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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.

46 Comments on Real Hummus Recipe

  1. @Tom,

    I think the reason why American restaurants cut the pita is so people don’t have to tear it with their hands, which is standard in Middle Eastern culture.

  2. Paradoxcake // August 12, 2010 at 8:40 am // Reply

    I just made this hummus tonight. I have tried making hummus…. maybe 5 times before. Each one was a disaster. But this one… was SOOO good. Exactly what I was looking for, creamy, smooth, delicious, authentic!!!

    I followed the instructions to a T. Some of them were kind of vague. Like… when you are cooking the beans in water, how high should they cook? I cooked mine on about Medium and they did fine. Also… when cooking the instructions say “during which it is advised to change the water and remove the peels and foam” …. but when? Half way through? That was my closest guess and so I rinsed them well and took a while picking the skins/peels off. It was tedious but I kept thinking “If this gets me the creamy and SMOOTH results that I want, anything is worth it.” and … wow. IT WAS!!!! So anyway…. I cooked them on med-low for about 40 more minutes since they were kinda falling apart. I let them cool in their water. Also for the first half of the cooking time I did use a bay leaf. When I rinsed and did the second half I didn’t add it. I reserved a tiny amount of the bean-water and pureed the beans in my food processor until smooth… adding a little water and my garlic. I used two nice sized cloves. I added a tiny bit more cumin and the exact amount of everything else and winged with the oil, erring on less-is-more philosophy. I pureed before and after each ingredient… I held back half the lemon’s juice but then added the other half as it needed it. Salt to taste, obviously… Now its in my fridge and OH SO GOOD. Smooth. Silky. Creamy. Garlic-y. Thin but not TOO Thin. Next time I’m gonna add some chili pepper as a dear friend (A Lebanese born Armenian) told me.

    Thanks SOOOOOOOO much for this recipe. It really was the best I’ve tried and I can’t wait to fiddle with it to be even MORE perfect. I’d like to give a tip to anyone confused or worried about their tahini. Its always best to give it a stir and mix up the oil and solid parts. Its also always best to taste a little oil and the solids to make sure it tastes fresh and good. When tahini becomes too old to use the fats and solids become rancid and have a slight bitter taste. This will ruin a perfectly good batch of hummus if you use spoiled tahini. Best cooking!!

  3. Why the baking soda while soaking and cooking the chickpeas?

  4. Baking soda accelerates the breakdown of the dry chickpeas, while soaking in water. It cuts the soaking, and cooking time by about half. With the baking soda, soaking, and cooking takes about a day…without baking soda, it may take 2-3 days. And, you may have to add water every 2-3 hours, because the water will evaporate several times before the chickpeas are done.

  5. THIS TRULY IS A PERFECT RECIPE. Thank you. I carried out all of what was required except that I was out of cumin so I used dry English mustard powder (1/4 tsp) and it has worked very well. I think that you really do need to “wizz” the mixture in the food processor for a long time (about 10 minutes in all). This creates the most beautiful texture.My memories of beautiful Turkish/eastern/Med food.The creator of this recipe is correct… is “the best in my opinion”. Thanks again.

  6. The recipe looks good. Question: oftentimes, the hummus is served warm in many restaurants; i dont think many of them make the humus to order but keep it warm somehow. DO you know what they use to keep it warm? Conventional stovetops seem to strong and may well affect the taste, no? I saw a video of a Hummus place in NYC and it seems like they have a food processor type machine that also seals shut but keeps things warm. Is this possible?

  7. Dear iseman,

    I understand what you are saying as I experienced warm Hummus as I was preparing it and i was a different and lovely flavour. However, I prefered the semi chilled flavour, it’s more becoming most certainly of the the Turkish/Greek way. To keep a warm Hummus I would suggest you drip a good olive oil over the the Hummus and gently heat over a water bath (steam like) set at aroud 60 degrees centigrade. Flakes of dried red pepper are a lovely addition. Good luck.

  8. I have made this recipe a number of times and it always comes out perfectly. Made it tonight for a dinner party I was having with Mid Eastern theme and it was smooth, light and delicious. Am very grateful for your sharing it with us.

  9. I just made my first hummus last night and it was wonderful! I added in some Roasted Red Peppers too.

  10. Definitely play around with the spices! I have been making Humos for years. I add a little filtered water & more lemon to the recipe. Also, nice to change fresh coriander for parsley some times.
    Since I have Diabetes Type 2, the only food that really works keeping the sugar down is Chumos & Ful . Of – course I eat whole wheat crackers, forgo the whilte pita

  11. I read a lot of the posts and have surfed the Internet, but can’t find a good source for desi chickpeas. Well, not unless I want to buy 25 metric tons, which, by the way, I don’t. Do you know any good online retailers for chickpeas, especially the desi type?

    Oh yeah… Love this blog. Thanks much!

  12. I have heard, and noticed on one of your videos, that when blending the chickpeas, it is best to use icewater… to keep it smoother and from emulsifying… Is this true? No one says anything about the water, so I always thought the warmer the water, the better.

  13. Hello, I live in Chile and in every supermarket you can buy dried PEELED chickpeas. I made a wonderful, tasty and very smooth hummus with them. Before I started living here, I was used to skim off the peels when cooking the chickpeas. This is of course much easier. I didn’t notice any difference in the taste (but will still check once, making the hummus of peeled and unpeeled chickpeas) and the hummus just comes out great! What do you think of these chickpeas? Will they be as good (healthy), you think?

  14. Recently ate wonderful hummus in a tiny 3 table restaurant in Old City and in addition to tehina, there was an garlic/oil sauce that was also added. it had a name
    that I don’t remember and I’d love the recipe for the garlic sauce. It added a lot to hummus that was already wonderful. Stall is next to the men’s public restroom,
    where street leading from Jaffa Gate dead ends into it. Closer to Wall than to Jaffa Gate. Any/all suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thank you!

  15. I love this recipe!

    Because of a heart condition I have to watch my sodium intake, so I replace the salt with Mrs. Dash Garrlic & Herb seasoning. It is delicious, and makes the hummus completely salt free (excluding any naturally occuring in the beans, and Tahini.)

    Also, i have great results with King Star brand Tahini.

  16. Hello!!!! I’ve recently gotten more into the whole “make it yourself” routine as I’ve become much more finicky about what’s in my food and how it’s prepared. Funny as the motivation is not that I have diabetes but that I don’t trust restaurants to always use good, fresh ingredients in their food. I am more than determined to make my own hummus and hopefully falafel. I’ve started the process of cleaning the chickpeas and just realized that I do not have any baking soda. Is it absolutely necessary to have it for the overnight soak? Let me know!

  17. wow! i finally got this recipe right and wow its gooooood! It took a few tries and now perfecto. this is the best hommade chumus i have everv tasted. The only thing i changed was the cooking method. That alton brown method you posted really did the trick. I slow cooked the chick peas without a soak with baking soda and salt overnight. The result was the creamiest tastiest chummus outside of …. well i know a few places that make better chummus but not too many. Thank you for this great blog and recipe.

  18. Shooky –

    Great website! I plan on trying your hummus recipe, but just have 2 quick questions:

    1) For the 1 cup of dry chickpeas, do you mean liquid cups or solid cups?
    2) For the 1/2 cup of tahini, do you mean liquid cups or solid cups?

    Thanks in advance,

    [ Shooky: ] I mean ~250ml cups. What matters the most is that you use the same cup for both so that the right proportion is kept.

  19. A. Boudreau // June 22, 2011 at 6:24 pm // Reply

    Hello, I was wondering if anyone could give me there thought on how I could spice up this recipe? I love buying spiced hummus at the grocery store, and I’m wondering which ingredients I could add to complement this delicious recipe? I was thinking of adding a Thai Chili, any thoughts if this would taste good?

    • A. Boudreau – if you want to spice your hummus in a middle-eastern way, rather than in an “American” way, that’s the way to do it:
      1. don’t add anything to the hummus itself. The extra flavors should come from the side dishes.
      2. make green – or preferably – RED schug. You can dip your pita in it and you can put some directly ON the hummus while eating.
      3. serve your hummus with falafel (here’s the falafel recipe). You can also spice up your falafel by adding ground dry chili, herbs such as mint, or a lot of sesame seeds.
      good luck!

  20. So does anyone else enjoy red peppers and jalapenos in their hummus? I know I certainly do. I make hummus every week and try different combinations of ingredients. I actually just made a pink color hummus using one whole red pepper with pepperchini’s which was delightful. What are some combinations, beside garlic and the original recipe that people use…

  21. While it’s certainly not authentic, I love adding roasted red peppers, capers and cilantro to my hummus.

  22. And — I second the suggestion to spice up your falafel! I use coriander, cumin and red pepper flakes. Yum!

  23. Shooky,

    Thank you so much for your efforts on this website. I just stumbled upon it when looking for a Hummus recipe using dried chickpeas. Looks like I found a gold mine here. I am excitedly waiting for my chickpeas to soak and can’t wait until tomorrow. One question though when your recipe calls for Tahini do you mean the raw Tahini from the jar or the Tahini you make in your Tahini recipe? Seems like that would make a huge difference.

    I plan on trying your baba ganouj recipe as soon as I can buy an organic eggplant. Thanks again for your awesome website. I may never buy packaged hummus again.

  24. I wrote too soon. I just saw the answer to my question several comments up. Thank you again for your efforts.

  25. I have been making Hummos for years. I cannot/ will not buy the commercial product anymore. Once you perfect the recipe you will be hooked. I add fresh cilantro or parsley. Also, I am very careful about the water I add to my finished product, I only use filtered water. I now have been experimenting with the Shug/ Hot sauce recipes off of this site…They are GREAT!!!!

  26. Does anybody know a supplier of soaked, clean, ready to use chickpeas?

    Love to hear from you!


  27. I am curious, why do you put the baking soda in the hummus while it is soaking?

  28. Angela Newton // October 11, 2011 at 7:05 pm // Reply

    I just wanted to say I Love This Recipe. It is superb. Thank you for posting.

  29. In 2007 someone asked how to make the hummus with texture and some chickpeas still intact, and you referred them to the “Hebrew Section” of the blog. I don’t see a Hebrew section, can you give me a link to the procedure you’re talking about?
    I don’t have a food processor, but had some delicious homemade hummus at a local restaurant, the first hummus I ever liked, and it had texture and some whole chickpeas. I loved the whole experience and want to reproduce that kind of hummus myself. I don’t think I’d like the creamy stuff!
    And thank you for this recipe, I can’t wait to try it!

  30. I thank all the ARAB COUNTRIES AND PPL for there Amazing Food specially the HUMMUS & FALAFEL ,, what a great cultural,great food and people

  31. I stumbled on this recipe and WOW! Thanks. I just finished making my first batch of hummus ever. It’s awesome. It tastes like the stuff I used to order when I lived in Saudi! I pretty much followed it to the letter with the exception of not adding additional baking power during cooking. I also added a little more lemon, cumin and salt but of course that is a personal preference. Thank you so much for sharing your expertise with us!

  32. JF Lavallee // March 12, 2012 at 1:09 am // Reply

    GREAT recipe … I tried it without the garlic, due to allergies and I have to say … it’s the best consistency I’ve ever managed to make. The next batch will have garlic and I assume it will be amazing!!!



  33. pablo bindy // April 4, 2012 at 6:25 am // Reply

    I think the baking soda soak in the above recipe is what makes the chick peas bland. I would not use a tablespoon, but maybe a teaspoon of baking soda and a teaspoon of salt.

  34. Can anyone elaborate on the washing process? It sounds important, but I don’t really understand how thorough the chick peas should be washed.

  35. I tried the above Hummus recipe but substituted the tahini for sour cream as i didn’t have any, and it turned out nice and creamy with a good consistency and flavor.

  36. This recipe is a giant pain in the a**. I spent a full half hour, after cooking, de-shelling my soft chick peas. I followed ithe recipe exactly. The result was the best hummus I have ever made. It is restaurant quality. Blows the store bought stuff away. Great tip saying reserve the cooking liquid, because I ended up using about 1/2 cup or more. I made it very thin, and it chilled to perfection in the fridge.
    Thanks so much.

  37. stefan price // June 8, 2012 at 8:17 pm // Reply

    I just made my first hummus batch and it was amazing , 1 can of chick peas , 3 garlic cloves , big pinch of cumin , 1 lemon squeezed then blitz it with some orange juice .

  38. OK I soaked and boiled the chickpease as directed, changing the water in between each step. Still none of the husks really came off just from boiling, and I just manually peeled about 100 chcikpeas by squeezing each one in between my finger and thumb.

    Is it really, really necessary to remove the husks? I ate a bunch and they seem to be perfectly edible. If I have to do that every time I don’t think I’d use dried chickpeas again. Are the ones that come in a can hulled? I could have had hummus and eaten it twice by now lol.

    • Chris – removing the husks creates better texture and make it easier to digest the hummus. Stubborn husks usually means you should try using smaller chickpeas and/or chickpeas that are more fresh.

  39. So the parsley is just to be used as a garnish? I had another recipe that called for parsley to be put in the hummus – my cream hummus turned light green. lol

    & I feel exactly how Chris did. I got dried organic beans from the farmers market and i had to peel the majority of them with my hand. After reading your response to Chris I am going to find another place to get the beans at. I made 5 cups of beans (froze 2 1/2 cups for next time) and it took well over 2 hours to peel them. Not fun 🙁

  40. Josh—I am sorry to say, but real hummos is not hummos without tahini.

  41. Wow! Made this with Organic Tahini (which is super yummy on its own-it did cost over $10 for about a 2 cups worth, but is so yummy that I don’t mind), and organic Chick peas from our health food store and it is so good! Husks even came off easier than expected… Bonus, must of been the rite sort of chick peas for hummus! Thank you so much for the recipe. MMMM Hummus!!! My 14 month old will be super happy in the morning when he discovers this!!!

  42. I tried he recipe and unfortunately it turned out to be quite bland. Also it had green parsley flakes which is unusual to see in chumus. Maybe all the soaking, boiling and changing water probably cooked all the flavor out of the chickpeas? What would help is to be more specific on the quantities ie how much water, olive oil, salt etc.


  43. Thanks Josh, I didn’t realize you got back to me until tonight when I am making hummus again from the rest of my dried chick peas. I appreciate your comments about the husks. However, I see that Alton Brown’s vid doesn’t include husking them, and I don’t see any recipes on the net that include that as well. All I see is a suggestion to remove husks that float up so you don’t have a few just bare husks in your hummus or whatever chickpea dish you have.

    I’m quite sure these chickpeas are as fresh as dried ones could be, and they are small. I live in NYC and got some in a bag and some in bulk. There’s no where else to get them any fresher, so in they go, with husks and all, except for ones that float off during boiling.

    If you are really going to insist that when you boil your freshly dried small chickpeas that more than 15% of the husks just float off, please let me know. More power to ya. Again, this is the only place on the internet I have seen it suggested that every single chickpea husk should be removed to make hummus. Best to you.

  44. Ha! When you’re right you’re right. Now I’m gonna have to start believing everything you say. We use organic chick peas and originally bought some in a bag from the grocery shelf. Those are the ones I made your recipe with that I had to manually remove the husks. Later, we bought some from the natural store in bulk in a ‘hood that is likely to use a lot of chickpeas. I made a different dish with those and didn’t think about the husks, though I didn’t notice them coming off.

    Well guess what I used the 2nd bulk chick peas again for this recipe, which indeed are smaller than the bagged ones, and oddly, the shells came off all over the place floating in the pot. It’s still quite a task to take them out and there must be an easier way, tried a slotted spoon, my hand, sifting through the strainer. I’m just taking most out and into the hummus they shall go.

    But for those still in search of the elusive self shelling chick peas (say that 3 times fast), do not give up hope. I still think it’d be OK to make it without taking the shells out, as does my partner, but since they’re floating there anyway what the heck.

    I apologize most deeply for my lack of faith in the smaller, fresher chickpea theory. Why no one else talks about removing them I still don’t know but off I go! Cheers.

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