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Real Hummus Recipe

Making hummus isn’t too hard, and it’s certainly is something that you want to try at least once – or like many, time and time again, in search for the holly grail of real hummus flavor. Our simple recipe for traditional homemade hummus, is a good place to start.

originally published 14 October 2006. last update: 15 September 2015

There’s nothing like good, healthy, homemade hummus, and there isn’t really a reason for you not to try making it yourself.

Making good Hummus isn’t just about having a good recipe, though. True, there are quantities to keep and procedures to follow, but in order to make a really good hummus you must also practice a certain state of mind and a certain touch.

Homemade hummus

You shouldn’t, and can’t, compete with people who have been making hummus all their lives. On the other hand, you can still make a very tasty hummus the first time you try. It will taste 10 times better than any packaged hummus you can buy, and be 10 times healthier as well (read more here). With time, you will get the touch and become a hummus expert.

A hummus made right, will not make you feel heavy or bloated after you eat it. It will not make you – excuse my French – fart like crazy, either. It should go down smoothly, leaving you light and happy, and in a cheerful mood.

To solve the gas problem, BTW, you should soak the chickpeas in clean water for 10-15 hours, switch them at list once, and take off the foam that appears over the boiling water during the cooking. That’s all (and if you’re extra sensitive, put one bay leave into the cooking pot).

Also, washing the chickpeas well between every two steps of the making, will help you leave out the aftertastes.

There are lots of different hummus recipes. I came across dozens of hummus recipes, and practically tried them all. The recipe before you, is the best in my opinion. Accurate and well tested – although you should feel free to experiment. Good luck!



[4 extra-large bowls of Hummus]

  • 1 cups dried chickpeas (the smallest you can find)
  • 1/2 cup tahini
  • juice from 1 squeezed lemons
  • 1-2 garlic cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 tablespoon + 1/8-1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • salt
  • olive oil
  • parsley



1. Pour the chickpeas over a large plate. Go over them and look for damaged grains small stones, or any other thing you would rather leave out of the plate.

2. Wash the chickpeas several times, until the water is transparent. Soak them in clean water over night with 1 tablespoon of baking soda. Then, wash it, and soak again in tap water for a few more hours. The grains should absorb most of the water and almost double their volume.

3. Wash the chickpeas well and put them in a large pot. Cover with water, add the rest baking soda and NO salt. Cook until the grains are very easily smashed when pressed between two fingers. It should take around 1-1.5 hours, during which it is advised to switch the water once again, and remove the peels and foam which float over the cooking water. When done, sieve the grains and keep the cooking water.

4. Put the chickpeas into a food processor and grind well. Leave it to chill a little while before you continue.

5. Add the tahini and the rest of the ingredients and go on with the food processor until you get the desired texture. If the Humus is too thick, add some of the cooking water. It should be thinner than the actual desired texture.

Serve with some good olive oil and chopped parsley.

47 Comments on Real Hummus Recipe

  1. Dana Chazanov // January 18, 2008 at 4:22 am // Reply

    Hi Shooky – Thanks to your response about the hummus ful. I am back home now but before I left Israel I went to the shuk and bought some Egyptian brown ful to bring home. Now I will await your post to give me a recipe so I can try it at home.
    My mouth is watering just thinking how delicious it was and hopefully will be when I make it at home.
    Thanks, Dana

  2. Dana – soon…

  3. Rhodri Williams // January 25, 2008 at 1:24 pm // Reply

    Nice recipe! Two questions:

    1. Does hummus freeze well? Reviewing the ingredients, I don’t see anything that wouldn’t work, but I haven’t really tried to freeze down legumes before on anything like such a scale.

    2. What about heat? Some recipes call for a little bit of e.g. cayenne pepper. Are traditional sensibilities disturbed by hummus with a sting in its tail?

  4. Rhodri –
    1. You can’t freeze hummus because it’s texture will change. You CAN freeze the cooked chickpeas though. When you want to make the hummus just put them into a microwave and continue with the recipe.

    2. The traditional hot sauce is called Tabilla: grind some hot green pepper with lemon juice and garlic. Add it on the hummus only when serving. You can also try the Yemenite equivalent, Zchuk, which is also very popular in both Israel and Palestinian hummus places: grind some green hot peppers with coriander, salt and garlic, into a thick paste. You can also use red hot peppers and skip the coriander, in order to get Red Zchuk but don’t mix any of these into the hummus itself.

  5. Shooky, what if you don’t have a food processor? Every single recipe I’ve found for hummus, online or elsewhere, says to throw the cooked chickpeas into a food processor. But… I don’t have one.

    I’m willing to get one, if that’s what it takes to make good hummus. But in the meantime, any suggestions? I mean, how was hummus made before food processors?

  6. I don’t have a processor as such either, just a wand type blender, that you can use in whatever pot you like. By the way, it;s great for smooth soups too.

    In times gone by, people used big very strong bowls (the mortor) and a large bashing device (the pestle). On a much larger scale as the thing we use for crushing spices or pharmaceuticals, but the same idea.

    I made another batch of hummus again today, using my frozen home cooked chick peas. When I’ve finished cooking the chick peas, I drain them, and let them steam dry as I pour them between the strainer and the pan. Left spread out on a clean towel, they are soon dry and cold enough to bag up and freeze, to use free flow as many as you need.

    Here’s my current hummus recipe:
    In a 1/2 litre (one pint) measuring jug, I put 75 ml (3 fluid ounces) each of good Tahini and lemon juice, 50 ml (2 fluid ouncesolive oil, two peeled fat cloves of garlic and 1/2 a teaspoon of salt. I then packed in frozen chick peas to the 400ml (14 fluid ounces) line.

    I just covered the chick peas with boiling water, then shoved the hand blender in to bury it’s business end before switching it on. If you don’t do this, it can get messy! Really work it until smooth, though you will still see tiny grainsThe Hummus worked really well, and I made it in the time it took to make some tea and toast. But I have to admit my cooker is a bit of a wimp.

    I wonder what you guys think of my unconventional methods?

  7. I make hummus very much like Shooky’s. I get the chickpeas from a local organic farm, soak them, change the water, etc. but have experimented so no longer add water to thin the hummus while it’s in the blender, but add more lemon juice instead. Also grate some of the lemon peel to add. What is the baking soda for? I don’t add salt and have found I don’t like to eat it with olive oil. In summer I get parsley out of the garden, but leave it off in winter. Just garlic in the blender, as well as ground cominos (cumin). I like it with warm pita and with turnip sticks, radishes, tomatoes, and green peppers to dip in the hummus. Yum!

  8. I still cannot get my hummus the way I like it. Please help my technique. I follow the recipe exactly. I use a food processor (not blender-used for cocktails). The hummus is either too thick and grainy or too thin. And if I do get the texture right, it lacks that special taste, that we all desire in our hummus. I’ve tried refrigerating the cooked chickpeas before processing them, and can’t tell that it made a difference. Could I be using the wrong type of blade with the food processor? My blade type has two knives, one above the other, and both serrated (very sharp). I also remove the skins, this does help the texture, but the taste is not right. You must be rolling your eyes at the ramble, I apologize, I’m just desperate. I was first introduced to hummus by a Jordanian restaurateur, and the recipe he gave me was pretty much exactly like the one on Hummus101. What is missing? I feel like there is some secret, is there a way to master this?

  9. Many thanks for posting the details of how to make true Hummus!

    I made the Hummus, as you suggest, from dried chickpeas (not canned). Unfortunately I could only find the larger chickpeas, even in the Asian markets. So it will come as no surprise that the result tasted no different and no better than canned chickpeas.

    Would you be willing to post a picture of a chickpea grain, perhaps beside a pencil for scale. I’d be happy to e-mail a similar shot of the larger dried chickpea with a pencil if that would be helpful.

  10. Tried Hummus recipe needed extra lemon juice otherwise great recipe.
    Enjoying reading your blog getting tons of ideas, will be interested in a picture as requested by concordal as I could only get the Mexican chickpeas, but I still liked the taste, Can’t wait to try the chickpea grains. Could you also give a site where we could buy some if they aren’t available in this area?

  11. Thanks for your recent comment on my blog. I had to do an internet search to find you since you didn’t leave me your website. Now I know where to come when I have hummus questions. Thanks, and please visit me once in a while, too.

  12. concordal,
    I’ll post such a photo soon, but meanwhile: small chickpea grains should be around 0.5-0.7cm in diameter (0.2-0.25 inch).

  13. Bruce – I think you should try using experimenting with different kinds of chickpeas and tahini. Check my answer to sue.

    Sue – our shop (look on the left sidebar) has some products that might be suitable. I did some investigation and tried to choose the best products that Amazon offers. Note that it is an affiliate shop and we are getting a small commission, but the prices are the same and you buy through Amazon so it’s perfectly safe.

  14. I’ve been making hummus for 8 years here in cambodia …
    Started from scratch , there was only 1 Indian shop selling chic peas
    Tahina was extremely hard to get and was usually of the Macedonian/Greek
    kind – a lump of stone with the oil floating on top and very expensive (9$ for 300 gram !)
    and it was a long frustrating process just to find the supplies and then to learn
    what to do with them .

    Yesterday a friend called me over , got some canned garbanzo’s (dry chick peas are very low quality here and usually full of worms+the heat makes them go sour while soaking) , washed them thouroughly several times , peeled all the peels , cooked them in fresh water for an other 20 minutes and then followed the traditional recipe .

    Had the hummus ready in 35 minutes , had it with grilled chicken skewers and
    Israeli salad + naan bread . HEAVEN 🙂

    I can recommend a Lebanese Tahini I can sometimes find here it’s called
    “Spring ” Al Rabih and has two kissing doves on it .

    “Ha Yona”/ Karawan is still the best but Lebanese Tahini isn’t far behind

  15. I would like to try making humus; I have some Ziyad tahini and a bag of yellow chick peas (also Ziyad) from a Middle Eastern store a few blocks from my house. How do I know if these are the right kind of chick peas? Would it say anywhere on the bag? Thank you!

  16. I’ve got a question:
    I know that Hummus tastes best when it is fresh, but is there a possibility to make Hummus and then conserve it somehow? Like cooking in a pressure cooker or somehting?
    Did anyone of you tried this out already? I would be happy to get information of this because I cannot always make fresh Hummus… =(
    Thanks a lot!!
    Cheers, Nica

  17. Dear Nica,
    You can soak a large amount of chickpeas and freeze some. You can also cook them, freeze and microwave just before preparation.
    In order to keep hummus longer than a few hours, you can leave the lemon juice out and add it just before you serve the hummus. In which case the hummus can survive for 2-3 days in the fridge. When there’s no other way, use citric salt instead of lemon juice. The lemon juice accelerates the oxidization.
    But yes, it’s best to make it and eat it right away.

  18. Dear Jen –
    It’s not likely that you’d find anything useful on the bag.
    Chickpeas are best for hummus when it’s very small and hast a light color. I’ll soon publish some useful images here.

  19. Was wondering how long can we store HUMMUS? I am a student and studies and part time job does not permit me to cook hummus on a daily basis.

    I would like to make a huge quantity of hummus and want to use it for a decent time, like 1-2 weeks.

    Please advise.

    -Calvin P

  20. another world // April 16, 2008 at 6:30 pm // Reply

    This is the best recipe I’ve tried. Even a friend of mine told me that is the right one. She’s Palestinian and she knows better than me. I’ve just finished cooking and the taste is… woow. Well, the most important part of the recipe are the chickpeas and also tahini. I used small grains by fortune, because I didn’t know at first. Lucky me! Thanks for sharing the recipe!

  21. I made it! Way too much of it actually! I panicked when the chickpea paste was very thick and overcompensated by adding just a teenchy bit too much water. Still very tasty for a first try. I have frozen some boiled chickpeas for my next endeavor, but have a few questions in the meantime:

    1) I used a Greek tahini called “Sunita Light Tahini” – which is made from the hulled sesame seed. Does hulled v. unhulled effect the outcome?

    2) Next time round, I won’t have the cooking water left over to add to the mixture since I’ll be boiling the chickpeas for a minute or two only. Any idea how plain old tap water effects the outcome?

    3) What would be the ratio of *already boiled* chickpeas to the rest of the ingredients?


  22. Hi Ailis,
    Way to go!
    Here are the answers to your questions:
    1) Unhulled (or technically – partially hulled) sesame makes a darker tahini with a more rich taste, and some people claim it’s super-healthy, but it’s not very good for hummus.
    2) Without the cooking water your hummus will be lighter and more delicate, and some people even prefer it this way. Some famous hummus places deliberately use tap water instead of the cooking water.
    3) Boiled chickpeas inflate up to 3 times of the original volume, but it depends much on the cooking and the variety of the chickpeas you use. The best way to go is to mix all the ingredients separately and add slowly into the food processor. If you got some of the mixture left you actually have a spicy tahini sauce you can eat separately or with other dishes.

  23. Calvin – you can cook and freeze a large amount of chickpeas, so the preparation will be quicker. They can be fairly conserved in the freezer for a few weeks. DON’T try to keep hummus in the fridge for more than 1-2 days. It’ll taste bad and become unhealthy.

    another world – Mazeltov!

  24. Just found this site. Love it. Lived in the Middle East for ten years and now make my own Hoummus. All the family likes it. It’s cheap, filling and nutritious.

  25. Love the web site as well. I lived in Israel for 13 years (wow) and love Hoummus. I Experimented with hoummus already several times but without the baking soda cause I heard that it is not that healthy (takes away from the vitamins). I have been watering the chickpea grains for 3 days!!! and have been cooking them for 3 hours or so and still the hoummous does not come out as creamy as I remember it from Israel. Do you have any idea why? Do you know if the baking soda story is true?

  26. Is the tahini in the hummus raw tahini or prepared tahini, per your quick & easy tahini recipe?

  27. I just made this recepy and plan to serve it as a snack this evening when we get together with a bunch of people to play a game called D&D. I had humus a little while back in an Amsterdam restaurant and loved the taste. With all the stories posted here about fake humus I was really wondering if the taste would be very different from what I had there. As I found, when tasting after preparing, the taste is about the same.
    I also made the tahini sauce.

    The pita breads served with the snack are ready made. Next time I will try my hand at that too.

  28. Kindly,if any one knows where is the Automatic Falafel Elctrecty Machine for sale,need spacefcation,price and pictuer or catologe too.
    Please send to this Address:

    Thanks and B.Greetings

  29. I love your website! Thanks for the recipes.

    Can you please clarify the differences in uses of raw tahini and prepared tahini? When do you use one and not the other? In particular, is it raw tahini that is used in hummus recipes?


  30. Lime juice is great! A little better kick to it than lemon!

  31. How much olive oil are you talking about? The recipe sounds like you are only using a little for garnish.

    WHen I make my hummus, I use a lot of olive oil in the blender (or food processor), so the recipe is lot more oily. Of course, with good Olive oil, this is a good thing.

    My recipe: One 10 oz can of chick peas, rinses
    1 or 2 cloves of garlic
    1/2 cup tahini
    juice of 1 or 2 lemons (depends on how tart they are)
    small half-spoon of salt
    enough olive oil to make it smooth and tasty – seems to be about 1 1/2 cups

    Mix garlic, salt, tahini, lemon juice, half the oil in blender, and run on high until like mayonaise. Then slowly add the chick peas and more oil until you like the texture.

    Any comments from you experts? My friends love this, but I think after reading this page, I should use some water instead of all the oil

  32. Budd Margolis // August 2, 2008 at 10:17 pm // Reply

    I like to boil the chick peas for half an hour, and i use the water to help achieve the right consistancy, use about half a cup to a cup of very good quality olive oil and a lot of tahina, some add a bit of baking soda, half a teaspoon salt or to taste and some black pepper, lime or lemon juice and cumin to taste.

    The pita bread is fattening so dipping with veggies is a great idea.

    I also sometimes dash some Chipotle Tabasco sauce and throw store bought pita in the toaster so its like fresh baked.

  33. Loved this recipe!!The best compliment came from a Lebanese friend of mine who tasted it after I made it the first time.She said it was the best she had ever tasted!!!I have linked your page on my blog.

  34. Thanks Lisa 🙂

  35. Love your site!! WOW.

    Like Babka and Angel asked above, “Can you please clarify the differences in uses of raw tahini and prepared tahini? When do you use one and not the other? In particular, is it raw tahini that is used in hummus recipes?”

    I only have raw tahini and now am not sure if I need to “do something” to it before adding it to this recipe!

  36. Budd Margolis // August 21, 2008 at 9:42 am // Reply

    Always make hummus with the dark “raw” tahina. I use one jar to 2 cans of chick peas/garbonzo beans. Do not prepare or mix the tahina with water, lemon juice, olive oil… Just when you think you have added too much tahina, add some more and then some. Also, try sticking pita bread in the toaster before dipping! Magic!!

  37. Like your website, had one question on the color of humus, how do I make it less yellow and more white. It seems the restaurant hummus tends to be more white than my home made. Thanks

  38. Made the hummus, however it seems that it is a bit more yellow than the ones I have at the restaurant. How can I make it more white?

  39. i would like to make a contest for the best hummus in the USA,with a grand prize,if shooky is still on this blog i would like her to help me with it.

  40. This recipe is fantastic, I made it for a work party and all my Lebanese and Jordanian colleagues wanted the recipe.

    I have also played around with the recipe a bit, sometimes I add half the garlic raw and then the other half roasted, gives a wonderful deep garlic flavour.

    In answer to the questions about freezing, I have frozen it, but you have to make it with olive oil if you are going to freeze it. Freeze it when it is a bit thicker than normal, after thawing at room temperature, just add a little bit of olive oil and warm water and mix. The texture does change slightly but not much, it still tastes wonderful and it saves lots of time. Keeps for 2-3 months in the freezer.

  41. I’m wondering about storing hummus… More specifically if I could somehow ship homemade hummus overseas. My sister is overseas and doesn’t have access to some of her favorite things one of which is hummus. Any ideas on shipping?

  42. Could we use other pulses/beans to make hummus?

  43. Budd Margolis // October 20, 2008 at 5:13 pm // Reply

    If you change water a couple times while boiling the chick peas and use fresh water you eliminate a lot of the sugars that, to some, can cause flatulence.

    So fartless hummus is possible but I am not sure if it is desirable.

    I suppose it depends on a few factors and your taste in hummus?

    Hummus with out goot pita bread and a great hot zhug is like making love on ( or with) the telephone.

  44. Budd Margolis // October 25, 2008 at 7:29 pm // Reply

    There are many different types of hummus. I saw an Italian with broad beans and parmesan cheese. I am sure you can make to taste and create a new one but just google for a while and you will find many varieties.

  45. I have made your recipe twice and everyone raves about it. It is delicious! Even my EXTREMELY picky baby (12 months) enjoys it. Thanks so much for the recipe and article.

  46. I just made hummus from this recipe and it’s great! Though I played it safe, being my first foray into hummus-making, and skimped a little on the garlic. Next time I’ll definitely add more.
    Thanks for keeping this blog and sharing the hummus love with the world. 😀

  47. Best indeed! I just made it and it’s delicious. I am glad I found this site because most recommended using canned chickpeas. It is so yummy. Just wondering how to eat it all! Took me all day because I had to peel the chickpeas. I don’t think I even got all the skins off. I also didn’t use a food processor because I don’t have one but my osterizer blender worked fine. Thanks!

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