Have you ever tried to replicate the hummus you get in a really authentic Middle Eastern restaurant? It is always so creamy and smooth. I could never figure out their trick. My aunt and uncle just got back from Israel, where they ate hummus with a spoon as a meal, and they too didn’t know how Israelis got their hummus so darn creamy and delicious.
Hummus became a central topic of conversation this weekend when I visited my aunt and uncle. This might have bored many dinner guests half to death, but I was all ears. Could the mystery be solved?
My aunt and uncle first thought that maybe they used a different kitchen appliance to blend the hummus or added a secret ingredient that we couldn’t figure out. But then, after doing some digging around for authentic recipes, the answer became clear: You need to take the skins off the chickpeas!
This may seam labour intensive, but I tried it this weekend and it was actually fairly simple if you have a little extra time and the trick I share below. Just to be sure this de-skinning was worth it, I conducted an experiment. My aunt and I made one batch of hummus with the skins on the chickpeas and an identical batch without skins. You can clearly see the difference in the pictures below.
No skins on chickpeas
Skins on chickpeas
The first picture in this post also shows both types of hummus with toppings. The one on the right had no skins. What about the single plate of hummus in the second picture in this post? Do you think that hummus has the skins in it? Tell me your guess in the comments section below!
How to get the skins off your chickpeas
– 1 tsp baking soda
– 1-2 cans chickpeas (540ml/19oz cans), depending on the amount of hummus you’d like to make
– Rinse chickpeas and drain them well, then place them in a large pot over medium heat.
– Add 1 tsp baking soda and stir in.
– Continue stirring the chickpeas constantly, for about 3-4 min once they’re hot.
– The baking soda will start to stick to the pan — this is normal, and you’ll see the skins starting to come off. It looks almost like a paste.
– Once you can see the skins easily coming off, take the pot to the sink and rinse the chickpeas in cool water and vigorously swirl them around in the pot using your hand (Don’t burn yourself! Wait until they are cool enough to touch.) Rub the chickpeas under water to release any last skins. You’ll see the skins come close to the surface. Dump the water out along with the skins and repeat the rinsing process about 4-5 times, swirling with your hands in between, until most of the skins are gone. You don’t need to get every last skin.
– Voilà: Skinless chickpeas!
Now make your hummus as normal. In Israel, they drizzle olive oil over top instead of adding it to the hummus when blending. The hummus pictured above has smoked paprika, extra virgin olive oil, cilantro, and pumpkin seeds on top.
It really is amazing the difference taking the skins off makes to the texture! Have you ever tried this? What is your trick to perfect hummus? I’d love to hear from you in the comments section below. Enjoy!