Hummus could probably be considered a “luxury item” here in Costa Rica. It is very expensive and can be challenging to find. For this reason, I started making my own. I’ve only made two varieties, plain and roasted red pepper. To be honest, I’m not sure the roasted red pepper is that much different and might not be worth the extra steps, but often I roast peppers for a variety of uses, so when I do, I throw one into the batch of hummus.
I can’t remember where I stumbled across this particular hummus recipe, but I do remember my skepticism when I first encountered it. The trick to this hummus, and its creamy texture, is that you don’t drain the chickpea/ garbanzo bean liquid, and you microwave the the chickpeas with garlic, infusing them with the garlic flavor. I love a lot of garlic flavor to my hummus, but it can add a bitterness; this method eliminates that bitterness. One thing to keep in mind with this recipe, however, is to make it in advance so that it has a chance to cool before serving.
For reasons I have not yet discovered, (it seems like all types of citrus fruits grow spectacularly here) lemons are also a luxury item here. Limes (called “limons”) are the standard and the most common variety is the mandarin variety which has an orange fruit but a green peel. If you prefer lemons and have easy access to them, by all means substitute lemon juice for the lime juice (maybe decrease the amount a little at first since lemons tend to be more sour than limes- you can always adjust accordingly).
1 Can of chickpeas (garbanzo beans) undrained
1/2 Cup Tahini
4-5 Cloves whole, peeled, fresh garlic
Juice of 1 lime
1/2-1 tsp. salt (to taste)
1 TBS. Olive Oil * (I’ve discovered this to be an optional ingredient because the time I forgot to add it, the hummus was just as good; so my thinking is, why add the extra fat?)
Pour chickpeas (with liquid) into a microwave safe bowl. Add garlic cloves. Microwave for about 5 minutes.
Add chickpea and garlic mixture, tahini, lime juice and salt and olive oil (if using) to blender or food processor. Blend on high (scraping down sides as needed) until hummus is smooth and creamy. Taste and season with additional salt or lime juice as desired. The hummus will seem a bit thin, but it will thicken as it cools. Cover and refrigerate for at least an hour before serving.
*If you would like to make roasted red pepper hummus, simply add a roasted red pepper (skin removed) to the blender with the other ingredients. There are tons of other add-in (cilantro is one I will likely try); get creative and just throw it in the blender.