How to Make Really Good Hummus

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Making smooth, creamy restaurant quality Middle Eastern hummus is unbelievably easy with a few simple tricks.
After years of making hummus, it has almost been an eureka moment when I realised I was making very average hummus and with little effort I could make wonderful hummus.
Is there a difference?  Yes there sure is.

Those few simple ingredients of chickpeas, tahini, water. lemon juice, garlic, cumin and salt can interact together in completely different ways and it is more complex than dried versus canned chickpeas.  While dried are superior, I do often grab for a can as the convenience factor is huge.

Hummus originates across the Middle Eastern countries with versions slightly different.  All pretty much rely on the same ingredients with the proportions being the variant.


Dried chickpeas do make for a more luxurious creamy hummus although I often make hummus with canned,  the convenience factor is worth it.
If using dried chickpeas, make sure you soak them overnight, well covered in fresh water.
Drain, rinse and then place in a large saucepan with cold water and a big pinch of baking soda (bicarbonate soda). The baking soda raises the PH of the water and helps to break down the tough outer of the chickpea.  Simmer for 1 hour or until the chickpeas are soft – as in really tender and almost mushy.  Drain and rinse with cold water, rub with your hands loosening skins as is feasible and lifting them out (do not add any salt to the cooking water).
If using canned chickpeas they do need some more cooking to achieve silky smooth hummus.  Drain and rinse the canned chickpeas, place in a saucepan and cover with cold water and a pinch of baking soda.  Simmer for about 25 minutes and then drain, rinse and rub off skins.  The more skins you remove, the smoother the end hummus.  I certainly don’t remove all skins but I do rub off many.


Hulled tahini makes for a creamier hummus, unhulled tends to be grittier and also can have a bitter flavour.  I buy Ceres tahini if shopping at the supermarket or if I happen to be at a specialty food store then I will buy Middle Eastern brands.

Less is more with garlic, hummus should taste of all the components not just the garlic.  Use fresh garlic cloves and finely chop them with some sea salt.

Lemon Juice

Fresh lemon juice vs pre squeezed will always taste better.


Ground cumin of any brand.

Adding ice cold water to hummus helps to make a fluffier texture.  I add ice cubes to water and actually add the cubes into the food processor along with the water.


Deliciously Creamy Hummus

1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed or 1 1/2 cups cooked chickpeas
1/4 cup hulled tahini
1-2 cloves garlic
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
2 tablespoons lemon juice
3 tablespoons ice cold water
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
If using canned chickpeas then pllace the rinsed chickpeas in a saucepan and cover generously with cold water and a pinch – 1/4 – 1/2 teaspoon – baking soda.  Simmer for 25-30 minutes.  Drain and rinse well with cold water, rub of loose skins as is feasible in terms of time.
Place chickpeas in a food processor with tahini, garlic, cumin, lemon juice, water and salt
Process until smooth.   Taste and adjust flavours to suit.
Spoon into a bowl or container and drizzle with olive oil. Refrigerate until needed.

How do you make your hummus and any tips from you that haven’t been covered here?

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One thought on “How to Make Really Good Hummus

  1. Hi Helen,
    Thanks for this hummus tutorial – great stuff. I am not a fan of tahini as I do not like the flavour of raw sesame seeds. Instead, I toast sesame seeds and grind them to a paste in the processor before using in place of tahini in my hummus. Perhaps not as creamy as your recipe, but does not have the raw tahini flavour I dislike.