21 May 2011


It all started when Valerie wanted hummus, but didn't want to spend an arm and a leg for her favorite brand.  The others just weren't "garlicky" enough for her, so I decided to make my own.  I figured it would be a simple process of pureeing chickpeas with tahini, olive oil, lemon juice and garlic.  I was right, hummus is easy to make, and I was able to add as much garlic as Valerie could handle.

I like to use dried chickpeas when I make hummus, and I had to plan ahead before I made it since I had to soak the legumes overnight before cooking them.  I don't really have a recipe, I just referenced a few on the internet to get an idea of the ratios of tahini and olive oil.  When I am making it, I usually have Valerie come do a taste test for her final approval.

Much to my surprise, my hummus making became much easier after watching the "Pantry Raid XIII, Destination Chickpea" episode of Good Eats.  In the episode, Alton Brown cooked dry chickpeas in a slow cooker and they were ready in as little as four hours.  Intrigued, I tried preparing my chickpeas in this fashion, and they were perfect.  They had a creamy texture that I was never able to achieve in my cooking method.

So, not only did I find a better, quicker way to cook my chickpeas, they also taste better.  AB's hummus recipe still doesn't have enough garlic for Valerie, but I have adopted his preparation method because I think it yields a smoother end result.  One thing I wouldn't stray away from is cooking the chickpeas in a slow cooker. 

Slow Cooker Chickpeas
Recipe courtesy Alton Brown

7 cups water
1 pound dried chickpeas, sorted and rinsed
1/4 teaspoon baking soda

Place the water, chickpeas, and baking soda in a 2 1/2-quart slow cooker. Cover and cook on high heat for 4 hours, or low heat for 8 to 9 hours, or until tender. Drain and serve immediately, or use in desired dish.


Hummus For Real
Recipe courtesy Alton Brown
Printable Recipe

1 pound Slow Cooker Chickpeas, cooled
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
5 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/4 cup water
1/3 cup tahini, stirred well
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra for serving
Powdered sumac, optional

Place the chickpeas, garlic, and kosher salt in the bowl of a food processor. Process for 15 to 20 seconds. Stop, scrape down the sides of the bowl, and process for another 15 to 20 seconds. Add the lemon juice and water. Process for 20 seconds. Add the tahini. Process for 20 seconds, then scrape down the sides of the bowl. With the processor running, drizzle in the olive oil.

To serve, transfer the hummus to a bowl and drizzle with additional olive oil and sprinkle with sumac, to taste, if desired.


  1. Luke, just curious, what does the powdered sumac taste like? Do add it each time? Do you get this at the Sunspot? Such a timely recipe to post, thanks!!!

  2. Unfortunately Eva, I have not tried the powdered sumac. I looked for it, but The Sunspot doesn't carry it. I haven't looked into special ordering it; though perhaps I should.

  3. It's definitely an intriguing ingredient!!!



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