I ate hummus almost everyday at home in the States. If not with chips or crackers, then on some naan or pita bread. It was quite a staple of my diet, providing good protein and convenience as well.
I haven’t found a source for hummus, yet, here in Davao. I did find some hummus dip salsa at Healthy Options, and it was acceptable, but not real hummus and truly very expensive. I decided before I even moved that I would spend some of my new found free time making my own hummus.
One of the items on my list to do during my last visit, the last before my move, was to see if I could locate some dried garbanzo beans, also known as chickpeas. I did not have much luck at the grocery stores, though I did find a small package at GMall, which seems is already no longer carried. At the suggestion of an online friend, I was finally able to secure what I was looking for in bulk at Bankerohan Public Market.
I didn’t get an opportunity to make the hummus before I left, so I stored the dried garbanzos in the cellophane they came in, then inside a sealed container. I’ve had enough experience with the ants already to know that I need to keep things covered.
Well I finally got around to my first attempt at making my hummus yesterday with the help of my asawa, who had the day off for the national holiday, Heroes’s Day (there sure have been a lot of holidays in the short time I’ve been here). We grabbed a few recipes from online, especially those that used the Vitamix, because I was going to attempt this in my recently purchased Vitamix Knockoff.
The first thing I knew I needed to do was to soak the dried garbanzos overnight and then cook them for an hour or two. So we took the beans out of their container the night before to soak the three cups required for the recipes that we were following. I got an unexpected surprise. There were little bugs crawling all over them. At first I thought they were the little black ants that are everywhere here, but they weren’t. They may have been some kind of beetle. On closer examination I could see that they had bored into some of the beans.
Not thinking this was a big problem, I proceeded to shift out all the bugs, and wash the beans. I examined my three cups worth, deemed them acceptable, and commenced to soak them overnight. The next morning I still found some bugs, though not as many and spent much more time examining and cleaning the remainder. This was becoming a little concerning.
Not being (too) discouraged we went ahead and cooked the garbanzos in the the large kettle. It took somewhere between an hour and two to accomplish that. I didn’t time it, but checked back often. I figured this was my first attempt and refinements would come later anyway. When I determined they were finished I drained them and set them to cool.
It was upon preparing to transfer them to the blender that I realized I had a bigger problem. Though it was obvious there were no more living insects, I could see that some of the cooked beans still had some inside. For some reason that hadn’t occurred to me. I had just figured they were all outside eating away. I had come to a crossroads – abandon my project, continue and eat the bugs, or ??
Well, I wasn’t going to eat the bugs. Being boiled they probably wouldn’t kill me, but that option didn’t appeal to me. What I decided to do was squish each and every garbanzo to see if there were any bugs in them. It’s a really good thing that I have a lot of free time now. My project became a day long one.
With that little nightmare out of the way. I went on to finishing the making of my “homemade” hummus. The rest went rather smoothly. I used raw sesame seeds instead of tahini or sesame seed oil, as that was what I was able to find. Ingredients changed slightly with the different recipes that I had gathered, but I used what I could find.
The hummus turned out a bit dry, and next time I’ll add either olive oil or sesame seed oil to it. I may also try the sesame seed oil instead of the sesame seeds once they are consumed. I’ll add other things like peppers, and experiment with calamansi instead of lemon.
I found some frozen wheat Paratha at the Robinson’s Supermarket. I wasn’t familiar with it, but is similar to the naan, and worked great with my hummus spread on top with a little jalapeño salsa for added flavor.
The biggest question going forward will be the beans. Do I try the dried ones again, or just stick with the canned ones? For one, it would be cheaper with the dried beans. Maybe I can find another source or at the least will check the stock for signs of the bugs at the Bankerohan vendor.
Here’s a copy of one the recipes I used. It was pretty close to this:
You can make this with either canned or home cooked chickpeas. If you’re using canned, I recommend using organic beans. Drain the liquid from one of the cans, but leave the other undrained and use its liquid instead of the water. If you’re using home cooked chickpeas, you may need less water so start with barely 3/4 cup and add more if the hummus is too thick.
3 cups cooked chickpeas (or 2 15-ounce cans, 1 drained)
3/4 to 1 cup water or chickpea cooking broth(or the liquid from 1 can of chickpeas)
2 to 4 cloves garlic, peeled
2 tablespoons tahini (or 4 tablespoons sesame seeds)
2 to 4 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/4 to 1 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/8 to 1/2 teaspoon chipotle chili powder or cayenne pepper
Salt to taste
Place all ingredients except salt in the blender in the order listed, using the smaller amounts. Start the machine on low and increase speed to high. Use the Vitamix plunger to break up air pockets and push chickpeas toward the blades, if necessary. (Other blenders: Stop and use a spatula to do this.) If the mixture is too thick, add additional water a little at a time. Turn up to the highest speed and blend for a few seconds until hummus is completely smooth.
Stop blender and taste the hummus. Add additional seasonings and salt to taste and blend briefly to combine.
Store hummus in a sealed container in the refrigerator. It’s best after it’s had a chance to rest for at least an hour, but use within a week.
I often remove half of the hummus to serve as-is and get creative with the other half. Try adding any one of the following during the last brief blending: roasted red peppers, sun-dried tomatoes, chipotle chile peppers, green onions, caramelized onions, roasted garlic, jalapeno peppers, black or green olives, balsamic vinegar, spinach, smoked salt or Liquid Smoke.
Preparation time: 10 minute(s) | Cooking time: 0 minute(s)
Number of servings (yield): 8
Nutrition (per serving): 125 calories, 29 calories from fat, 3.4g total fat, 0mg cholesterol, 8.5mg sodium, 205.9mg potassium, 18.5g carbohydrates, 5.1g fiber, 3.1g sugar, 6.2g protein, 3.6 points.