastern or Greek feast and is just as welcome on a salad sandwich. A basic hummus recipe lends itself to the imagination of the maker in that there are countless ways to enhance its flavor, texture, and presentation.
My name is Breda Fenn and I’m a recipe developer in Sydney, Australia. My introduction to hummus as a child was being served a store-bought version with stale rice crackers by my neighbors. My introduction to fresh, homemade hummus was at Raniah and Itaf’s home. They were family friends who had immigrated from Lebanon. There was no comparison between the two offerings. Itaf’s cooking was fresh, flavourful, and balanced and served with a spirit of welcome. By design, hummus is a dish of generosity; of sharing. It fosters community.
Of course, you can use a food processor or blender to make good hummus. Using a mortar and pestle allows you a greater degree of control over the flavors and textures. Seasoning as you go and balancing salt with acid to your preference. Also, serving the hummus in the mortar makes for a stunning addition to the table.
Lebanese Hummus using Mortar and Pestle
This hummus will be the star of any get together!
2 heads garlic, peeled
1 cup light olive oil
200g cooked chickpeas
1/4 cup tahini
1 tbsp toasted cumin seeds
1 tsp cayenne chili powder (or dried Aleppo pepper)
KROK Mortar and Pestle
Place the olive oil and garlic cloves into a small sauce pan and gently heat. Cook on very low heat until the garlic is very soft. This should take around 30 minutes. Pour into a clean container and allow to cool.
Place 3 confit garlic cloves into the mortar with a little of the garlic oil. Save the remaining confit garlic and oil to use another time. Add a pinch of sea salt. Using the pestle, crush the garlic to form a smooth paste.
Add the cooked chickpeas with another small pinch of salt and crush into a rough paste. Add the tahini and continue to crush to combine.
Add the juice of half a lemon and 2 tablespoons of garlic oil. Mix together.
Loosen the mix by adding cold water a little at a time until you form your desired texture. Taste and adjust the seasoning to your liking. You may like to add more lemon, tahini, or salt.
Garnish the top with toasted cumin seeds, chili powder, and a little more garlic oil.
There are many ways to make hummus your own. Consider adding spices to the mix or garnishing with fresh herbs. The sky's the limit!
Serve as a dip with Lebanese bread or as a side to a bigger meal. Hummus is the perfect accompaniment to roasted meats, salads, and flatbreads.
To store hummus, place it in a clean, airtight container and refrigerate. It should last for 3 to 4 days.
To store the confit garlic, refrigerate it in a clean, dry, airtight container. It should last up to 2 weeks.