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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.

50 Comments on Real Hummus Recipe

  1. Ahlan Shooky – the first couple of times I made your recipe the humus came out a little too strongly tasting of soda which needs extra lemon to mask and the humus comes out a little too sour. Am experimenting with less than 1 tablespoon for the initial soaking. We’ll see how it goes.

    Secondly – the tehina I use is raw (HaNesich/The Prince) which is not prepared and has a very nutty taste (doh!). The problem is the end humus is too nutty and thick. So my question is, can you give some tips on the tehina “strategy”? Thanks!

  2. Hey shooky, still going strong, that’s good.

  3. chris gauker // December 14, 2008 at 3:14 am // Reply

    first hummus looks to be a failure. dont know if tahini is raw or roasted it doesnt say. without much ‘soft’ boiling peas still just dissapated into liquid . thre didnt appear to be any shells to dpeak of either. one half # of peas got me about 1 cup of mash. but these were goyo. will look for different peas and persavere. any thouhgts anyone?

  4. Okay, I’m a TOTAL beginnier. What’s tahini, and where do I get it?

    I tried some hummus at Sam’s Club and loved it! I like to make everything myself when possible, so I’m trying to find a recipe that will taste similar.

    Also, I have some canned chick peas in the pantry already. Can I use them for my first experament, or will I be wasting my other ingredients? TIA!

  5. This is my first time at making Hummus, It may sound a little funny this but, I am stuck on the quantitiy you stipulated on the begining of the recipe:

    [4 extra-large bowls of Hummus]
    1 cups dried chickpeas (the smallest you can find)

    Clarify pls, is it 4 extra large bow of chickpeas or only 1 cup of dried chickpeas??

    Best of luck

  6. Hi guys, just wanted to send a huge ‘thank you’ your way. I have been making my own hummus for a couple of years now (I eat it nearly every day for lunch), but have been consistently frustrated in my efforts to produce soft chickpeas from dried. I eventually gave up, and started using tinned chickpeas, which of course made less-than-delicious hummus. I tried a number of different recipes, some of which were slightly better than others, but none of which were truly satisfying. Finally, I googled around and found your site, and I’ve rediscovered the joy of hummus-making. The tip about the small chickpeas has been a life saver – I can’t overstate what a difference this has made. And your recipe is fantastic, although the first time I made it my Braun stick blender actually broke! This turned out to be a good thing, though, because I first switched to my mouli, which made a very lovely, smooth hummus, and then tonight tried using my pestle and mortar. I ground up the chickpeas, set them aside, made a salt and garlic paste, and then mixed everything together in a bowl using just an old-fashioned fork. The result was even better than what I had produced with either the blender or the mouli – still nicely creamy, but with those little ‘bits’ in it that give it a lovely texture. And the clean-up is certainly much easier.

    So thanks again, and keep up the excellent work!

  7. Ursolina Good // February 8, 2009 at 4:25 pm // Reply

    I make my hummus with chick peas from a can. I add some roasted peppers from a jar, some black olives, garlic , oil and lemon juice. It comes out with a reddish tint not white, but it is very good. Even my grandchildren like it. They use it as a snack on Ritz crackers.

  8. This is the first time I’ve made a GOOD hummus!! Thanks!

  9. Hi! i’m from Portugal and although we use chick peas we don’t have different recipes for it. Basically we use them on soups. And, because i love chick peas,
    i tried my first hummus after your recipe. It went very well and everybody loved it.
    Tanks for your blog.

  10. Hi!

    i love hummus, but i have never eaten it at home, because i don’t like the supermarket stuff and i never had the courage to try making fresh one (also, i was too lazy :D)

    however, your site and this recipe encouraged me to change my mind and make my own hummus. thank you for that!

    i would find it useful, if you told us whether you cover the pot while boiling the chickpeas and which temperature you use. also, i didn’t understand whether you add baking soda again after changing the boiling water or not. i didn’t. i covered the pot and boiled with the half heat. does that seem accurate?

    thanks again! best wishes,

  11. Finally tried your humus recipe, yesterday, for the first time – with our own home made pita. Second to none! This has become our new standard for humus! Thanks.

  12. You can also make it with sprouted chick peas. Get them from a farmer’s market or make them yourself. Put the sprouted chick peas in a food processor with a couple of cloves of peeled and smashed garlic. I usually mix the tahini, lemon juice, salt and a little water together to form a thin paste and add it to the chick peas, saving about 2 tablespoons of the mix aside. Process until fairly smooth, but you won’t get it as smooth as when you cook them. Add water to get thinner than desired consistency and let stand for 10-15 minutes. Spread out on a plate, put the reserved tahini sauce in the middle and top with a drizzle of olive oil, chopped parsley and a sprinkle of paprika. Scoop with pita. I do not use cumin. It has a totally different, sweeter taste and a coarser texture. Delicious in it’s own rite. It only takes about 10 minutes. Eat it within a couple of days because for some reason the combination of chick peas and tahini goes bad pretty quickly

  13. fantastic recipe for humus!! of course, i added more lemon, garlic and cumin for taste! great, simple and yummy!

  14. luisgoldfarb // June 14, 2009 at 9:57 am // Reply

    Shalom! What a fantastic blog! I am a hummus fanatic, too.
    Long ago I spent some years in Israel, and when in Jerusalem, would always go to Abu Shukri and misadat Ta’ami, both in the same day.
    I make my own hummus everytime I have the time, and have a few questions on your recipe.
    1) Don´t you take off the chickpeas’ skin? I heard that you kind of mash the cooked chicpeas, then put them in water and remove the skin that floats in the surface of water. I thought that this woul help in achieving that “satin” consistency that I loved at Ta’aami’s, for example.
    2) Do you add the tahini right from the plastic can or do you first prepare it with water, lemons, etc.?
    3) I always had the idea that in Abu Shukri or Ta’aami they also add some secret ingredients… Is it possible that they add, for instance, wall nuts or pinenuts, into the hummus paste?

    Thanks a lot!
    and about your blog: Al-hakefak!

  15. First I really must thank you for the amazing recipe. I have tried other recipes found online, and they usually do not turn out as good as the Sabra stuff I get at the store. I also find that what you say about using the small chickpeas vs the large Mexican ones true that they are better quality. FYI to anyone wondering- if you have Albertsons where you live you can find the small ones for $2 for a 1lb bag in the health food isle away from the other beans.

    Before today I made your recipe without baking soda, and have been very impressed. However, I made your recipe with baking soda this time(the amount you specified), and it came out too creamy for my tastes and had a funny aftertaste even though I washed the chickpeas multiple times and did everything else you said.

    I think the problem is that I may not have used enough water in my soaking process, only a little more than double the amount of chickpeas. The chickpeas may have soaked up way too much baking soda due to the high concentration in the little water. So my question to you is how much water are you supposed to dilute the baking soda into? Thanks again and I love your site!

  16. I just finished making a batch of hummus using your recipe. The hummus has an excellent creamy texture. Unfortunately the only other hummus that I have eaten is from the grocery store here in the U.S. (Tribe or Sabra brands) and in comparison my hummus seems quite bland. Tribe and Sabra taste much spicier, saltier, and more lemony.

    Is it typical for “real” hummus to have a pleasant but very subtle taste?

  17. ,,I have a specific problem: My wife is allergic to sesame, and as a result I can’t make hummus with Tehini. Has anyone experimented with making hummus without that ingredient?,,

    Well, i did!!!! Without any nut butter – just add extra oil olive and flavor it ( chives, roasted papper, garlic , basil in any combination! My younger son loves the one with home-roasted peppers. If it is not the “perfect traditional” way – think of it as of the “easier to digest” one!

    i like to have cucs, carrots and sweet peppers slised for scooping it !

  18. Help! every time I make hummus it turns out grainy! what am I doing wrong? The flavour is always really tasty, but the texture is grainy and unpleasant. Thanks if anyone has any ideas why this might be happening!

  19. Salam/shalom,
    what do you say about Turkish chicpeas.also, how to serve mesabha in restaurant, ie for reheating chicpeas and making it friendly for cook. Is it ok for hummus to be cold or should be reheated. Thank you for all the great info on hummus etc.
    P.s. What is best way to heat and open pita for falafel sandwich?

  20. Try this adaption to the ‘traditional hummus recipe’. It is made for a full flavor that goes well with fish and meat and many other foods:
    Juice of 4 lemons (no added water) and at least 6 large cloves of garlic blended well with the cooked chick peas (approximately 3 cups). This makes a smooth thin paste with no grainy bits.
    Add a full cup (more or less) of Tahini and stir until well mixed.

    PS Save time and delay by soaking and boiling bulk chick peas. When cooled pack in freezer bags – 1 or more cups each – and thaw when ready to use.

  21. Helen
    Are you making sure to take the skins off the chickpeas?

  22. Does chiili add to or detract from the hummus experience? I throw a couple of fresh bay leaves, a few cloves of garlic, and some dried birdseye chillis into the water while my chickpeas are doing their final rehydrating simmer. The chickpeas absorb the taste of the chilli and bay leaf in quite an amazing way! It has a ghost of a burn, and a ghost of sweetness. HOWEVER, a friend has complained that the chilli is overkill. (I love it tho – double mood elevator)

  23. You left out an important part: the lemon and tahini needs to be creamed before they can be combined with the chickpeas. My hummus was always a gritty mash before I started liquefying the lemon-garlic-tahini prior to adding the chickpeas.

  24. This is why they invented the Internet!

    shooky you rock.

    I am a hydroelectric designer and about to embark on my new life as the family hummus factory. All because of a three-month old bundle of love who is going to need something more than her mommy at some point. I will be getting in there fast with this recepie!

    ‘Thank you’ just doesn’t cover it 🙂

  25. the recipe is great, the best hummus i’ve ever eaten…skinning chickepeas is a pain in the ass though. Every trick I read about to skin them seems to not work at all…Is it really necesary? Other recipes say to, yours doesnt really say.


    it says 1 cup of chickpeas….yields 4 extra large bowls?

    how is 233 ml of chickpeas make 4 big bowls? I get nowhere near this proportion when I make it.

  26. I didn’t know ‘fart’ was a French word! Why do the French get blamed for off-colored language?

  27. I tried this recipe this week and second time I was able to produce taste that was very very similar to the taste we have been addicted to while traveling through Israel this January. Simple, easy and tasty. Recipe just the way I like it :).

    Thank you.

    (I did not mind the exact amounts mentioned though. I just tasted it during preparing so I do not know exactly how much of what did I use and also used garlic alternative (yes, I am a vampire 🙂 ) from my friend – do not know the difficult name now. It is yellowish powder. Maybe somebody know this. I thing it is from Indian kitchen (like India – Asia – Delhi … you get the point))

  28. Well, I was a sort of a fan of hummus before my visit to Israel, and definitely after that. As it is almost impossible to get good hummus, or any kind of hummus, to be honest, in my country, Estonia. I decided to make it myself. We live in a Nordic country, chickpeas are imported, tahini is imported, lemons are imported, cumin is imported, salt is imported as is all the rest – is there anything left? My mistake – garlic – we grow probably the best garlic in the world, even Italians envy us, honestly. The rest of stuff I bought from a local premium eco store, and I hope that they sell good stuff. I followed your recipe, with soda, and the result, was very tasty (well, it’s still warm). I hope the flavours are in balance also when it’s cold. The best what I’ve got since Dec last year, when I was in Israel. You know, most of the hummus recipes have a huge amount of oil to be added and I don’t like it at all. Your way seems much better. Thanks for sharing it with the rest of the world.

  29. Hello there!
    Thanks so much for this. Wonderful that there exist other people passionate about humus.
    I’ve just finished making your recipe & it’s the best! Since I was putting in so much effort, I first stuck some toasted sesame seeds and olive oil in the food processor to home-make the tahini.
    And, lovely! it makes enough to share with another humus-lover friend, so I’m spreading the joy.

  30. Your recipes says 1 cups of raw chickpeas… you mean 2????

  31. Thank you for a hummus recipe using real-dried garbanzo beans!! Most call for canned beans.

  32. Waleed Al-Essa // April 16, 2010 at 11:26 pm // Reply

    There is a secret to making good hummus. Hummus should be creamy and the taste of the tahini should be apparent.

    I also searched for it. actually worked out the best hummus recipe, and I must agree it did taste how I wanted it.

    I will tell a small part of the secret, and you can go to their site for more because I think it is only fair. I love their recipes.

    The trick is to process the chickpeas alone first, then to gradually add the lemon juice and water while the machine is running. Like making mayonnaise. This will solve the grainy problem of many hummus. The rest is the proper proportion of tahini to chickpeas, and also the amount of lemon juice, garlic, and salt. Finally cumin in the recipe makes a difference.

    Some questions that I can answer are this: Soaking increased weight of chickpeas to 214%. Then cooking them added another 6.5%. So final weight was 227% of the dry weight. So if you start with 1 kilogram, you should have 2.27 kg of cooked chickpeas (not intentionally removing skins).

    1/2 cup of dry garbanzo beans (chickpeas) weighs 100g. This based on my experimentation yields 227%. Other sources state yield as 207%. Based on my numbers, 100g would give 227g of cooked beans. While a 14oz can should be (14 x 28 = 392g), I followed a recipe calling for 1/2 cup dried and used 228g. They also listed another recipe calling for a 14oz can, and also used the same rest of the recipe. So I wonder if a 14oz can drained makes 228grams.

    At any rate I saw two recipes one for 14oz can, and the other for 228grams ,and all remaining measures in the recipe were the same. So I guess that is how you convert between them.

    If you have a vitamix blender you can make a small amount of tahini by blending sesame seeds, with the olive oil in the recipe. I pan toasted the seeds first for a better taste. Don’t use a graining paste in your recipe. You tahini has to be smooth before using, or your hummus will be seedy.

  33. Waleed Al-Essa // April 16, 2010 at 11:31 pm // Reply

    Sorry in my above post, I said I had found two recipes one calling for a 14oz can of chickpeas, and the other calling for 1/2 cup dried. Both recipes came from the same source, and both had the same other ingredients.

    I accidentally said one recipe calling for 228 grams, and the other for a 14oz can. If moderato could correct my mistake that would be wonderful. Thank you.

  34. In making humus, do you add the raw tahini from the jar to the ground chickpeas, or do you first make the tahini sauce (lemon, water, garlic, etc.)?

  35. Just for clarification, how much water should you use for your initial soaking? I imagine it’d make a difference considering it’d change the concentration of baking soda in your hummus.

    • Aaron – true. And so does the shape of the dish in which you do the soaking. But as a rule of thumb the chickpeas should be covered with extra 4-5 centimeter of water.

  36. The shape? interesting. any theories as to why?

  37. Thanks for the info on the website, great stuff!

    My question is as follows :

    When you mention “1/2 cup tahini” in your hummus recipe,do you mean that I have to prepare the tahini from one of your recipes?

    Or is it simply that I should poor in 1/2 cup of raw tahini (sesame seeds paste)?

  38. pruthvish // May 28, 2010 at 9:58 am // Reply

    wow i love hummus like anything and i am an Indian and even learning how to make hummus and i have been in UAE for 10 years and eat every second day i love that much and found that Lebanese hummus are just out of this world specially of Damascus restaurant they were doing very well in whole UAE as its very testy as well as light for stomach and very healthy really its one of the best of middle east food try it once and fall in love ….

  39. The addition of baking soda combined with the washing and draining well is a good tip–it does help break down the beans and creates more of a “creamy” texture in the end rather than something more grainy. Also if you drain and wash properly you don’t get the taste of baking soda.

    However, if you cook this exactly according to the recipe you encounter a problem: Overkill with all multiple uses of baking soda. If you soak as indicated, add more in the cooking, and cook for the specified time, changing the water as directed, you end up with a completely broken down soup, making it difficult to separate the “liquid” from the chickpeas–which creates either waste, or something way too soupy. For next time the initial soaking with soda and thorough washing should be more than sufficient.

    You might also want to try experimenting with a pressure cooker to produce a similar effect.

    The recipe also has too much tahini which overwhelms the beans. 1/3 cup for next time should be more reasonable. To my taste, a little more lemon might be nice. Also cumin powder is optional. I use cumin quite a bit, but in hummus, I like the pure clean taste better.

    Despite these observations however, great information. Thanks.

    • JK – If the chickpeas break or not depends a lot on the chickpea variety as well as it’s age. But I know hummus places who do cook the chickpeas up to the point where it has kind of a dough texture. Thanks for the other remarks and I hope to see you here again.

  40. Reading through the comments, the “garlic alternative” powder Pito is talking about is hing or “asafetida”.

    A cautionary note: I would not put hing into hummus raw though–it’s meant to be “tempered” or simmered a few seconds in a little oil–or else you could try adding it to the chickpeas when you’re boiling them to impart the flavor. It’s going to have a harsh, not very pleasant aroma and flavor raw which could be quite intrusive.

    Hing also has anti-gas properties, so it would be a logical ingredient to consider if you’re going for a more fusion style of hummus.

  41. Made the Hummus today. Wonderful. Had some rolled grape leaves – stuffed with brown & red rice, shitaki mushrooms, with tiny pieces of garlic, Set the plate up with fresh romaine lettuce, fresh tomato, and that WONDERFUL HUMMUS. Mahalo for this recipe.

  42. Tom Hebert // June 8, 2010 at 7:40 am // Reply

    Small question: In a Lebanese restaurant, is the pita served in a nice pile or is it cut into shares?

    Thank you.

    • @Tom – In real Lebanese restaurants, as well as in Palestinian, Israeli, Syrian etc, the pita’s are never cut. That’s an American invention as far as I can tell.

  43. I love making hummus, too, and love to add chopped green Spanish olives (with pimentos) for a little variety.

  44. Tom Hebert // June 14, 2010 at 5:16 pm // Reply




    Us Americans can sometimes really mess up a good thing….


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