What do you say? Hommos. Houmous. Hummus. Hummas. My Lebanese accent decided it was going to be “hommos”. And you stress on the double “m”.
Hommos means garbanzo beans / chickpeas and the correct name is “hommos bé t hiné”: chickpeas with tahini. I’m all for creativity and trying new things but I have to say that it annoys me to see people calling anything with tahini “hummus”. A beet purée with tahini is not a beet hummus! It just doesn’t make sense. Keep the dish: it’s delicious and has a wonderful color, but please: find another name.
Hommos is for chickpeas.
Now,… There are some things you just don’t discuss; like the origin of the hommos (bé t hiné)! That region of the world is already complicated enough. Who invented the hommos? Who has the best hommos version? Which hommos tastes better? You just don’t go into details and you answer with a smile: “Me. Me. Mine!” :)
Of course homemade hommos is better than its store-bought version. Peeling the chickpeas is labor intense but it contributes in achieving a smooth silky hommos. A good food processor is essential. You can have all the patience in the world and make your hommos with a lot of care and precision, if the food processor is not powerful enough nor sharp, your end result might be grainy. I prefer to start my hommos with dried chickpeas, that I hydrate over night and cook patiently the next day… but when you’re in a hommos-emergency canned chickpeas are a very very (trust me about “very”!) good option.
HOMMOS / HUMMUS
Recipe credits: Rafaella Sargi
4 cups cooked chickpeas, peeled
½ teaspoon grated garlic (1 medium clove)
½ teaspoon lemon zest
5 Tablespoons lemon juice
½ cup tahini
1 teaspoon salt
½ cup cooking liquid (or water)
Prep all the ingredients.
You will need one small pot, a slotted spoon and a food processor fitted with the blade attachment.
Cook the chickpeas in a small pot until extremely tender (you should be able to easily smash a chickpea between your fingers).
Meanwhile, place the garlic, lemon zest, and lemon juice in the bowl of the food processor. Using a slotted spoon, remove the chickpeas from the pot and add them to the food processor bowl. Pulse a few times. Add the tahini and salt. Blend well the chickpeas with all the ingredients using the “on” mode of the food processor (continuous). Slowly drizzle the half cup of cooking liquid. Taste and correct seasoning. Mix until the hummus has a smooth silky texture. If it is still grainy, you can add a few tablespoons of cooking liquid or water until you reach the desired consistency.
Serve with extra virgin olive oil. I like to sprinkle toasted sesame seeds. Zaatar is a delicious addition as well. Traditionally Lebanese restaurants serve hummus with a dash or two of ground spice or paprika.