Making hummus is more of an art than a science… At least that’s what I was led to believe whenever I asked my mother for a solid hummus recipe. Instead, the only knowledge I gained was about what was in hummus and what it should taste like. Based on that, I had to just keep adjusting ingredients until it tasted right and then, *poof*, there was hummus (or sometimes there wasn’t hummus). I just recently nailed down a foolproof recipe for making authentic hummus and I am sharing it, so that no one else has to go through the guess work again!
I say, “authentic,” because this recipe is for hummus that is served in middle eastern countries and households all over the world. It’s the kind of hummus handed down by grandmothers (the real deal when it comes to cooking). It is not the kind you find in the store. It has no crazy flavors in it (like roasted peppers or spicy mango or some other attempt to cover up mediocre hummus) and it doesn’t have that mass produced uniform consistency that store-bought hummus has. So, without further ado, here is my recipe for homemade authentic hummus:
Makes 1.5 cups or 24 tablespoons
Total Calories = 680 per 1.5 cups
Calories Per Serving = about 28 calories per tablespoon
- 3 tbs tahini (sesame) paste (about 315 cal. total)
- 1 can of chickpeas (15oz) (about 350 cal.)
- Juice of 1 fresh lime / 3 tbs lime juice (about 11 cal.)
Option: Use a little less lime (like 2 or 2.5 tbs) if you want less citrus flavor.
- 1/4 tsp cumin
- 1/4 tsp salt (can use less or more to taste)
- 1/2 tsp crushed/puréed garlic (about 4 cal)
- 1/4 cup cold water
- Food Processor
- Tablespoon and Teaspoon measurements
- Measuring cup
- Rubber Spatula / Spoon
- Sharp Knife / Garlic Press
- Manual Juicer (optional)
- Open the can of chickpeas, drain the liquid, and rinse them off before pouring them out into the food processor.
- Measure out 3 tablespoons of tahini paste and add to the chickpeas.
Note: Good tahini paste will often separate so that the oil sits on the top and the solids are on the bottom. Make sure you mix the tahini really well before using it.
- Blend the chick peas and tahini together just until the ingredients mix (i.e. don’t over-blend)
Note: You will probably need to scrape the sides of the food processor with a rubber spatula/spoon and mix the chickpeas so that they all get processed equally.
- Add the lime juice to the mix and blend until mixed together (the mixture will get really thick and grainy).
Note: You can squeeze the lime by hand, but I would recommend using a manual juicer to really get all the juice, or use a fork by digging the tines into half a lime and rotating it to get at the juice.
- Add the water and blend until the ingredients seem mixed well (this will make the hummus have the desired consistency)
Note: You can add more or less water depending on how thick or watery you like your hummus. A little more water will give you a sauce, which is great as a dressing.
- Add the cumin, salt, and garlic to the hummus.
Note: For the best results, use crushed or pureed garlic. I usually peel a bunch of garlic cloves, blend them in a food processor in bulk, and freeze the puree for later use. You can also buy peeled garlic cloves in bulk to speed up this process.
- Blend the ingredients until mixed well.
Note: The longer you blend, the smoother the hummus. I personally prefer a hummus with more texture, so I don’t like to blend it too much. Just enough to mix the ingredients and get the chickpeas broken up, but that is your call.
- Try garnishing the humus with a drizzle of olive oil for some added depth.
- If you like kalamata olives, dice a few pitted olives and sprinkle on top of the hummus for some salty sourness that compliments the hummus nicely.
- You can also dice some tomatoes or scallions over the hummus to make it more like a decorative dip. Fresh tomatoes also go wonderfully with this hummus.
- If you’re feeling a little more adventurous, try dicing up some sauteed beef or chicken marinated with cirtus into strips and serve over the hummus. I had this at a Lebanese restaurant once and it was incredible.
- If you’re one of those people that likes kooky flavors in your hummus, try adding a very little bit of chipotle pepper or the sauce from chipotle peppers to the hummus and blend it in. This creates a really interesting spicy, smoky, flavor.
- All of the above could/should be served with good syrian/lebanese/pita bread or pita chips (like Stacy’s brand). Try making your own low cal pita chips by simply putting pita bread halves in the oven until browned and then crack them into chips.