Make homemade hummus! It’s so worth it, miles away from the stuff you buy ready-made, which is often loaded with things you’d rather avoid, like preservatives and cheap soybean oil. Yes, it takes more time than popping a lid off a plastic container. You need to soak chickpeas (best to do while you’re sleeping) and then cook them. I didn’t bother making my own hummus regularly but recently it’s become a ritual. No, a necessity. I eat it for breakfast, spread on whole grain toast, topped with a soft-boiled egg.
My ideas about hummus changed after an eye-opening dinner at Zahav in Philadelphia. We had an amazing meal (omg, the lamb!), but later I couldn’t stop thinking about Zahav’s hummus recipe. It was like nothing I’d had before.
I’ve since learned that Israeli-style hummus stands apart from most of the options in grocery stores. It’s made with a lot more tahini, for one thing. At Zahav, it’s served warm on a plate, not cold in a bowl alongside raw carrot sticks. It’s almost liquid, incredibly smooth and very sensuous, with a texture like whipped cream.
I’ve tried different recipes and methods, including one that required peeling each individual chickpea, which was where I drew a firm line. Sorry. I want really good hummus, but it has to be a fairly simple process. I’ve landed on this recipe, my current favorite.
I add fresh cilantro and basil, which turn the hummus a lovely pale green, but it’s equally delicious just plain.
A note on ingredients: After making so many batches of hummus, I found that using the freshest dried chickpeas and tahini paste is important. I used to get frustrated with tahini that was hard and separated and chickpeas that were so old they took all day to cook. I like Soom tahini because it tastes amazing and pours out so easily, and the freshest chickpeas I’ve found are grown in Washington state. They come in a burlap sack labeled with the harvest date and the actual field they were grown in.
homemade hummus with fresh herbs
Yield About 3 cups
This hummus tastes best freshly made. If you're not serving it right away, keep refrigerated up to 5 days.
- 1 cup dried chickpeas
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 plump garlic clove
- Fine sea salt
- 1/2 cup tahini
- Juice of 1 lemon and 1 lime
- Good handful fresh herbs - I like a mix of cilantro, basil and parsley
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for serving
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
- Cold water
- Smoked paprika (optional)
- Soak the chickpeas in plenty of water overnight. Drain and put them in a saucepan with the baking soda, garlic, 2 teaspoons salt and 3 quarts water. Cook until tender. Depending on the freshness of your chickpeas, this can take 30 - 90 minutes. Drain. Pull out the garlic and discard.
- Measure out 2 cups (the remaining chickpeas are for garnishing the hummus) and put into a food processor with the tahini, lemon and lime juice, herbs, olive oil, cumin and 1 1/2 teaspoons salt.
- Puree the mixture at least 3 minutes, dribbling in cold water 2 tablespoons at a time until velvety smooth.
- Scoop some hummus onto a shallow bowl or plate and spread it out with the back of a spoon. Drizzle with olive oil, top with some chickpeas and a few herb sprigs. Sprinkle a little smoked paprika over the top, if you like.