Inspired by a dish at Amman’s Azkadenya (a great hipster-chic restaurant that is classic West Amman: Egypt-inspired visuals that look like they were lifted out of a Zamalek eatery and Shami-inspired food with creative twists), this is a recipe for a hummus with a bit of a bite. If you don’t have pomegranate molasses handy, no worries, this post also includes plenty of crowd-sourced tips from the experts so that you can make some truly excellent regular plain old hummus, too. The hummus you’ve been buying in those little plastic containers at the grocery store is not the hummus you’ve been looking for. This is the hummus you’ve been looking for.
You will need:
1 can of chickpeas or 2 cups of dried chickpeas
1 tablespoon tahini (sesame paste)
Teaspoon baking soda (only needed if using dried chickpeas)
4 ice cubes
Juice of one lemon
2-3 tablespoons pomegranate molasses (if you don’t have it, I’d try creating a pomegranate reduction from pomegranate juice)
If you’re really committed, you’ll use dried chickpeas, soak them overnight, and then simmer them in water with baking soda till they’re soft. This should separate the chickpeas from their little translucent shells.
If you don’t have enough time or foresight for that, you can remove the shells from canned chickpeas by hand. This takes a little while, but it’s easier than you think (and actually oddly satisfying to pop them off).
You’ll be tempted to skip this step, but trust me: do not skip this step. It’s worth it. Really.
Next, using a blender or food processor, blend the chickpeas with the tahini (I am not a huge tahini fan, hence the slight amount I use. But do whatever feels good), olive oil, lemon juice, and salt. As you blend, add about four ice cubes, one at a time, for extra light and fluffy hummus (h/t to Kathy Sullivan for that tip. If you don’t have ice cubes around, adding a bit of water will help too). The amounts you add should be adjusted for taste – some folks like a lemon-y-er hummus, some like more olive oil.
Scrape out into a bowl and then mix in 2-3 tablespoons of pomegranate molasses with a spoon. Garnish with a bit extra for effect.
Now, the Azkadenya version comes out a bright Dr. Seuss pink, so if you have some food coloring on hand, that’s always an option. Personally I really want to pair a pink pomegranate hummus with a purpled eggplant dip, but haven’t gotten around to it just yet. If you don’t have food coloring around, an Instagram filter works nicely as well.