When pursuing the perfect bean dip, you either end up with a claggy, dense, muddy brick, or a light, smooth, silky spread. Let’s avoid the brick. The best way to achieve a fluffy, lump-less bean dip is to use flour — bean flour, that is.
Garbanzo bean (chickpea) flour is the most common bean flour, but I’ll occasionally see black bean, fava, or pinto bean. Manufacturers mill the entire bean to make an ultra fine, flavorful powder that is highly absorbent due to its fibre content.
Bean flour can be used in a variety of ways as a wonderful gluten-free ingredient, but the fine texture and absorbency make it especially perfect for bean dip. The beans are pulverised into much smaller particles than you could ever achieve by dumping whole, soaked beans into a food processor, and the surface area of the minuscule bits allows them to rehydrate in no time with a bit of hot water.
You can use this method to transform any bean flour into dip. I had garbanzo bean flour on-hand so I made hummus. Not just any hummus. The lightest, smoothest hummus of my life. The “process” is really just two simple steps: Rehydrate the bean flour with hot water, then blend in the other ingredients.
I measured my chickpea flour into a bowl and whisked in boiling water from my electric kettle. Alternatively, you could heat water in the microwave, or on the stove. I whisked the hot water into the bean flour in a steady stream. It smoothed out but remained slightly lumpy. (Don’t let that worry you.) I added the tahini, half of the olive oil measurement, lemon juice, salt, and garlic powder. Using an immersion blender, I pulsed for 10-20 seconds to mix in the ingredients, and break up any remaining lumps. If you don’t have an immersion blender, you can add the mixture to a regular food processor instead and give it a few pulses. Serve the bean dip in a bowl with a drizzle of the remaining olive oil.
The dip will thicken slightly as it sits and absorbs a little more water, but I encourage you to try the dip while it’s still warm. It’s the comforting, savoury equivalent of a warm cookie. The following recipe features simple, classic flavours but take the opportunity to explore and add other spices and herbs. For other bean dips, spread your wings a little. Try adding yogurt, roasted garlic, ripe avocado, or softened cream cheese.
The Silkiest Hummus
- 1 cup chickpea flour
- 2 cups freshly boiled water
- 3 tablespoons tahini
- 3 tablespoons lemon juice
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
- ¼ cup olive oil (roughly divided in half)
In a medium bowl, add the chickpea flour and steadily whisk in the water. Whisk for about a minute. The mixture will thicken and you can break up most of the lumps. Add the next four ingredients and half of the olive oil measurement. Blend the mixture with an immersion blender until it’s well combined and the lumps are gone, 10-30 seconds. (Alternatively, you could use a regular food processor.) Serve with a drizzle of the remaining olive oil.
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