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Old 07-13-2006, 10:22 PM   #1
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How the HECK do you get smooth hummus?

Hey all,

I've tried no less than a dozen various ways to make hummus, used recipes out of Turkish cookbooks, from the food channel, Mediterranean cookbooks, canned chickpeas, white beans, dried then soaked chickpeas, etc. I've altered ratios of water, tahini sauce, chickpeas, and lemon juice, but I just can't seem to get the **** little beans to break down completely so they're nice and smooth.

I use a cuisinart to make the dip. I've tried everything from pulsing to letting it run for five minutes at a time. I've also put all the ingredients in before turning it on, fed it slowly, or turned it on and then put everything in. I can make the dip liquid, but it's still chunky... just really runny, which is no good either.

If you've made this dip, how have you gotten it smooth? I will be forever grateful to you, as I'm sure others who have labored over hummus will be as well.

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Old 07-13-2006, 11:04 PM   #2
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I don't make it often 'cause I don't usually keep tahini in the ice box, but while were waiting for the experts here's one thought. Are you slowly drizzling in the oil, with the processor running, in order to form an emulsion?
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Old 07-13-2006, 11:07 PM   #3
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Are you using soaked but not cooked chickpeas?What about the beans.Try canned chickpeas if you are not cooking them before they will be too hard and will not work.
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Old 07-14-2006, 12:14 AM   #4
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OK forgive my ignorance but what sort of appliance is a cuisinart? I have been on their website and they make loads of things.......

If you are using dried, soaked and cooked beans you need to cook them until they are beyond al dente but not mushy. I find canned chickpeas can be a bit too firm, but it depends on the brand. the lower quality and cheaper they are, the better the hummus!!!

I have done it two ways, with a chuck-it-all-in food processor and a hand blender. The hand blender is the least preferred to my mind because it hasn't got the power.

In the processor I put in the chickpeas and the lemon juice first and let it run for about 3 - 5 minutes, then very slowly add the other ingredients. Sometimes if the consistency isn't quite right, adding some ricotta cheese can help.

Any bean cookery has a number of variables as beans can vary so much from batch to batch, some are drier and harder than others.

Hope this has helped, and good luck!
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Old 07-14-2006, 12:29 AM   #5
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A Cuisinart in this sense is a food processor. They make other things, but food processors often go by the misnomer "cuisinart."

Cooking the beans was actually what I was going to do next. It sounds like this is where I should head. So I should buy dried beans, soak them in water over night, and then boil them until they are just past al dente? Or canned beans, drain them, then boil them until they are just past al dente? Ooor, should I cook them some other way?

Thanks for the prompt replies, everyone.
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Old 07-14-2006, 12:33 AM   #6
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I agree the problem seems to be with the beans.

We ususally make hummus with the canned variety, without further cooking, and have never had a problem.

And we make the stuff fairly regularly.

Might just give it a try.
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Old 07-14-2006, 12:38 AM   #7
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If your ingredients are not cooked and soft other than than the garlic etc you will have problems,
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Old 07-14-2006, 12:57 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jpmcgrew
If your ingredients are not cooked and soft other than than the garlic etc you will have problems,
Hmm okay. Cool, thanks for the responses everyone. I will definitely have to try cooking the beans next time. I've got the flavor down, but a chunky texture really detracts from the overall dish.

I'll post results here when I try it again. Just made a big (flopped) batch, so it'll probably be a little while before I delve into the chickpea bin at the market.
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Old 07-14-2006, 04:25 PM   #9
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If using dried chickpeas soaking alone is definitely not enough, they need to be cooked for at least an hour. And no salt.................adding salt toughens the chickpeas.

I was worried a cuisinart was a blender rather than a processor.....that would have been an easy answer to your problems though!
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Old 07-14-2006, 04:40 PM   #10
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As skilletlicker said, make sure to slowly drizzle the olive oil in. This will make a big difference.
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Old 07-14-2006, 05:03 PM   #11
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I agree with everyone here, I think the problem is in the beans, and srizzle the oil slowly to emulsify...if that fails, break out the tamis, and start rubbing it through.
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Old 07-16-2006, 05:44 PM   #12
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I actually like my hummus with a little texture. However, since you don´t , I'll suggest the following, which is how I prepare hummus - smooth variety!
1) Soak dried chickpeas overnight - MIN 8 hrs.
2) Drain, wash ( 2 or 3 times) and cook for about 1 1/4 - 1 1/2 hours. DO NOT put salt in the water.
3) Drain the cooked peas, saving a cupful of the cooking liquid.
4) Blitz the peas in blender till smooth with a little cooking liquid, a little salt and a little lemon juice. If they do not become smooth, add a little more cooking liquid or water and blitz again.
5) Place into a large bowl and adjust the salt and lemon. Now add the tahini paste and mix together till smooth.
6) Add two cloves minced garlic, mix together.
7) Place on a plate and drizzle with olive oil , sprinkle a little flat-leaved parsley on top.

for me the "secret" is to NOT add the tahini till you have a smooth chickpea paste, and add the olive oil when finished.
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Old 11-20-2007, 06:54 AM   #13
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Just saw this post while browsing the recipe section and I may have your answer about smooth hummus. Years ago I found a recipe online posted by a young man in Israel ... (it works :-)

USE A BLENDER! Annihilator setting!
A blender will yield perfect hummus, everytime.
Just remember to add the ingredients in the correct order and use a spatula to ensure that all the garbanzos get crushed.

Ingredients:

1/4 cup tahini
1/3 cup lemon juice
1/3 to 1/2 cup warm water
1 clove garlic
1 can garbanzos, drained and rinsed (Chick peas)
salt and pepper
Instructions:
Put tahini, water, lemon juice and garlic in food processor. . Add a little salt and pepper.
Start BLENDER and let it run, adding a few beans at a time. Mixture will start to emulsify.
Continue until all beans are used. Put hummus in fridge to chill, overnight ideally.
You can use a food processor, but the hummus won't be quite a creamy.
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Old 11-20-2007, 07:00 AM   #14
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It's already been said but I soak beans 8-10 hrs (longer when I forget!)
then simmer a half hour or so (again, I forget. They smell like popcorn when they burn to the bottom of the pot)
I use cottage cheese in mine, olive oil drizzled, not stirred, and a bit of lemon juice.

I make too much, any ideas to help use it up?
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Old 11-20-2007, 07:33 AM   #15
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I do mine in a blender, use canned chick peas, and slowly drizzle the olive oil in while the machine is running. Turns out perfectly smooth every time.
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Old 11-20-2007, 10:07 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by suziquzie View Post
It's already been said but I soak beans 8-10 hrs (longer when I forget!)
then simmer a half hour or so (again, I forget. They smell like popcorn when they burn to the bottom of the pot)
I use cottage cheese in mine, olive oil drizzled, not stirred, and a bit of lemon juice.

I make too much, any ideas to help use it up?
You could use it as a sandwich spread.
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Old 11-20-2007, 10:33 AM   #17
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Even tho I luv to cook, I don't love to make hummus. Too much of a mess when Trader Joes is just down the street with a lovely selection, no preservatives, etc. for $1.79/tub.
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Old 11-20-2007, 11:01 AM   #18
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My mother in law visited recently and made hummus. It was the best I have
ever had.

She soaked the beans overnight, and removed all the husks before she boiled them.
Once boiled and cooled, they went into the food processor and were processed for
a long time! The tahini and oil were added slowly during the entire process, but that
might have been her way of getting the flavors right.

I have half a bag of chickpeas, so eventually I am gonna try my own hummus. Could be
interesting...

Keep us posted!
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Old 11-20-2007, 09:27 PM   #19
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Using a blender to make hummus will require it to be more "liquid" than if you use a food processor - and I like mine a little less watery, so I use a food processor. It only takes a minute or two longer. Heck - you can make it totally by hand with a potato masher or a fork! And before someone asks - I use canned tahini - I don't grind my own sesame seeds

If I use canned beans - I drain and reserve the liquid and use that for the liquid in addition to the lemon juice and EVOO - if I cook them from scratch I reserve the cooking water and use that. Why would I want to throw out all that flavor and the nutrients the water(s) contain?

Mine always turns out perfectly smooth ... and thick! When I place it in the bowl I make a well in the center and fill it with more EVOO ... something I learned from my "middle eastern" neighbors.
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Old 11-20-2007, 10:31 PM   #20
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A word of cautionwhen making hummus in a blender DO NOT LOAD IT TO HEAVY I have burnt up 3 blenders by putting to much in at the start, too soon old to late smart
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