It’s worth making hummus from scratch. Follow these tips and you’ll be hooked on homemade!
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 low quality oils like soybean.
Yes, it takes more time than popping a lid off a plastic container.
You do need to soak chickpeas (best to do while you’re sleeping) and then cook them.
Admittedly, I didn’t always bother making my own hummus until recently and it’s become a ritual.
Almost a necessity.
I eat it for breakfast, spread on whole grain toast, topped with a soft-boiled egg, or scooped alongside a Mediterranean grain salad.
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.
What makes Israeli-style hummus so good?
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 at that one!
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 without them.
Hummus doesn’t require a ton of ingredients. Really all you need are:
- Lemon Juice
- Olive oil
If you like, throw in some fresh herbs and cumin as I did to make a slightly emerald-green colored hummus with a little extra spice flavor.
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 so good and pours out easily.
The freshest chickpeas are these – they come in a burlap sack labeled with the harvest date and the actual field they were grown in.
Make hummus with canned chickpeas
To make a super-quick hummus, skip the step for cooking chickpeas and use 2 15-ounce cans of drained chickpeas.
Homemade Hummus Recipe
- 1 cup dried chickpeas or 2 15-ounce cans chickpeas, drained
- 1 plump garlic clove
- Fine sea salt
- 1/2 cup tahini
- 1/4 cup lemon juice, plus more if needed
- Handful fresh herbs - I like a mix of cilantro, basil and parsley, optional
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for serving
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin, optional
- Ice cold water, as needed
- Soak the chickpeas in plenty of water overnight. Drain and put them in a saucepan with the 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. * Skip this step if using canned chickpeas.
- Measure out 2 cups (the remaining chickpeas are for garnishing the hummus) and put into a food processor, or add your canned chickpeas instead. Process with the tahini, lemon 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.