This hummus recipe, like many of the other dishes on my site, involves playing with flavors. Growing up in a Palestinian and Spanish/Puerto Rican home, I always knew that my palate was a little different. With a pantry stocked with tahini, zaa’tar, sazón, and sofrito, our cooking was often a melting pot of our multicultural upbringing. Those early experiences really shaped the way that I looked at food. As a child, I learned that combining flavors of different cuisines can open a world of creativity. To this day, I am always looking for ways to add more flavor, spice, and life to traditional foods. Rather than calling this cooking style “fusion cuisine,” to me, it’s simply about seeing the kitchen as a place of limitless possibilities. A little chili here and a little spice there, some Latin gusto over there, and you’ve added another dimension to your cooking.
My latest flavor experiment was all about this hummus made with red chili, carrots, and garlic – all roasted to deepen their flavors. The final touch was a generous helping of crunchy spiced chickpeas (method below in notes*.) The result? A hummus so creamy, rich, flavorful, and satisfying that you almost don’t want to share. Almost. 🙂
For best results, I highly recommend using small dried chickpeas and cooking them at home (method in notes**). It makes a substantial difference in flavor and texture. Also, feel free to add slightly more cumin, lemon, etc. to your taste – if you would like a particular flavor to stand out. If you prefer your consistency creamier, add more lemon juice or liquid as you go along. This recipe is right in the middle, but can be easily customized.
INGREDIENTS/ SERVES 4 AS A STARTER
2 tablespoons olive oil, for roasting vegetables
2 large/ about 180. gr. carrots, sliced
6 large cloves garlic, whole
1 large red chili (mild variety), halved and seeds removed for mild spiciness
1/2 cup/ 118 ml. tahini paste
juice of 1 1/2 large lemons/ 2/3 cups/ 156 ml.
2 cups/340 gr. cooked chickpeas, well drained
1/8 teaspoon turmeric
1/4 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
3 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, for hummus, plus more for drizzling
2 tablespoon chickpea water or water
pinch chili flakes, optional
1. Preheat oven to 200C/400F. Combine the 2 tablespoons of olive oil, sliced carrots, garlic cloves, and red chili in a small roasting pan. Roast for 30 minutes, while tossing the vegetables halfway. Leave to cool.
2. In a food processor or very high powered blender, blitz together the tahini and lemon juice until smooth. Add the carrots, garlic, chili, chickpeas, turmeric, cumin, salt, olive oil, and water. Blitz again until smooth. Check your consistency and if necessary, add 1 tablespoon of liquid (lemon juice or chickpea water) at a time, until you get your desired consistency. The amount differs depending on how much water your chickpeas have retained. Check for salt/seasoning and adjust to your liking.
3. Serve and top with olive oil, chili flakes, sweet paprika, chopped parsley, spiced chickpeas, toasted pine nuts, etc. Keeps well chilled for up to a few days.
*To make the spiced chickpeas used in the topping, sauté the remaining cooked chickpeas with just enough olive oil to coat the pan. Toss together with cumin, paprika, chili flakes, salt, pepper, and a bit of turmeric. Cook over a medium heat until crispy. Easy!
**To make the hummus and spiced chickpeas used in this recipe, soak 1 1/2 cups of small dried chickpeas in water with 1 tablespoon of baking soda overnight. Drain the chickpeas the next day and rinse well. Place in a pot filled with boiling water, stir in salt, cover, reduce the heat to low, and simmer for about an hour or until extra tender. Drain well.