Hummus—the Arabic word for chickpea—is a hugely popular dip or spread throughout the Middle East with a growing worldwide popularity. It's high in fiber and makes a delicious and filling snack. The core ingredients are always chickpeas (as the name suggests), lemon juice, garlic, and seasonings. Tahini, or sesame paste, is typically added as well, although it can be left out for those people with a sesame allergy.
Once you have the base recipe, however, hummus lends itself to endless variations. The dip is often seasoned with spices such as sumac, ground cumin, or crushed red pepper flakes for those people who like a bit of heat. When served, hummus is often topped with roasted chickpeas or pine nuts as well as parsley, cilantro, and assorted chopped vegetables.
Sometimes different types of beans are used instead of the chickpeas so you might find fava bean hummus, black bean hummus or even cannellini bean hummus, though many will argue that the recipe is inauthentic minus the chickpeas.
Likewise, additional creamy ingredients can be added such as avocado, roasted beets, roasted carrots or, as in this case, sweet potato. Rich in vitamins, fiber and complex carbs, sweet potatoes add both nutrition and great flavor to hummus. Their natural sweetness also helps to tame some of the natural savory flavor of hummus and make it more appealing to kids.
Hummus itself is a very simple dish to prepare but the key to making it great is definitely in getting the texture right. It should be as smooth and creamy as possible. Some people even go to the trouble of peeling the loose outer skin off the chickpeas before pureeing them. However, if you are making the hummus in a machine such as a food processor or powerful blender, you probably do not need to take that extra step.
- 1 large sweet potato (peeled and cut into chunks)
- 1 (16-ounce) can of chickpeas (rinsed and drained)
- 1/4 cup water
- 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 3 tablespoons tahini (sesame paste)
- 2 cloves garlic (peeled)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
- Ground black pepper (to taste)
Gather all the ingredients.
Peel the sweet potato and cut into chunks. Cook in a pot of boiling water for about 10 minutes or until the sweet potato is tender. Mash with a potato masher and set aside to cool.
Drain and rinse the chickpeas and add them to a food processor.
Add the cooled mashed sweet potato, water, freshly squeezed lemon juice, tahini, garlic cloves, salt and pepper. Puree until smooth, scraping down the sides with a spatula as needed.
Serve with a drizzle of olive oil, if desired, alongside pita or naan bread and sliced vegetables.
- Leftover sweet potato hummus can be refrigerated for up to 3 days.