I’ve been making a lot of dried beans this lockdown. Kabuli chana, rajma, lobia, you name it, I’m making it. They’re what I’ve been reaching for when fresh produce has been irregular.
With so much kabuli chana on hand, it’s only natural that I’d make hummus. Useful for all those times I feel snacky. (Which – let’s be honest – is MANY times during the day these days.) With hummus on hand, I can open the fridge and dip my fingers into something healthy instead of eating a cookie. (Aside – I don’t actually dip my fingers into hummus, I’m not that gross, I use a spoon.)
But I digress. When it comes to the fine art of hummus making, which side of the fence are you on – original, or hummus with a twist and a few extras?
I enjoy both. And I think it’s ok to mix those chickpeas with other veggies to give them a flavour and colour boost. But it has to be an addition to the chickpeas, not a complete substitution, because without the chickpeas, it wouldn’t have the same texture.
In one of those celebrity food smackdown videos by Delish on YouTube, therewas a contest between reality TV stars Kristin Cavallari and Lauren Conrad’s hummus recipes.
Both of them made theirs “extra” with the addition of nuts, herbs and spices. Lauren’s recipe calls for canned chickpeas, arugula, spinach and green onions. Kristin’s recipe uses cannellini beans, pistachios, parsley, lemon zest, cumin powder and champagne vinegar.
Well, it wasn’t much of a toss-up: the blind tasters found Kristin’s cannellini bean hummus too dry and just plain unsatisfying.
Which is why, when making variations of hummus I believe you shouldn’t mess with the hero ingredient: CHICKPEAS.
There’s plenty of fun to be had without changing the core ingredient. Trust me.
Anyhow. Back to the hummus I made. It’s a 2:1 measure of cooked chickpeas and peas, blended together with the usual suspects: salt, olive oil, garlic and tahini. And, a fistful of fresh mint leaves. Mint adds extra colour and gives the hummus a lovely, vibrant, fresh flavour.
I used frozen peas – I think it’s fine TBH- but if you are the kind of person who makes an effort to shell fresh peas (which is probably better), go ahead and DO YOU! Just make sure the peas are cooked till soft for easy blending and a smoother texture. If you want a REALLY smooth hummus – and have the patience of a saint – I recommend peeling the chickpeas. Yes, each individual chickpea. It makes for a fluffier, creamier hummus and is totally worth it. But this is pretty delicious without the peeling, too
MINTY PEA HUMMUS
2 cups cooked chickpeas
1 cup cooked green peas
½ cup loosely packed mint leaves
2 cloves garlic
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon tahini
½ teaspoon salt (or more to taste)
¼ cup water (preferably some water reserved from cooking the
Juice of ½ a lime
Place everything in a powerful blender and blend till smooth. Place in a serving bowl and drizzle some olive oil on top and finish with some fresh mint.
Note: I know fresh herbs are a little scarce now, so if you can’t find fresh mint, feel free to leave it out.