There are a couple of things that I'm usually in charge of in the kitchen- making bechemel, making those dreaded pita pockets that I've made so many times, I feel like i'll fall asleep if I have to assemble one more, bhaji for pav bhaji sometimes, and hummus always. Of all these, making hummus is my favourite. I spend way too much time on the internet looking up strange variations of it (what's up brussels sprouts hummus), but mostly, I stick to the same ingredients- chickpeas, tahini, garlic, lime juice, olive oil and green chilli. I once told an Arab friend about my penchant for adding chilli to hummus and she was horrified- I suppose it's the same reaction I'd have if someone were to add soy sauce to a Kerala fish curry. But still, I like a little heat in my hummus. I've been making this hummus for long enough that I eyeball the ingredients now, but in case you'd like to see the original recipe, my friend Alicia, who swears by it, drew the cutest illustration of it and you can find it here.
Recently I came across a recipe in Tara O Brady's Seven Spoons cookbook that sounded so out-there but brilliant that I knew I had to try it. In addition to the usual suspects- chickpeas, tahini, lemon and garlic she adds - and purists, you can look away now- a generous blob of white miso. miso!!! in hummus!!! She also adds almonds, which I think is a nice touch, but it's the miso that really caught my imagination. I tried it out the next day, with mum clucking disapprovingly the whole time, but what came out of the food processor was a hummus straight out of my wildest hummus fantasies. It had the silkiest, lightest texture, with a depth that hummus cannot achieve with tahini alone.
When I make this version now, I don't really stick to the measurements in the book-mostly because I am lazy and would rather just taste my way through it, but when I made it yesterday I measured everything that went in so that I could share the recipe with you. I also switched out the almonds for cashews and that worked really nicely too.
A word on chickpeas:
Although it is much more convenient to use canned chickpeas, the best hummus is made from fresh chickpeas that have been soaked overnight and cooked in a pot of water until soft. It takes a little planning, but I promise it's worth the effort.
Hummus with White Miso
(adapted from Tara O Brady's Seven Spoons)
In a food processor, blitz the chickpeas and cashew till crumbly.
Add the tahini, miso, garlic, lime juice, salt and blitz again to combine.
Pour cold water as needed until it reaches the desired consistency.
Blitz for 2 minutes or until the hummus becomes smooth and fluffy.
When serving, top with olive oil and garnish with a sprinkling of chilli flakes/ paprika/coriander.
1 cup cooked chickpeas
1/2 cup tahini
2 tsp white miso
1/4 cup cashew
1 clove garlic, peeled
juice from half a lime
cold water, as needed