Breakfast/Tiffin items / Pickles/Powders/Chutneys

Harissa Hummus

Harissa Hummus

Harissa Hummus

Apparently, you need to peel chickpeas – yes, you read it right – for a perfectly smooth hummus. I must have lost my head this afternoon when I decided to try out this tip. Now I’m one of those typical bloggers, who blogs because she loves it, has a job and kid/kids, only difference being I work part-time from home, and I’m a lazy blogger, so it is either no post for 2 months, or one every day for a whole month!

What I’m trying to establish with this “my routine” tirade is the fact I don’t have 18 spare hours in a day wondering what to do! And, peeling the thin skins off a bowl full of mushy cooked chickpeas isn’t really my idea of spending an afternoon. So, I probably had lost my mind when I decided smooth hummus was worth indulging in the insane-sounding task.


And I did exactly that. But if you follow the simple pop and plink trick  that Smitten Kitchen urges you to try, it isn’t so difficult. It did take me longer than the 9 minutes Ellen claims to have finished the task in. It was more like 19 minutes, but really, 19 minutes is an okay timeframe to some smooth deliciousness!

If you like academic writing on food, the type that does a debate on whether it is 1 ¼ tsp or 1 ½ tsp of oil that gives the best pan release for cakes in a spring-form pan (Of course I’m kidding, but I’m not too far from the truth!), do read this article on Hummus in The Guardian. It is a beautiful piece that examines some famous/popular recipes, right from revered Ottolenghi’s to the more recent Nigella Lawson’s.

So, did I end up with the smoothest of smooth hummus? Sadly, no; because I did not read the fine print. Hummus is chickpea paste + tahini (toasted sesame seed paste). And in my efforts to make everything homemade, I made a teeny weeny quantity of tahini, which wasn’t quite sufficient for my mixer to whizz up real smooth. The chickpea part though was brilliantly smooth, almost cream cheese like, but the hummus itself wasn’t bad either. It was quite smooth, only not as creamy as the chickpeas alone.


Btw, I haven’t mentioned Harissa so far, have I? For all the different cuisines I like to explore, my taste buds are pretty Indian when it comes to the spice levels of any dish. Hummus sure is a flavourful dip, but seems bland to me if I pair it with simple cheese buns or grissini (yes I do like the grissini-hummus combination! Am I the only one out here?). To jack up the flavour of the hummus a wee bit, I added some harissa chile paste that my parents got back for me from a recent trip to the US. Can’t say I didn’t love it!

Harissa Hummus


Dried chickpeas – ¾ cup (70 gm to a smooth pas I just happened to weigh it!)

Tahini – 2 tbsp (Toast 2 tbsp sesame seeds till fragrant and just starting to brown. Grind to a smooth  paste with 1 tsp of olive oil)

Olive oil – 2 tbsp

Garlic – 2 cloves

Harissa chilli paste – 2 tsp (Don’t add so much that it overpowers the taste of the hummus)

Juice of half a lemon

Salt to taste


Soak the chickpeas overnight and pressure-cook with a pinch of baking powder till very soft. It took me six cooker whistles and 30 minutes of low heat after that to get to that stage. Reserve the cooking liquid

Once cool, remove the skins off the chickpeas. (Don’t worry. It won’t take too long. Sit in front of the telly if it seems like too much. It is worth the effort)

Mince the garlic. Add to tahini along with part of the lemon juice and some of the cooking liquid

Grind to a smoooooooth paste along with the peeled chickpeas and harissa

Add salt to taste. Transfer to a serving bowl and smoothen top with the back of a spoon

Pour over olive oil and serve



This post is for Day 8 of the A-Z series Blogging Marathon for the month of Sept. Alphabet – H, Theme – International/Fusion. Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM# 32


Logo courtesy : Preeti


21 thoughts on “Harissa Hummus

  1. you to while away your afternoon by peeling the skin off! Not that you had any time to spare I know..but its good to know that you took extra efforts to get this done..though I have read so much about Hummus before attempting mine, I don’t remember reading about peeling of the skin, which is good if you must know. I had less time than I thought when I was making this…and your note on spice resounds with me, which is why I added chili flakes..:)…love your plate Nandini..way to go!

  2. I also read that peeling the skin of the chickpeas yields in better and smoother hummus and I did try to peel but then had to hurry up as the kids were waiting with pita chips in their plates :)Good one love your spicy version!

  3. wow Nandini, so much effort studying the simple recipe, but i loved your note about academic write up on cooking, although mentally i want to, i never end up following recipes to the T, and also often make tiny quantitiies and run into similar issues….i think we end up making some experiments which are better than the original…

  4. This reminds me when as kids my mother use to make us sit and peel VAAL, (type of beans which are sprouted and have to be peeled as the peel is unedible.) She would make us peel saying whatever you peel is what you get to eat. All of us love these so everyone just peeled away till my mothers task was done in no time.
    This recipe will be better than other recipes, for all the peeling.

  5. Pingback: Za’atar Pita & Salad | foodiliciousnan

  6. Pingback: Rosemary & garlic grissini (half wheat) | foodiliciousnan

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