Humus without a blender?

topic posted Tue, January 10, 2006 - 4:52 AM by  Paul
Is it possible to make a nice quality hummus without a blender? If so, how? Also any simple recipes you may have would be nifty.
posted by:
  • Re: Humus without a blender?

    Tue, January 10, 2006 - 12:17 PM
    You sure can, its more work and a little on the rustic side. use a potato masher, the kind that has the square holes, the bent wire type doesn't brake chickpeas up enough IMO. after everything is cooked and blended togather i mush about a cup at a time adding the cooking water as needed.

    Heres the recipe i use:

    1 cup dried chickpeas soaked overnight
    1 bay leaf for cooking peas with
    6 Tbl. spoons tahini
    2~3 cloves garlic - chopped or roasted(sometime both)
    juice of 2~3 lemons(too taste)
    3 Tbl. spoons olive oil
    cayenne pepper 1/2 tspn. +/-
    optional ingredients - roasted garlic or peppers(red or jalapeno), sun dried tomatoes
    1/2 ~3/4 cup of cooking liquid

    after soaking chickpeas over night, i pour off soaking water. put them in a large pan and cover them generously with freash water, bring to a boil and lower heat to a simmering boil. add bay leaf and about a 1/4 teaspoon of salt.
    cook until peas are very soft, about 1 1/2 hours. pour off cooking water and save.
    blend all the ingredients togather except the cooking water. using potato musher, start mushing about a cup at a time adding enough of the cooking water to get the consistency you like. keep mushing until your done!

    think i'm going to start make'n some now
  • Re: Humus without a blender?

    Thu, January 12, 2006 - 11:02 PM
    I've made it before just using a knife to chop chop chop... Takes a helluva long time to get it fine enough though!

    I usually just do my humous by taste.. Chick peas, loads of garlic, salt, pepper, lemon, olive oil.
  • Re: Humus without a blender?

    Fri, January 13, 2006 - 1:21 AM
    While all these methods will work to one degree or another, the real question is, WHY are you doing it manually? Even if you can achieve a consistency you like, it's going to take you half an hour for a small batch.

    Blenders are cheap. You don't need a fancy $200 commercial Waring, a $14.95 blender from any discount housewares store will be fine. They even make 12V ones for your car (mostly for making mixed drinks, scary but true) and I've seen camping blenders that run on batteries.
    • Re: Humus without a blender?

      Fri, January 13, 2006 - 2:40 AM
      Frayed asked, "While all these methods will work to one degree or another, the real question is, WHY are you doing it manually? Even if you can achieve a consistency you like, it's going to take you half an hour for a small batch."

      Two reasons, the first is that I just want to know how it's done for the sheer joy of knowing (in a weird way it's kind of a historical thing) and the second is that should I need to know in the event of a catastrophic failure in our society (like whoever controls the power grid turns it off to force people back to work or something equally sinister) it'd be nice to know how to utilize the resources at hand.

      Plus I don't own a blender and I'm not really sure I want to. I make cake and cookies with raw materials and only a spoon to mix it with too. No box mix or powered mixer for me. As a consequence of doing it this way I can actually create some pretty yummy baked stuff without a book and with limited or even partial ingredients from the book.

      Given the opportunity and encouragement I'd probably even be able to do this in the middle of nowhere over a campfire. When I find some fire or oven style waffle irons you can bet I'll be whipping up some real waffles on my next camping trip. Oooooh so tasty.

      So maybe I can't count or maybe I can and I just don't want to rewrite the whole response here but there are clearly plenty of reasons for me to want to know how to make smooth, good hummus without a blender. The camping blenders are a great idea but I prefer to camp with less gunk and way no batteries (and as far away from a vehicle as practical).
      • Re: Humus without a blender?

        Fri, January 13, 2006 - 10:14 AM
        Thanks. Makes perfect sense, "because!". It's just that my curiosity was gnawing away at me...

        Of the options listed I'd only try the mortar, but that's me. I like creamy hummus. I guess a huge Thai granite mortar would be good. But they're not very portable, carrying 2 big heavy rocks in your backpack. I tried smashing some with the flat of a 10" chef's knife, like you were peeling garlic cloves, and that worked pretty well; I just couldn't imagine the effort involved in doing a family-sized batch via any manual method - it would take the better part of an afternoon! (I like "authentic" Indian food too, but my authenticity stops directly at the Cuisinart.)
        • Re: Humus without a blender?

          Fri, January 13, 2006 - 10:37 AM
          Well, if you want to be authentic about it - the traditional tool to use would be a mortal and pestle - for this size dish you would want a large wooden, or fibrous, bowl with a relatively wide base and low edges, and a large flat pestle instead of the ones more commonly used in the West (more conical).

          However, for ease and quickness - I would use the base of a sturdy fork. Then mixing in the wet ingredients then used a large flat spoon to both mix well as well as smash any smaller pieces.

          Personally, I don't much care for smooth humas - I much prefer the more rustic chickpea salad - which just requires a few quick chops through the peas with a sharp blade.

      • Re: Humus without a blender?

        Sat, May 5, 2007 - 6:46 PM
        Hand mixing, blending and mashing is also good for the body and soul. If anyone hear has ever kneaded bread dough by hand, they know what a nice healthy glow and sheen of sweat you get by the time the dough is ready to go in the oven. And blending with a spoon and good old elbow grease puts a little bit more love in the food, if you ask me :).
  • Unsu...

    Re: Humus without a blender?

    Fri, January 13, 2006 - 11:17 AM
    ... do you remember seeing movies when they made wine by getting into the vats to stomp the grapes? Same thing applies here.
    • Re: Humus without a blender?

      Fri, January 13, 2006 - 11:38 AM
      Stomping chickpeas? Eew. I love the feeling of mud between my toes, but I'm staying away from any foot-mashed chickpeas. I'll give my portion to you, Mr Pug.

      For mashing your chickpeas while camping, I'd try taking along a wooden pestle -- you could probably make one from a thick dowel -- and then doing the mashing in your sturdiest pot.
  • Re: Humus without a blender?

    Fri, January 13, 2006 - 12:02 PM
    How about a food mill? Get a good workout for the biceps while you're at it. Although chickpeas are a bit harder in consistency (even cooked) than most things that go into the mill. Still worth a shot. The professionals swear by them.
  • Re: Humus without a blender?

    Sat, January 14, 2006 - 9:21 AM
    I have tried some of these methods before, namely the knife and cup versions. I found that the skin on the bean didn't want to mash terribly well. Hours went by and still the skins were chunky. I'd almost think that the skins were removed but that would also drop the fiber value substantially so as quickly as I considered it as a possibility I dismissed it as implausible.

    I think a mill might be the way to go. It would shred, rip, and pulverize the skins to a paste. Also, is it possible that the beans were crushed or milled before the hummus was made? We would then end up with a crushed-pea mush or some such thing (like cornmeal maybe?) and that would be markedly easier to process to a finer texture than whole chickpeas. It would also allow the spices and garlic to infuse their flavors more consistently. I'd imagine you'd have to boil and bake it so that the peas cooked during the boiling process and every thing else

    I can't imagine that the hummus we have today is substantially smoother than the stuff they used to make, if it were I'd think that hummus would be called something else. The reason I think this is that the French have plenty of smooth soups that are all made with plenty of hard or non-smooth items and they can be created without a blender (though as has already been pointed out, it's so much faster with one).
  • Re: Humus without a blender?

    Fri, January 20, 2006 - 4:21 PM
    I use a tiny little food process and it works great, except that one can of beans takes two batches to make. Which in some way is not bad as I can vary the flavors.
    My recipe has coriander seeds and cumin powder. To me it does taste better than without.
    There is a restaurant in Miami that serves their hummus in a tall wooden cup (mortar) and you smash the peas yourself w the pestle. I like the crunchy texture. You can use a tall mug and the handle of some cooking utensils to do the job. I use this method to make my own "Coldstone" style ice cream (a ceramic mug and the handle of the ice cream scooper) and the chickpeas are sure a lot softer than snicker bars.
    • Unsu...

      Re: Humus without a blender?

      Fri, February 17, 2006 - 10:27 AM
      back in my university days, we used a rolling pin. if we didn't have one of those we cleaned the can of chickpeas and used it to mash or roll them flat. when you're broke you get creative, what can I say?
  • Re: Humus without a blender?

    Mon, February 20, 2006 - 12:13 PM
    I know that this isnt a hummus recipe, but I figured I would mention it since I saw that you dont want a blender or processor and this recipe ROCKS.

    It is Chickpea salad. You mash the chickpeas up with a fork and then add veganaise, relish & mustard, [&spices to your taste].. then throw it on some bread and VOILA!
  • <<< well that's what I might do in a pinch : )

    Mon, February 20, 2006 - 1:56 PM

    can't you just put those little puppies in an industrial strength bag then jump on top of 'em while dancing yer 'okole off to some crazy hillbilly music?
    • Re: <<< well that's what I might do in a pinch : )

      Tue, February 21, 2006 - 4:56 PM
      I've been wanting to make humus, but I'm not sure where to find Tahini paste. ALmost every recipe I see calls for it. Would someplace like Trader Joe's have it, cause it's not in my grocery store.
      • Tahina

        Tue, February 21, 2006 - 6:00 PM

        Should be easy to find! Any modern mega-mart will have tahini in the ethnic isle, as will any health food store or food co-op or gourmet store, any type of middle eastern or israeli market will have it, most likely so will any Indian store... At my local ShopRite I can get at least 3 versions (Turkish, Israeli, and Lebanese).

        Trader Joe's would most definitely have it.
        • Re: Tahina

          Tue, February 21, 2006 - 7:17 PM
          I'll have to check around for it. Thanks for your help! I can't wait till I have my own hummus!! Yum...
          • Unsu...

            Re: Tahina

            Fri, February 24, 2006 - 11:39 AM
            in a pinch we used to use a bit of nut butter (whatever kind you prefer) in it's place. nut butters can overpower the chikpea's flavour, so just a dab will do ya. it can be just fine without either as well.
            • Unsu...

              Re: Tahina

              Fri, February 24, 2006 - 3:01 PM
              Or just a little bit (tsp or less) of sesame oil.
              • Re: Tahina

                Mon, February 27, 2006 - 6:41 AM
                Good idea! Sesame oil....yum...noticed some at the 99 cent store...;o)) That's a good deal, I think.

                I've been doing massage with warm sesame oil...lately I've been thinkin' that I don't want to put anything on the outside of my body that I wouldn't eat...(but that's another thread)..)))
  • Re: Humus without a blender?

    Sat, May 5, 2007 - 12:28 PM
    I have finally figured out the trick. The trick, for good hummus, blender or not, is to peel those shells off. They have a weird texture when emptied of their bean and I'm not sure what that could be used for. I made a fantastic, smooth, delicious hummus without a blender!

    Thanks for all the input and suggestions.

  • Re: Humus without a blender?

    Sat, May 5, 2007 - 12:30 PM
    Oh.. uh... I didn't say how. I used a pressure cooker to cook my beans and when you run them under cool water to rinse them you can squeeze the bean just enough to pop the bean out of the shell. It's pretty easy and once you get the hang of it you know just how hard to squeeze. The husks float away if you use running water but I preferred to save water and just discard the husks and put the bean in another bowl.

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