This unassuming dip or spread of Mediterranean origin is very underrated, in my opinion. Hummus is vegan, gluten-free, dairy-free, trans-fat free, refined-sugar-free, low-carb, and packed with antioxidants. What’s not to love? I once viewed it as a bit of a luxury, but after I learned how to make it, and fairly inexpensively at that, it became a staple. It takes minutes to put together if you have all the ingredients on hand, and takes a plate of crudites, rice cakes or crackers to another level. Perfect to pack for a picnic, or jazz up a starter when you are entertaining. Also, toddlers seem to love it, at least in my experience!
Here are my hacks for making hummus more budget-friendly:
- Cook your own chickpeas (garbanzo beans for those across the Atlantic). A tin of chickpeas is very convenient, especially if you have a sudden craving for hummus, but buying dried chickpeas in bulk and batch-cooking them works out less than half the price! I freeze my cooked chickpeas in 400ml quantities (usually 2/3 of a mayonnaise jar), and take them out to defrost the day before. Can’t find dried chickpeas locally? Check your local Indian wholesaler! They may be called ‘white gram’. Otherwise, feel free to substitute any other white bean, like butter beans, white kidney beans or small white beans.
- Make your own tahini. Tahini paste can set you back a pretty penny. Some people substitute peanut butter, or leave it out, and both are options. However, when I found out that tahini was just ground, toasted sesame seeds, I decided to make my own! To toast sesame seeds, dry-fry them in a pan over a low-medium heat until they turn brown and smell toasted! It is a good idea not to try to multitask while toasting seeds – burnt seeds are not tasty! When the seeds are toasted, let them cool. Grind them in a spice grinder or pestle and mortar and add to your hummus mix. You can toast a few batches and keep them to grind as needed.
- Find free lemons. Make friends with someone who has a lemon tree – usually these people have more than they can use and are happy to share. Make them some lemon curd to say thanks.
- Start an olive oil co-op. In South Africa, it is possible to find good quality, local olive oil at a reasonable price. That being said, the olive oil is still the most expensive ingredient in this recipe. You can get discount for buying in bulk from an olive farm in the Cape. Why not get a group of friends together to share the oil and the postage? Buy in May and you can add fresh olives to your order at a fraction of the price that you pay for brined olives in the shop. Marinate your olives and sell the excess to recoup your costs!
Serves 2 tablespoons
Yields approximately 600ml hummus
15 minPrep Time
15 minTotal Time
- 1 400g can chickpeas or 1.5 cups cooked chickpeas (+_ 2/3 cup dry chickpeas)
- ¼ cup tahini or ¼ cup sesame seeds, toasted and ground
- 6 T olive oil (cold-pressed extra virgin if you can get it)
- ¼ cup lemon juice (freshly squeezed if possible)
- 2-3 cloves of garlic, crushed
- 1t Himalayan salt
- 1t ground cumin
- Paprika (smoked if you like!) and extra olive oil to garnish
- Add all ingredients to a food processor and blend until smooth.
- Decant into a sterilized jar, sprinkle with paprika and pour some olive oil on top.
- Keep refrigerated and use within a week.