Turkish Hummus

I learned how to make this hummus when I lived in the Middle East and took a Turkish cooking class. The food was delicious, and I've been making this hummus ever since. People ask me for the recipe all the time, so I'm finally sharing it here. This hummus has a smoother texture than most recipes because the already canned cooked chickpeas simmer in baking soda for 30 -40 minutes to soften more or the chickpeas cook in a crockpot until they are very, very soft (I add a strip of seaweed to my water when cooking the chickpeas for a smoother and better digestible hummus). This hummus also uses plain yogurt and cumin. If using canned chickpeas or garbanzo beans, be sure to use an organic brand (they're tastier than regular ones) with around 100 mg sodium per 1/2 cup serving or less. Using dried chickpeas is easier than using the canned ones when making this hummus. I just add dried chickpeas to my slower cooker, fill with water at least two inches above the beans, and turn on high overnight. I drain the water in the morning and make the recipe below, skipping the first step of simmering chickpeas with baking soda since they are already on the soft side, and perfect for hummus! In the Middle East, hummus is often served with pomegranates. If you haven't tried it, you will be in for a treat. The crunchy, juicy seeds are the perfect texture and taste to compliment hummus. Enjoy!
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6 cups cooked chickpeas (made in crock pot overnight) or 4 cans cooked organic chickpeas 1 cup tahini (sesame tahini) ½ tsp baking soda (only with canned chickpeas) 1 tsp minced garlic (or more to taste) 4 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil 2/3 cup lemon juice (or more to taste) 1 3/4 - 2 tsp salt 1 tsp cumin powder ¼ cup cold water 6 tbsp plain yogurt (optional) 2-3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil for garnish (optional) Paprika or pomegranates (optional) Chopped parsley or dried mint (optional) 1 strip Kombu seaweed


1) If using canned chickpeas, rinse with water and transfer to a saucepan. Add ½ teaspoon baking soda and water to cover chickpeas. Bring to a boil and simmer at a soft boil for 30 - 40 min. Turn heat off and let cool.
2) If using dried chickpeas (really the easiest way for this recipe), add 1 pound of dried chickpeas to a slow cooker, cover with water at least three inches above the beans, and add a strip of kombu seaweed (optional but helps cook faster, makes beans easier to digest, gives smoother consistency and more), cook overnight (about 12 -16 hours) on high.
3) Drain softened chickpeas. If using the crockpot method, drain off the seaweed into the sink first and then use a strainer to finish the job. Rinse chickpeas.
4) Put chickpeas in a food processor. Add the remaining ingredients and process until smooth. Chill in the fridge for 2-3 hours before serving. Spread in a shallow serving dish, swirling with back of spoon, pour olive oil in the center, and sprinkle with paprika or better yet, add pomegranate seeds to add a crunchy, sweet treat. Garnishing with parsley or mint is also an option. Serve with whole grain pita bread, and with vegetables like cucumbers and bell red peppers. Refrigerate for up to 4 days then freeze.