Traveling to Israel was my first big trip abroad as an adult.
I think back to who I was in college and can’t believe I actually went on this trip. It required me to step outside of my comfort zone, something I wasn’t very good at, at age 20.
But I did. And it was the best decision I’d ever made.
I’d learned to be with myself, by myself, in a group of people I didn’t know. I was never comfortable. Mostly because I was learning about a religion and ethnic group I was technically a part of, but never really understood.
Being Jewish was a thing I never knew how to explain to people. Yes, I’m Jewish. No I didn’t go to Hebrew School. No I didn’t have a Bat Mitzvah. No I don’t really know anything about being Jewish.
It was embarrassing and also stress-inducing every time the conversation came up.
Traveling to Israel gave me the confidence to face these types of conversations (and others) head on. I started this trip knowing nothing about myself or where I came from. I walked away knowing that wherever I landed in this world, I had myself to fall back on.
Israeli is also where I tried hummus for the first time.
You know, REAL HUMMUS.
Not the grainy crap you buy in a container from the store that costs $7. Sorry (not sorry) to offend packaged hummus fans, but we can do better.
Hummus in Israel is like butter. Smooth, creamy butter that you want to put on everything. Or eat it straight from a spoon. For every meal.
So I set out to learn how to make hummus like an Israeli. It’s a pain in the ass but if you ask me – 100% worth it. It’s not hard, just takes planning.
EVEN BOYFRIEND WHO HATES HUMMUS GOBBLED THIS UP.
I made a Kalamata olive hummus and a roasted red pepper hummus. This recipe is a blank canvas to mix in whatever ingredients you want.
So what makes this recipe so special?
You start with dried chickpeas, let them soak and boil and this makes them extra soft so you get pillowy, fluffy hummus. The chickpeas from a can are al dente, resulting in grainy and less pleasant hummus.
(start making 12 hours before you want Israeli Hummus)
The night before you want hummus, put the chickpeas in a bowl, cover with water then leave to soak overnight in the fridge.
The next morning, drain the chickpeas. Place a saucepan on the stove over hight heat, add the drained chickpeas and baking soda. Cook for about 3 minutes while stirring. Add the 6 1/2 cups of water and bring to a boil. As it cooks, skim off any foam or skins that float the to top.
The chickpeas will need to cook for 20-40 minutes (mine took about 30). You know they’re done when they are very tender but not mushy.
Drain the chickpeas and let cool. Place them in your food processor and blend until you get a stiff paste. Then, add the tahini, lemon juice, garlic and 1 1/2 tsp salt. Continue blending until it all comes together. While it’s mixing, add in 6 /12 Tbsp water until you get a very smooth and creamy paste (about 5 minutes total).
Now is your time to mix in any additional ingredients or simply serve as is.