Great hummus is amazing, and it can be life altering. It has been an obsession for me, for the entirety of my adult life. However, most people haven’t had great hummus; they’ve had store bought versions or their own homemade types that aren’t necessarily true to traditional flavors. You can choose to eat it from the store, or you can make this incredible recipe that you will much prefer as I have poured years of time, passion, and love into this hummus.
- 32 oz canned chickpeas (best if you start fresh, soak, and cook, but canned are more convenient for me at the moment)
- 1+ c tahini
- 1 lemon (or lime in a pinch)
- 4-5 garlic cloves
- salt to taste (1/4-1/2 tsp)
- chickpea water from cooking
- olive oil for garnish*
- paprika, zaatar, cumin, harissa for garnish*
It’s not so much the ingredients that make a good hummus, but the method and ratios. To begin, drain and rinse your chickpeas until there are no more bubbles. Plop them in a pot on medium heat with the garlic. Fill the empty can with water 1 1/2 times and add to the pot. Make sure to boil the chickpeas until they smoosh between your fingers VERY easily, but not until they disintegrate. (Approximately 30 minutes.)
Once the chickpeas are cooked, take a utensil with slots and fish them out of the water, so you can keep the water for later use.
Into the blender or food processor goes your lemon, tahini, and some (about 1/3 c) of the hot chickpea water. Blend until you get a smooth, light, and fluffy consistency. It may take a little extra water or tahini here or there until you get to that point, which is ok. One cannot have too much tahini.
Shown above is the evolution of the sauce (enlarged so you can see it clearly), from the ingredients and first blend to the second blend after adding more chickpea water. The picture to the far right is the end consistency you want (this sauce doubles as a salad dressing :0 ).
Once you have achieved this, dump in your salt and chickpeas (they must hot out of the pot), except a couple spoonfuls chickpeas to serve on top of the finished yumminess. Blend everything together until you reach a fluffy light consistency again; it may take more tahini (1-2 tbsp) and hot chickpea water (1/4 c) to reach this point. Do not despair; it took me YEARS to get to this recipe. All you need to do is tweak your ratios a bit.
After reaching that light, fluffy, and creamy heavenly goodness, plate it while hot and fresh, top with the leftover hot chickpeas, olive oil, and your choice of spices. Serve with naan, pita, roti, flatbread of some sort, potatoes, roasted vegetables, pulaos, biryani, chorizo potatoes, huevos rancheros, fresh greens, rice, etc; seriously, whatever you have! You can even use hummus as a pasta sauce if you cook the pasta and add it to the hummus with some pasta water to thin it out. I’ve done it with pasta and broccoli; it was delicious. Whatever you do, I highly, highly recommend that you eat this fresh instead of popping it in the fridge. It may be good cold, but it will be amazing fresh.
*None of these ingredients are optional except the garnishes if you want quality hummus, otherwise it will be mediocre.