This Community Recipe is Yochai’s Authentic Israeli Hummus. This Middle Eastern favorite is made from cooked chickpeas, mashed smooth with tahini, lemon juice and seasoning. Hummus is enjoyed as a dip, a spread, a main dish and often as a delicious sandwich filling.
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All About Yochai
Yochai Maital is the senior producer and co-founder of Israel Story – a long-form documentary podcast dedicated to showcasing the complexity and beauty of life in Israel. Yochai grew up in Haifa but can’t imagine calling any place other than Tel Aviv home. After eight years as an intelligence officer in the IDF (Israeli Defense Forces is the military of the State of Israel) he embarked on a new trajectory as a storyteller. Ecologically minded, Yochai has built multiple eco-houses and co-founded Tel Aviv’s first (and still only) organic food Co-Op. Yochai is Married to Dafna, they have three kids, and he loves spending time in the kitchen cooking for his family while listening to podcasts.
Humus in Israel, in the entire middle east – is something of a religion. A staple food that can basically be a meal in and of itself. The store-bought Sabra hummus is a far cry and embarrassment to this majestic spread. While it takes a bit of planning ahead, and long cooking time, it is pretty easy to make Hummus at home and Yochai will give you a little hack to move things along. This is a clear family favourite – Yochai’s hummus recipe in three easy steps.
Five simple ingredients
Delicious hummus only requires a handful of key ingredients. The trick is how you treat these ingredients and the quantities you use. This makes the difference between chickpea mash and a mouthwatering, creamy hummus!
Dried pulses are an ideal store cupboard ingredient. They don’t spoil and they are full of nutrition. Don’t be put off by soaking! Simply cover with a generous amount of water and leave overnight, either on the side or in the fridge. The only important thing to remember is to discard the first soaking water and rinse well before continuing with your recipe.
This creamy paste is made from pressing sesame seeds until they release their oil and become a thick, smooth seed butter. Tahini is a key ingredient in many dishes across the middle east, drizzled on top of falafel and salads and mixed through hummus and babaganoush to give a rich, creamy taste.
Below is the prefered tahini of James Beard award winning chefs. Made with Ethiopian White Humera sesame seeds yielding a delicious, nutritious, and silky smooth texture.
Garlic is an essential ingredient in hummus – forget it at your peril! Without garlic, even the most creamy and delicious hummus will be lacklustre in flavor. Be sure to mince the garlic very small, as nothing ruins a delicious mouthful like an unexpected chunk of raw garlic.
The earthy creaminess of the smooth mashed chickpeas and tahini needs the zing of fresh, sour citrus. Alongside the garlic, lemon (or lime) juice gives a delicious lift to the overall flavor.
You can go fancy with pink himalayan, or mineral rich flaked sea salt. But even basic table salt will give your hummus the final salty tang to round out those creamy earthy tastes. Pulses really need seasoning, so don’t try to skip it!
Make it simple
Yochai’s Authentic Israeli Hummus uses dried chickpeas, soaked overnight and boiled for a long time. There is just no getting away from the fact that dried chickpeas give hummus the best flavor. This means you need to plan ahead a bit.
But there are also times when only hummus will do, and you didn’t plan ahead. Start with canned chickpeas and completely circumvent the most time-consuming element of the process. The result won’t be the same, but you can make decent hummus in less than 10 minutes.
Variations on Yochai’s Hummus
A well-made basic hummus is delicious as it is. Once you have got your own version down to a tee, you can start to mix up and experiment by adjusting ingredients.
Add a handful of fresh chopped parsley and blend through. The result is a vibrant green, fresh tasting dip.
Blend through frozen peas and fresh mint for a bright and light summery dip.
Switch out the chickpeas for tinned white beans. The dip will blend easily and create a buttery, sweeter finished dish.
Blend sun dried tomatoes through the dip to add a smokey, deep flavor with a deep terracotta color.
More Jewish Food Hero Community Recipes
Sometimes we all need a little inspiration to mix up our regular recipe rotation. Our Community Recipes feature is for just that – to share our favorites and hear from a variety of people in our community. Don’t forget to get in touch to share your vegan recipe too!
Drain and rinse the chickpeas. Transfer to a big pot with plenty of fresh water, a few garlic cloves and one teaspoon of baking soda. Bring to a boil and cook until the chickpeas are very soft, about 1.5 hours. A good measure is if one chickpea will easily crush between your fingers.
While the Hummus is cooking, use a big spoon or ladle to gently press the chickpeas to the sides and bottom. Many of the peels will come off and rise to the top. Simply skim them off and discard.
Drain the cooked chickpeas with a strainer over a bowl. Keep some of the liquid, and set aside some of the chickpeas for garnish. Remove any remaining peels when the chickpeas are cool enough to touch.
To the bowl of a food processor, add the cooked chickpeas and raw tahini paste. Use the ratio of one cup of tahini for every cup of cooked chickpeas. (Yes, hummus is essentially 50/50 tahini and chickpeas!)
Add lemon juice, the liquid from the cooked chickpeas and salt. There is no fixed amount for these ingredients because this is really a matter of taste. Start slow and taste often. More liquid will give you a smoother, runny hummus. Let the food processor go for a while (3-5 minutes) until the mixture is nice and smooth.
To serve, spread the hummus in a bowl, making a small crater in the middle. Place the cooked chickpeas you set aside, chopped parsley and drizzle a bit of olive oil, paprika, cumin.
Traditionally served with Pita, olives, pickles and slices of raw onion… Or you can just eat it as-is from the bowl!