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(Without Getting Crazy)
1. Obtain a can of garbanzo beans, also known as chickpeas. You can start with dried chickpeas if you really want to be an overachiever, but Alton Brown says that starting with dried garbanzos is really the mark of good falafel. He never said anything about hummus. And Alton Brown knows everything.
I should take a moment to address the issue of “Can it be hummus without garbanzo beans?” As hummus means garbanzo bean, my gut tells me NO. People will disagree. [I, in fact, had a 10-minute debate with a coworker about this.] I love a good white bean as much as the next girl (at least one without GI issues) but if you use a different bean…call it bean dip.
3. Into the food processor go the beans! Then, add lemon juice, salt, 2-3 cloves of garlic (minced) [if you’re fancy [slash] doing the “overachieving thing” and have roasted garlic, well…PLEASE use that]. A little paprika or cumin added here can be quite nice…just for a little extra special spice.
5. After all of those flavorings, process away! Scrape the sides once or twice [make sure the food processor is turned off] and keep going until everything is pretty well incorporated.
That’s pretty much it. I mean, once you’ve mastered the basic recipe you can mess around and get crazy with your seasoning and additions and flavored hummi [plural form of hummus…maybe]. Good luck…and may garbanzo be with you.