Katie and I really like hummus. What we don’t like is hummus that has a sort of bitter funky flavour to it that a lot of places seem to have. Cafe Istanbul in Wichita has probably the best hummus we’ve ever had. They serve it with olive oil on top, as well as Turkish red pepper (maras biber) and Turkish paprika. I think the big issue with respect to bitterness is the amount of tahini used, as well as the type of olive oil used. You want an oil that is very neutral and mild.
1lb bag of chickpeas/garbanzo beans
2 cloves of garlic
Juice of 3 small-ish lemons, or around half a cup (to taste).
1/4 cup of tahini plus a little more, again, to taste.
salt to taste – probably around 2tsp.
Approximately 1 cup olive oil.
Prepare the chickpeas acorrding to the directions on the bag. We did the quick soak method, then cooked them normally.
Load the chickpeas and garlic into a food processor and puree into paste. Add the lemon juice, then slowly drizzle in the tahini and salt, then the olive oil.
You should check the flavour at least a couple of times while you’re putting the tahini in, to make sure the taste of the tahini isn’t becoming too strong. Then put in the olive oil, and check it every so often to make sure that the hummus isn’t too thick or too thin.
We made the hummus while the chickpeas were still hot, and it had a more or less ok texture, with about 1/4cup of olive oil. We refrigerated it and this morning checked it and it was too solid, and we probably added something like 1/2 to 3/4 of a cup of oil, which thinned it out and smoothed the texture as well. When you serve it, top it with the turkish pepper and paprika.
Its really very nice, I strongly recommend it. It is time consuming though. In a hurry, Giada’s cannellini bean dip is a good substitute. If you have time though, this beats the pants off of store bought hummus. Keep in mind however, that this doesn’t have cumin, pine nuts, or anything like that, so it’ll be different than what seems typical for a Lebanese hummus – at least what is popular in a few other Wichita restaurants.