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.
I expect I’ll be pilloried for this but why not just use tinned chick peas? They’re cooked and ready to go.
Hi Shimon, sorry for the delayed response.
Canned chickpeas are OK if that’s what you have. Dry chickpeas will make a better tasting, easier to digest and more healthy hummus.
I love hummus. I order it all the time whenever it’s available on a menu. Not once has it ever been served with parsley. What is it with parsley showing up on hummus recipes?
Dear Carl – In the middle east hummus is very frequently served with chopped parsley. I’m afraid this is not the only difference from the hummus you’d usually find in the states. I think some photos of hummus from Israel may help explain:https://humus101.com/EN/2016/05/13/10-secret-hummus-places-in-israel/
and in the Hebrew version of this blog there’s a lot more. These have some fine photos as well:
Hope this answers your question.
Just because you’ve had something one way does not make other ways wrong.
If you don’t like it don’t do it.
That’s the joy of cooking, you can specialize it.
It looks so easy to make but very delicious.
I am going to make it tomorrow.
What type of oil is traditionally poured on top of hummus, like in the pic in the post? Grape seed oil?
Help! I followed the instructions, and let them simmer for 1 hour. I think I overcooked them but I’m not sure! They are extremely soft, mushy, and the skins all fell off. It’s impossible to separate now, they’re all in a mush together. Any ideas or suggestions, please! Are they still good to cook with? How do I get all the skins out?
I like the site but this recipe that uses 1/2 cup of Tahini is double what a lot of other recipes use. I found all I was tasting was Tahini. I would recommend using less, you can always add more in it later.
Can you please tell me, do you used hulled or unhulled tahini? Thank you
Michelle – I use tahini made of hulled sesame seeds, which is the best choice for a good hummus. Note that whole seeds aren’t necessarily healthier, especially when they come from third world countries where insecticide use in agriculture is less regulated. It is very different than with whole wheat, which needs the fiber to balance the high content of carbohydrates. Sesame seeds are 90% fat, so it doesn’t really matter.
Unhulled sesame is bitter and therefore unsuitable.
Is there a way to make good hummus without the baking soda? I heard that baking soda leaches metals out of the cookware into the food
Gil – I don’t think this claim is substantiated. Maybe it’s relevant to aluminum pots, but no way can baking soda leach stainless steel. Having said that – you can use a pressure cooker. Even with a pressure cooker it’s a good idea to use some baking soda, but you need much less.
Use glass or Pyrex cookware. The baking soda won’t have anything to leech into.
Phil – Great recipe and did not change anything with the exception of sprinkling smoked paprika on top which added some kick.
You don’t really mean parsley, do you? You mean coriander — כוסברה (kussbara)
Parsley it is. Coriander is never used in hummus.
I was in Oman on business a couple of years ago and the hotel I stayed in had the best humus I have ever had. I searched the internet for quite a while trying to find a recipe that I thought would give a similar result. This was the one I chose because it kept the ingredients to a minimum.
I will admit that I cheated and used canned chickpeas. This is a great recipe. It reminded me very much of what I had in Oman. The simple flavors of this really hit the mark. I did have to use a bit of water to get the consistency right, but it is great. This is one I will definitely make again. Thanks for the recipe.
Great Joe! But you ought to try using dried chickpeas – it’s even better.
What is the reason of using baking soda in the soaking process of the chickpeas?
Why small chickpeas? Do they taste better or is it just for the sake of a shorter cooking time?
Baking soda soften the water which helps in softening the chickpeas. It’s more important to add it to the cooking water, though.
Small chickpeas – because their shells are thicker and tend to disintegrate while cooking, which helps in getting a smoother texture. The Smaller chickpeas varieties are usually also more suitable for hummus in terms of taste and consistency. The light Mexican/Spanish chickpeas, for example, is great for soups and stews but gives hummus a somewhat flowery texture.
Thanks for the reply. Because of the shells you mentioned, I was just thinking about “chana dal” from the Indian cuisine – split chickpeas with shells already removed. Wouldn’t that be a considerable option?
So..I cooked my dried chickpeas BEFORE finding this info! Just followed the directions on the back of the box. Didnt do the ovrnight soak. brought them to a boil shut heat off and let them sit in the water for 1 1/2 hours drained THEN boiled them again till they softened up enough for me to squish. I didnt use baking soda and I think they may still not be cooked enough? I’ve never used dried before and not sure how soft they are supposed to be. Should I cook again adding some baking soda? also they are garbonzo beans so bigger. dont want to waste them!
How much olive oil? How much salt?
Salt – to taste. Start with 1/2 a teaspoon.
Olive oil – only a drizzle, and do not mix it into the hummus. Sprinkle it over the hummus before serving.
Hey Shooky. Loving your recipes especially the Synia which I will try tonight for my Hebrew Book Club tomorrow night. We always cook the theme foods in the book. Loads of fun.
A suggestion- Can you make the recipes print ready so there is no need to cut and paste into word??
Hi Julie! Thanks for your comment, and it’s great that you find the blog so useful.
There is already a printing options: click on the crown button (“SumoMe”) on the sharing toolbar on the left (just under the Twitter button) and search for “print”.
True, this is hardly friendly enough. Will change it soon.
I have found that the importance of baking soda vs. no baking soda to be inconsequential. It is critical to cook the beans to a soft consistansy, no baking soda only makes the cooking take longer, baking soda is only a catalyst for time (this can also be achieved by hydrating the dried beans by about 12 hours in plain water.) The path towards perfect hummus is in the purreing process. One needs to “cream” the beans in a high powered processor until you have the consistency of butter. The perfect machine is called ” a blixer” by a French company called robotcoup. It is a high speed food mill with an active internal scraper that allows one to move the product during the purreing process without stopping. This allows one to get the smooth consistency without the need to add to much water . This makes for a dream dense hummus with out it being runny. The high speed of this machine allows the chaf or skins to Incorporated seemlessly, no need to remove them ahead of time.
What are the spices that you put on top of the hummus with oil? just more cumin?
Hi Amanda, and sorry for my delayed response.
Hummus is usually served garnished and seasoned with olive oil, parsley, and sometimes paprika and/or cumin. Technically, the paprika is used as a substitute for Sumac, which has a sour taste. Sometimes the hummus is also seasoned with a sauce made of lemon juice and garlic and/or ground hot green peppers.
Perfect, thank you for the response!
Hulls or no hulls? Is it necessary to remove all the hulls from the chickpeas? I noted that some hulls remain affixed to the chickpea during the cooking process, while others separated and floated free.
Any tips to maximise gas caused by eating hummus? I always find that adds an amusing twist to any dinner party.
Cammy – sure: skip the baking soda, don’t skim the foam, make sure the chickpeas don’t get fully soft, then eat the hummus quickly and without chewing the pita too much. Good luck!
Many thanks for the sincere response, it will be useful in certain (but not all, of course) hummus-making situations. 🙂