Saturday, January 7, 2012

Rice Cooker Hummus

Hummus intimidates me. My lovely former roommate (Hi A! I'm totally going to talk shit about your hummus!) used to make hummus. It was... not great? And somehow, no matter how few garbanzo beans she'd start soaking, there would always be a half gallon of hummus when she finished making it. It would eventually go bad. We'd eat it until it was obviously obviously bad, and then she'd make more. (Spoiled hummus tastes sparkley. Or it has blue fuzz.)

We were quite broke, and some of her relatives had given us ten pounds of dry garbanzo beans. Also, we had all of this disgusting bread.

So hummus intimidates me. However, I got my darling brother a rice cooker for holidays, and he expressed interest in cooking beans for hummus. I said I'd figure it out for him and then he could visit this blog and wish I had a copy editor.

Remember how I insulted A's hummus like two paragraphs ago? Did you think that I'd follow up by using a different hummus recipe? That's what the weak do, readers. I went ahead and used the exact same recipe and it was delicious. I have theories as to why.

1.) There was something wrong with the free garbanzos. It's unlikely that ordinary garbanzos octuple in size during the cooking process.
2.) My decade-old memory is fallible. The hummus was always delightful.
3.) An endlessly replenishing half gallon of any sandwich spread will eventually become disgusting.
4.) I'd always pressure her into including tahini. Tahini is possibly disgusting.
5.) Using a cheap and terrible blender is a bad idea. Food processors are better.
6.) I've learned to sneer at Laurel's suggestions about salt and seasonings.
7.) Look, the beans, the oil, and the garlic were scavenged. It's likely that at least one of them had spoiled.

Keep all of that in mind.

Take one cup of dry garbanzo beans, and soak them in cold water for at least five hours. (Or overnight) Discard the water, rinse the beans, and fill the rice cooker with five cups of water and the beans. Cook for about three hours, replenishing water as needed. Cook until beans are tender. (The beans may be old. Then, they will not become tender, even after four hours of cooking. Throw them away. Cry. Harangue your grocer.)

Peel three cloves of garlic (I don't actually know how much garlic is a good idea. I know six cloves is too much. Use less than six.) Throw them into the food processor with 1 tsp salt and 1/4 cup vegetable oil. (If you used canned beans instead of playing with the rice cooker, don't add the salt. If you used the rice cooker, you might have to add a lot more salt. Also, I used to be obsessive about using olive oil here. I made it with safflower oil because I was pretty sure this was a test run, and it was good. Go ahead, be cheap.) Puree that stuff. (Oh my, more notes. If you want to add 1/2 cup tahini, do it here. Or use a half cup of peanut butter! Or almond butter! Increase the rib sticking properties!)

Drain the garbanzos and add to the food processor. Puree the heck out of it. Make it as smooth as possible. Squeeze in the juice of 1/2 lemon. Taste. Add pepper, salt, and lemon to taste. You might have to add a lot of salt.

Makes about 3 cups, or about... six pitas? Enough. Don't go doubling this for no reason, guys. Make it once first.


  1. Since my collegiate sins against hummus I've learned to skip the tahini and use toasted sesame seeds, roasted garlic, and cooked sweet (not dry) onions (available year round in Hawaii). Food process in multiple small batches for the best texture. Also, it's almost impossible to over salt hummus, channel your inner fry-cook and go to town.

    (Personally, I think it was the stems and leaves that ruined my hummus back in the day.)

  2. Did we soak the garbanzos until they sprouted? Is that what happened? And do sesame seeds blend in nicely?

  3. No, they don't really blend, but the whole seeds are tiny don't bother me. If they bother you, I'd break out the mortar and pestle.

    I've also been thinking: there are surely different kinds of garbanzos, perhaps the variety my aunt and uncle grow are better fed to cows than pureed into pitas.