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.
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
- olive oil
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.
Thanks for the great recipe! Using a good tahini is key, the Joyva brand that is so common (and inexpensive) in the US is horrible.
One question though: Is it possible to overcook the chickpeas? After about 50 minutes of cooking I tasted a few, they were absolutely delicious. However, though they were soft, I decided to be on the safe side and let them cook for the full 90 minutes. When I tasted them after the cooking was done, that great flavor had mostly disappeared and they were quite bland. Am I hallucinating or do you have to be really careful not to overcook them? I made sure to use the smaller Israeli chickpeas (I found the Sugat brand in the ethnic aisle).
I just got back from a trip to Bahrain where I had fresh hummus almost every day and I got addicted to it! I bought dried chick peas while there and hoped to find a good recipe so I could make it at home. I just made it tonight for a party and everyone loved it! It tasted exactly like the hummus I fell in love with!! Thanks so much for sharing this great recipe!!
I am definitely giving this recipe a try. Looks great.
I do have one question, at the local Super H Mart (mostly Asian market here) I have seen a number of times, fresh chick peas. I have thought about getting these to make fresh hummus. I’m wondering what should I look for in a fresh chick pea and how much I should use for a batch?
I love hummus with FRESH pita bread, grilled chikion, and olive oil lemon salad
OK, I’ve left 2-3 comments after my various efforsts, but I made it perfectly to my liking first time this time, though it differs from yours. This is my final draft, I swear, unless I discover something really remarkable in the future. I was in the zone and though my recipe differs from yours, it was yours that led me there, since I felt like I’ve been adjusting a definitive recipe to my own liking, rather than one of many that I wasn’t so sure if they had the right idea in the first place.,
In short, my changes were:
1) Only 1/4 cup tahini, and half a large lemon, which might be as much juice as your whole lemon if it was small.
2) Only rinsed once, which I feel maintained more chickpea flavor.
3) Added olive oil directly to the hummus, and cumin.
I don’t think I have an especial problem with digestion/gas and chickpeas, so I’ve decided I don’t need to go to such lengths to prevent it. Plus I was in a hurry, as I had to roast an emergency eggplant before it went flat on its own. So I used a method often advised for dried beans/peas etc., and rinsed the chickpeas, brought them to a boil with lots of water, turned the heat off and put the lid on and let it sit for an hour. I also added a couple teaspoons of baking soda. per your advice. And also a bay leaf , whether it does anything or not. Bay leaves are fun and no one knows what they really do to anything.
After one hour was the only time I rinsed the chickpeas after the initial washing, and I did so thoroughly, and washed the pot lightly as well. Back into the pot they went with lots of water again, and I let them boil for maybe 1.25 hours, until they were squishy soft. Only problem was the husks were almost falling apart too so it was much too difficult to remove them, so I put it all into the Cuisinart after removing a couple clumps of husks.
I used half the amount of lemon and tahini in your recipe to start off with, as I wanted to be careful since I felt it was overly tahini’d before. Admittedly, it was a pretty big lemon, but I didn’t need to add any more of either. 3 medium cloves garlic finely chopped, and drizzled in maybe 2 tablespoon of unfiltered olive oil.
It was perfect at first taste, and I only added a few drop of lemon that had dripped into the squeezer in the meantime. Consistency was almost perfect, I’d made it too thin in the past by adding liquid too aggressively. I just added 1/4 cup of homemade veggie broth for ever the slightest thinning.
Hurray. I’ve compressed years of experience into a few months, thanks to your leadership. I feel fulfilled, as does my s/o, as we both thought it was top notch. Thanks again!
Can anyone with experience write about Masabacha?
How I can upgrade my hummus to a Masabacha.
And does anyone have pointers for making fool (fava bean paste)?
Almost all hummus recipes call for “the smallest chickpea you can find.” But what does this mean? After doing a bit of research — and experimenting with about 100 batches of hummus, I have a simple and great answer: Use chickpeas that go by the name, “Chana Dal.” It is a split and husked “Desi” garbanzo bean, as opposed to the bigger and prettier “Kabuli” bean that most people use. You can find it in Indian, Persian, Arabic and Israeli markets. Surprisingly, it is rarely labeled as “chickpea.” Instead it carries the Indian name, “Chana Dal” — and one manufacturer (Sadaf) even INCORRECTLY labels it as “Split Yellow PEAS.” A close look at the ripples on the bean, however, tells you its a chickpea. There are several benefits to using Chana Dal: 1) they’re split and already skinned, so you get a much smoother hummus with less cooking time; 2) the lack of skin means much less hassle with sifting, and you can blend them into a paste with a hand mixer, i.e., you don’t need a food processor; 3) it’s more flavorful (IMHO) than the Kabuli bean hummus; 4) it has a higher nutritional value, with a lower glycemic index and more fiber; and 5) it is less expensive (not that it makes much difference). Try it; you’ll like it!
I have some nitrogen packed garbanzos that have been in storage for about 20 years. (I know, I know… 1st rule of food storage: rotation, rotation rotation!)
Should I bother trying to make hummus from these senior citizens of the chickpea world, or will they be too hard and tough? Maybe putting them through a grain grinder would work? If nobody has any sage advice, I’ll go ahead and experiment and report back, but first I think I’ll buy some fresh ones so my first go at homemade hummus won’t be a bust!
I just tried this today and it is delicious
I use a basic recipe for hommus with these changes, I take 1/2 cup of raw sessame seeds and toast them on a dry skillet until they are lightly brown. Then I place them in a coffee grinder when they are cool and process very finely. I dispense with the tahinni and add a bit more of the cooking water. I always use cumin in my hommus too. I have substituted sunflower seeds for the sessame, toasted in the same manner. I am so hooked on Hommus! I make it in other ways sometimes too, with tomato and greenchilis, with basil, with oregano……I love this as a spread on a sandwitch instead of butter or mayo….really good in a Pita with onion, and other veggies. I mixed a scoop of Hommus in a cooked vegetable and pasta skillet too, and that was very tasty as well.
I love your site and want to make this but I’m still a little confused! The Tahini that is called for in the Hummus, is it the Tahini that I would buy from the store or is it the Tahini that I would make from your recipe link at the top????
I’ve read about half of the comments trying to find the answer but due to time, I’ve given up and am just asking! Hoping for an answer !
I stumbled upon this site in search of how to make hummus and, consequently, what is more nutritious: dried or canned chick peas.
After much research on recipes I chose this one only because it was the more thorough in explanation about things I wasn’t sure about: cooking chick peas and Tahini– so thank you for going over these things in detail!
I just finished my first batch ever and was delightfully surprised on how well it turned out. There was much more room for improvement and experimentation, but all in all it was a wonderful success.
Thank you for a brilliant recipe and this blog! I’ll be dreaming up ways on how to perfect my hummus from here on out and I will be able to say so long to commercial brands.
Can you use the canned type.
When you saw Tahini, you mean just the paste (raw) or the Tahini sauce (with water and stuff, like your Tahini recipe) ?
I made my very first batch of homemade hummus today. I’ve always loved it but found the commercial brands to taste too heavily of preservatives. At first I was unsure about starting from dried beans – especially for my first shot out of the gate – but after reading your information on the nutritional difference between dried and canned there’s no way I could sacrifice the nutrients. The process was simple and hummus produced was the creamiest, most wonderful tasting hummus I’ve ever had. I actually had to put it away so I’d stop eating it. Thanks so much for sharing your recipe!
I went looking for the “smallest chickpeas I could find”.
Found them at an Indian store – chana desi. Jackets were only removable manually – a task which got old pretty fast.
Turns out there’s a pre-split pre-de-jacketed version called chana dal. Taste is good – a bit lighter flavor than the big chick peas the Indians call kabuli. Texture is very good, using a food processor to grind . (Had a conversation with someone who makes hummus commercially, and his texture secret was a dairy homogenizer; I’ll never get it that smooth, but it’s good).
I’m still experimenting with recipes. This bean seems to need less tahini, proportionally, to taste “right” (a bit less than 1/3C tahini to 1C pre-soak beans).
I’ve also been experimenting with replacing (or partially replacing) tahini with various oils. So far the tastiest result has been with avocado oil replacing about half the tahini (figures – avocado oil is expensive).
Guess that’s it – thanks for getting me started on this!
I made a double batch 2 weeks ago and it was mediocre. I made a single batch tonight (1 cup dry chickpeas) with Lebanese Alkanater Tahini Extra. This is the best hummus I have ever made. Thank you a thousand times.
Question: Do I double the baking soda if I make a double batch?
Just made this recipe last night after spending time in Israel and wanting to learn to make proper humus. It turned out great! I really can’t understand why everyone in the states makes it so poorly.
I used a pressure cooker to speed up the process. Only requires 10-12 minutes cooking if you soak the beans as instructed.
The husks mostly separated, but were kind of annoying to skim off since the beans were so soft after cooking. I found using a sieve spoon and gently lifting the beans and allowing them to roll back into the water pulled away most of the husks.
First of all thank you for taking the time to share your recipe. I have not tried it yet, but have been experimenting with hummus for awhile and cannot wait to see the results from using the dry chickpeas. I already have begun the process earlier today – the soaking – but I did not know to add the baking soda then. Do you think this wlill affect the hummus greatly? Just wondering if you would start over again, because I am feeding this to a large group and hope that it will be as good as I’ve had it at various restaurants. Thank you for your time:)!
I just made this recipe and the texture turned out well but I was shocked at the strong, nutty flavor. All I can taste is the tahini. I loved eating hummus during my travels in the middle east and was expecting that flavor, not a nutty one. I added a bunch of spices but nothing seems to overpower the nutty taste. Is all tahini so nutty?
Question. Is there any where in Israel to nuy ready peeled chickpeas?
>>Question. Is there any where in Israel to nuy ready peeled chickpeas?
Look for chana dal. It’s smaller chickpeas, split and peeled. I get mine in an Indian store nearby (NE USA), but there must be a South Asian community in Israel, or at least some of the foods available, and chana gets used a lot.
Hi Shooky! I love your blog. After eating hummus in Israel, my life has just not been the same. This blog has given me some hope! I went to a place in NYC called “Mimi’s hummus” this past weekend and it was the closest thing I have come to Israeli hummus, but still not the same. Luckily I just found Karawan tahini on Ebay, so maybe I can begin to make my own. Any suggestions on where to order good chickpeas?. 🙂 http://www.ebay.com/itm/Best-Tehini-Tehina-Tahini-100-Sesame-Paste-From-Nablus-Shechem-Middle-East-/110959893760
Have a good weekend! 🙂
I made this recipe and it was very good.
I usually make my hummus in a mixer and let it mix for 20-minutes. This mixing process adds air into the hummus and makes it creamy.
I also add 2-tablespoons of good yogurt. This also makes it creamy and enhances the lemon juice.
Thanks for sharing your recipe.
Wow! Comments on this for 6 years! amazing! shows what a wonderful recipe it is! Made my first batch today and it is so awesome! I can see a few minor adjustments I might make but that’s what it’s all about right, adjusting to taste. I loved reading all the comments here and everyone’s sharing and LOVE that people are so passionate about hummus! Many many thanks!
Love the hummus we ate in the Middle East – it was so light and yummy. Is the secret to eliminate the skins?
I was in Israel this year some days to make holidays. But not this kind of holidays with hotel, managed tours etc.! Just a backpack, tent, and a bit of money.
It was a little bit hard to explain at the airport, that I doesnt know anyone in this country and even doesnt know any word in hebrew – but this is another funny story 😉
What I wanted to say is: since then, I not only felt in love with this beautiful country and people, but also I felt in love with hummus!
So, back in Berlin, I searched for a good recipe, found this site, and decided to try. Without food compressor. Bad Idea. The first try was for the wastebin (in my opinion! A friend of mine was also trying the “hummus”, he didnt eate hummus ever before, and he liked it, haha).
I didnt wanted to give up, buyed a food compressor (yes, just for making humus), tried again, (this time I didnt forget to keep the cooking water ;)…) and: it was great! Texture, taste – wunderful!
So, to cut a long story short: Thanks for the great recipe!!!
Thank you for the recipe.
I saw this a while back,but have not gotten a chance to try yet;but I can’t wait to try!
Could you please tell me how long this can be stored in the refrigerator?
You can store fresh hummus in the fridge for 2-3 day, as long as you don’t open it. You can also freeze the cooked chickpeas for several weeks before you make the hummus, so the best practice is to cook a lot of chickpeas and defreeze some every time you fancy fresh hummus.
I made hummus using your recipe yesterday and it was SO good.It was one of the best I’d had in a while.Thank you very very much!
The late Diane Kennedy once advised something to the effect of “if the recipe tells you to throw out the soaking water, throw out the recipe!” Why is it so hard to kill this myth? Changing the water you soak any kind of legume in is not going to make you gas less. It’s the nature of the bean. The solution is to eat more beans! Get your system used to them. The starches in the bean are what produce the gas among those not used to them, and nothing you can do, or add, will change that.
Use the same water you soak the chickpeas in for cooking them, and then be sure to save that water—some may be needed for the hummus (why use fresh water when you have the broth from cooking the peas?) because it is one of the most flavorful broths you’ll ever get from cooking a single ingredient—-use it for stock, freeze it if necessary!
Gryphoisle – that’s a very nice theory, but water in which you soaked chickpeas are acidic and rich in oligosaccharides that we can’t digest. The cooking water has both flavor and nutrients. The soaking water doesn’t.
Soooo… I’ve made this recipe a few times and it does make nice hummus BUT… I have a problem: I cook the peas at as slow a simmer as I can on my gas stove top but when they’re soft to the touch most of the peels have not separated. Is that a big deal? Do I just chop up whatever peels and include it in the hummas? Or do I go through the messy process of removing the peels from each pea by hand? What can I do during cooking to get the peels to come off without cooking the peas to the point of mush?! TIA.
You can make your hummus without separating the peels. It may effect the texture a little, but it’ll still be delicious. Also, if you use chickpeas that are small enough, their peels would get so thin after cooking that you can hardly see or feel them.
Regarding the allergy to tahini: I substitute peanut butter with flavorful, if not authentic results.
Thanks for this recipe. It is the best one I have seen and I have learned a thing or two from it. I think I will go back to using garlic and cumin again. I always used to. the only thing is, I would not use a blender. I mash everything with a masher, even though it is more work. I recommend trying this approach so you can decide for yourself which you prefer. The results are not the same.
Thank you for the recipy and congratulations for the website!
I’ve been eating pretty decent hummus all my life, howerver I just made this recipy today and had the best hummus ever.
Well worth the effort!! Thank you so much! This is delish!
Which is best to use in making traditional hummus – raw or roasted tahini?
All raw tahini is made from roasted sesame. The difference is in the temperature and how much of the shells are kept in the process (very little in the “regular” tahini, very much in the whole tahini). It’s best to make hummus with regular raw tahini and not whole tahini.
I made my first batch of this yesterday and was simply amazed at the creaminess and flavor. I have been searching for years to find the way to creamy hummus but have never found a thorough source of information. Finally, someone who is willing to share their wisdom 🙂
Now for a question… A Lebanese friend once told me that you can add yogurt to hummus to make it extra creamy. Is this actually true? Is this an authentic addition or just something someone made up along the way?
Also, if you double or triple your batch of chickpeas in order to freeze some etc., do you increase the amount of baking soda or keep it the same?
Bozisuk – Thanks for the compliments and it’s great that your hummus came out delicious.
Yogurt is not normally a part of the recipe, although it can give a nice consistency.
If you double the amount of chickpeas do make sure you double the baking soda as well.
For those in US, I found the Organic Chickpeas 5266 from Whole foods to give best results. They test great and also cook in less time.
Just found this site after a few meh attempts at hummus. Just completed my first batch, using some Chana Dal I found at a farmer’s market. Amazing. Best hummus I’ve had in a long time. Thanks!
I am planning to cook hummus tomorrow and went through a few recipes, but this is a first time that I see baking soda, what it the purpose of it?
Hi YKDK, sorry for the delayed response.
The baking soda is crucial in order to soften the chickpeas to the right degree. It also helps breaking down molecules called oligosaccharides that are in the peels and that are a little harder to digest.