Hummus was one of the very first recipes I ever blogged about, and it continues to be a favorite recipe on my site. Making your own hummus is easy and affordable, and the resulting flavor is far superior to those tubs of store-bought dip. When you peel the chickpeas before blending, a light, silky texture emerges that is simply irresistible.
Hummus is an absolute staple in our home cuisine. Rarely a family gathering goes by without a dish of hummus at the table. This simple food is tasty, filling, heart-healthy, vegetarian, dairy free and gluten free. What could be better?
Since first posting this recipe, I have refined my hummus-making technique quite a bit. Peeling the chickpeas is a must, but I always found it to be a very tedious process. The owner of a local falafel joint shared his secret for peeling lots of garbanzo beans at once, and I’ve been using it ever since. This simple trick using baking soda works like a charm! I decided to update my recipe with this new technique, and I even added a video to help walk you through the steps- check it out down below the ingredient list.
Hummus has been a mainstay of the Middle Eastern diet for centuries. It is eaten as both an appetizer and a main course, usually served with hot baked pita bread and a bowl of olives. Hummus is often paired with fresh fried falafel and sometimes shared alongisde ful mudammas in a dish known as hummus ful. In Western countries, it tends to be served as an appetizer or snack dip alongside vegetable crudités, pita bread or chips.
A decade ago hummus was relegated to the health food stores, an oft-overlooked dip with a niche audience. The dip has gained massive popularity in the past few years, and now can be found at most major grocery stores in varying flavors. From roasted pepper to spicy jalapeño to white bean basil, you can find a variety of hummus choices on market shelves. Venture into making it yourself, and you’ll discover even more possibilities– like creamy avocado cilantro or exotic peanut hummus. Once you master the technique, you can come up with your own delicious ideas!
Hummus is very nutritious… and if you make it yourself, it’s affordable too. You can make about three times the amount of hummus for the price of one store-bought tub, and it tastes so much better made fresh. As long as you have a food processor, nothing could be easier. Of course, you could mash it the old fashioned way with a mortar and pestle, but it will take some serious elbow grease. I highly recommend the processor if you have access to one.
I sometimes add roasted garlic to my hummus instead of plain garlic. The roasting adds depth to the garlic’s flavor, and just a hint of sweet smokiness that I find delicious. It’s also easier on the digestive system than raw garlic. I have provided instructions for roasting garlic in a previous blog. Use raw garlic if you prefer a stronger, sharper garlic flavor.
Keep in mind that all ingredients are “to taste.” The key to great hummus is tasting often and adjusting the flavors as desired.
Hummus tastes best when made with cooked chickpeas instead of canned. To learn how to prepare the chickpeas, check out this post: How to Soak and Cook Chickpeas.
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Video by Entice Films
- 3 1/2 cups canned OR soaked and cooked chickpeas/garbanzo beans
- 1 tbsp baking soda (optional - to help skin the chickpeas, then rinsed away - see instructions below)
- 1/3 cup tahini paste
- 8 roasted garlic cloves , or more to taste (you may substitute 1-3 fresh garlic cloves if you prefer a stronger sharper flavor)
- 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice , or more to taste
- 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil , plus more for garnish
- 3/4 tsp cumin
- 1/2 tsp salt , or more to taste
- Pinch cayenne pepper
- Paprika and fresh minced parsley for garnish optional
If using canned chickpeas, drain and rinse them first. If cooking the beans, follow my soaking and cooking instructions here. Drain the beans after cooking and let them return to room temperature. To make this hummus ultra creamy, you should peel the cooked chickpeas. While this step is optional, I do recommend it for creamy results. To peel and remove the chickpea skins easily, place them in a skillet with 1 tbsp baking soda and stir, coating all the beans thoroughly with baking soda. Heat up the skillet over medium, stirring the beans constantly, for 2-3 minutes until the beans are completely heated throughout and the skins begin to separate from the beans.
Pour the hot beans into a large mixing bowl, then immerse them in 3-4 changes of cold water, agitating the beans with your hands to release the skins. Loose skins should float to the surface where they can easily be discarded with each batch of cold water. When most of the skins are gone, proceed with the recipe.
Another way of skinning the chickpeas (which takes a lot longer) is to take each chickpea and gently squeeze to remove the skin, then discard the skins before processing. While this step is not completely necessary, it will ensure that your hummus turns out very smooth and creamy.
Reserve about 15-20 whole chickpeas for garnish. Outfit your food processor with a blade attachment. Place chickpeas, tahini paste, roasted garlic, lemon juice, 1 tbsp olive oil, salt, cumin, and cayenne pepper into the processor. Process the mixture until it becomes a smooth, creamy hummus.
Taste the mixture and add more salt, lemon juice, or garlic to taste. Process again to blend any additional ingredients. If the texture seems too thick, add lukewarm water and continue to process until desired consistency is reached.
Transfer hummus to a shallow bowl and create a well in the center with a spoon. Garnish with reserved chickpeas, a drizzle of olive oil, and a sprinkle of paprika and minced fresh parsley. Serve with pita, crackers, or fresh vegetables for dipping.