I eat a lot of chickpeas. And when I say a lot, I mean it’s actually probably unhealthy. In order to really show you how much of my diet consists of chickpeas, I took it upon myself to build a pie chart.
I first fell in love with cicer arietinum (yeah I know the Latin name for chickpeas) when I first tasted hummus. I think I lingered in my last relationship for a couple of extra months because the guy I was dating kept buying me the stuff. And not just any ol’ hummus, oh no. He knew his days were numbered, so he sprang for the family tubs of Sabra. Brand name, baby.
But now that I’m older, wiser, lonelier, and drunker, I have to get my hummus elsewhere. Since I’m capable of eating an entire tub in one sitting, and those cost five bucks, I’ve had to economize my addiction and start getting my fix at home.
Now, I’ve talked with a few other people about homemade hummus. For some reason, no matter what we do, it always comes out thick. Gritty, almost. The texture is all wrong, every time. I’ve tried more oil, more water, with tahini, without tahini — I’ve even tried crying directly into the food processor, to no avail.
Late last week, in below-freezing temperatures, my friend Jon and I were camping out beside a fire. We passed bottle of whiskey over the flames and talked about podcasts and existential crises. Eventually, the time came where we food in our burning bellies.
We toasted hunks of a hearty homemade bread over the fire and slathered them in my spicy homemade hummus. Though it was gritty, it still tasted divine. Between chewing grunts, we acknowledged that moments like that were the stuff of life.
The next morning, I woke up with two things: a hangover, and an urge to make hummus as good as store-bought.
After much Googling (just kidding, it took me like two minutes), I learned that the trick to super smooth hummus has nothing to do with oil, water, tahini, or tears. No, the trick is to peel the chickpeas.
I called Jon immediately.
“We have to skin the chickpeas!” I yelled into the phone.
“And what, wear the skins around your neck?”
“What? No. Wait, actually, maybe. That would be really funny.”
Then we digressed and talked about podcasts for a bit. After we hung up, I set to work.
Skinning chickpeas is super easy. It takes about ten minutes to skin a can of garbanzos. All you have to do is pinch the peas between your fingers, and they will shed something that looks like a cross between flesh-colored contact lenses and a locust’s molted exoskeleton.
I composted my chickpea skins, but I’m sure it’s only a matter of time until someone figures out that you can turn them into a flour substitute or leather or something. I mean, chickpea water only recently became known as an egg substitute. Give it time.
Keep an eye on your hummus as you add the liquids. If it’s still thick, gradually add more water until smooth.
Smooth and Spicy Hummus
- 1 15 oz. can chickpeas, skinned
- 3 tbsp. olive oil
- 3 tbsp. water
- 2 tbsp. hot sauce
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tbsp. lemon juice
- 1 tbsp. cumin
- 1 tsp. paprika
- Pinch of salt
- Pinch of black pepper
- Optional: tahini sauce
- Combine ingredients in a food processor and pulse until smooth.
- Add hummus to glass dish (it’ll forever make your plastic-ware reek of spice). Garnish with a dash of paprika, salt, and black pepper.