Chickpeas are the main ingredient in hummus, an ancient Middle Eastern staple food and one of the world’s favorite dips. Unfortunately, the global supply of the legume could potentially face a worldwide dip of a different kind.
The global supply of chickpeas could fall as much as 20% this year, according to data from the Global Pulse Confederation. For those wondering what “pulse” means in this context, a pulse is the edible seed from a legume plant, and that includes beans, lentils and peas.
As to the factors that are driving the chickpea shortage, there are multiple reasons. The ongoing war in the Ukraine is one of them, driving the global supply of chickpeas down. While Ukraine and Russia do export chickpeas, they are not the world’s largest producer of the hummus source in the world. That distinction goes to India, which accounts for 65% of the total production of chickpeas in the world, followed by Australia. Still, Russia accounts for a quarter of the global trade of chickpeas.
“Russia is exporting around 200,000 to 250,000 tonnes, minimum, per year,” Navneet Singh Chhabra, director of Shree Sheela International, a global chickpea trader and brokerage firm told Reuters. “When the war started in February, the supply was destroyed, totally.”
Additionally, Ukraine has fallen behind in seeding its own chickpea crops due to war, causing another 50,000 metric tons normally exported to the rest of Europe.
Other issues that plague the journey of chickpeas around the globe are related to issues on this side of the globe. There are transportation problems, including ocean vessels so backlogged in the Pacific Northwest, grain merchants have been forced to ship chickpea containers by train. These routes are more expensive and roundabout trips that cause a chickpeas journey towards your bowl of hummus to be much a more expensive one.
All of these factors may affect the price of hummus in the U.S., of which an estimated 25% of American households consume on average.
Its popularity may be due to the chickpea’s health benefits, which include potentially reducing cardiovascular, diabetic, and cancer risks and being high in protein. Plus, they're delicious to boot.
You may be wondering how to weather the hummus drought that is set to befall us stateside. With that in mind, here are a few chickpea-free dips to try if you’re one of the many who love the OG hummus.
Charred eggplant, tahini, lemon and garlic combine to make this classic Levantine dip. Baba ganoush could be a fine alternative to hummus as the dip shares a lot of flavors with hummus, save the chickpeas.
This sour cream and cream cheese-based dip is a way to enjoy the flavors of an everything bagel without the dough. This dip that uses everything bagel seasoning packs a serious punch of flavor and can be made with or without the capers and scallions, if you want to simplify the recipe a bit.
We highly recommend serving this Middle Eastern red bell pepper- and walnut-based dip with slices of cucumber and carrots and loaves of fresh-baked lavash.
This avocado hummus has sunflower seeds, lemon juice, tahini and cilantro to pair with rich and smooth blended avocado to create a summery dip. Enjoy this dip if you’re looking to use your avocado haul for something other than guacamole.
This dip is based on Elena Besser’s memories of her mentor Missy Robbins’ sheep’s milk agnolotti with saffron, sun-dried tomatoes and honey. This recipe combines ricotta cheese, feta cheese, turmeric and Italian flavors to form an elegant dip.
This recipe is a remix of the classic concept of a hummus dip, taking the chickpeas out of the equation and including another protein rich edible legume: lentils. Lentils actually contain more protein than chickpeas, so if you try this lentil hummus, you could be ahead of the game, protein-intake-wise.
Greeks use this condiment, known as tzatziki, on just about everything. If you are lucky enough to find the authentic prepared stuff, go ahead and buy it. Either way, you will have a seriously flavorful and healthy sauce.
This hummus combines tahini garlic and cumin with the popular pea for a simple dip to enjoy in lieu of the original chickpea version. Additionally, you could use any white bean, such as cannellini or lima, in place of the black-eyed peas.
Another roasted red pepper dip, this recipe is simple to make (all you do is place everything in the oven and blend it all up when it's finished) but it's remarkably flavorful and unbelievably versatile. Enjoy this dip with crackers or crudités, as a spread for sandwiches and flatbreads, a topper for salads or whatever else your heart desires!