We’ve all had the homemade hummus at parties (or the stuff from the grocery store) that’s flavourless and thick or worse still: gritty. I used to struggle with making hummus that could compete with the stuff I’d eaten in the Middle East, and Colorado (at the time I moved here) had very few good quality restaurants. After much trial and error, I discovered a few tricks to make your hummus superb.
The first trick is really in the chickpeas themselves. In the US I only use Palouse Brand chickpeas (dried, soaked overnight, then cooked). I’ve found that these chickpeas offer the best texture and flavour. For tinned chickpeas I used to use Goya, though I don’t anymore (the worst were Trader Joe’s which were mealy, hard, and flavourless – sorry Trader Joe’s). If you’re cooking your chickpeas from dried, you’ll want to soak for 8-10 hours (or overnight) covered with water. Drain your water in the morning, and then add enough cool water to cover, a tablespoon of salt, and 2 teaspoons of baking soda. Bring to a boil, then simmer for an hour until the chickpeas are soft, skimming any skins that rise to the surface. Reserve about a cup of the aquafaba (or chickpea cooking water). Once fully cooked and cooled, you can rinse with water and rub them together to remove any remaining skins. If you’re using tinned chickpeas, you’ll still want to place in a pot with some water and a tsp of baking soda to help remove the skins – the skins are what impart the gritty texture so you want to make sure you get rid of all of them.
GARLIC & LEMON
You’ll want to peel and finely chop your garlic, and place it in your food processor with your lemon juice for ten minutes or so before blending. This makes the garlic flavour more mellow and eliminates any ‘bite’ or harshness. Once the garlic has been exposed to the lemon, you can blend before adding your tahina. If you’re like me and you keep a giant jar of homemade toum in your refrigerator at all times you can omit the garlic entirely and replace with a heaping tablespoon of toum instead.
The next step is adding your tahini. Add this after the garlic lemon mixture, and if needed to make it smooth – add some of the reserved aquafaba (chickpea cooking / can liquid). Once you have a sauce you can add your chickpeas and blend fully. Remember, your hummus is only as good as your tahini – do not use the cheap Joyva stuff. I’d highly recommend procuring this from an Arab market or a specialty store, as good tahini isn’t bitter at all, unlike the stuff you’ll find in most American supermarkets these days. After you’ve made your tahini sauce you’ll add the rest of your ingredients – making sure your chickpeas are at room temperature or cool – you don’t want steamy chickpeas warming the rest of your ingredients!
Serve hummus topped with a drizzle of olive oil, reserved whole chickpeas, harissa, cumin, sumac, za’atar, Aleppo pepper – whatever sounds good to you. Make a side of homemade khubz (pita) to dip in it!
Hummus Bi Tahini
- Food Processor (Large)
- 16 ounces dried chickpeas I recommend Palouse brand
- water to cover
- 1 Tbsp kosher salt
- 2 tsp baking soda
-or- Tinned Chickpeas
- 2 15 ounce tins chickpeas
- water to cover
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 2 tsp baking soda
For the Hummus
- juice of 2 lemons
- 6-8 cloves garlic peeled and finely chopped
- ⅓ to ½ cup good tahini (don't use the Joyva stuff here)
- ¼ cup aquafaba (chickpea cooking water)
- 30 ounces cooked, peeled chickpeas – room temperature or cool (listed above)
- 1 ½ tsp kosher salt
- ½ tsp ground cumin
- 3 Tbsp olive oil plus more, for serving
- sprinkle za'atar for serving (optional)
- sprinkle sumac for serving (optional)
- sprinkle cumin for serving (optional)
- handful chopped parsley for serving (optional)
- Soak chickpeas in water overnight, or for at least 8-10 hours.
- Drain soaking water, add fresh water to cover (by about 2") plus salt and baking soda
- Bring to a rapid boil, then reduce heat to medium – simmering for at least one hour, until all chickpeas are soft. You will want to skim any rising skins from the top of the pot as you go. Reserve 1 cup of the cooking liquid.
- Once chickpeas are fully cooked, drain (remembering to reserve 1 cup of cooking liquid) and cool – then rub the chickpeas together in a bowl of cool water to remove any remaining skins. Set aside.
-or- Tinned Chickpeas:
- Pour chickpeas in a pot liquid and all and cover with water, add salt and baking soda.
- Bring to a rapid boil, then reduce heat to medium for 15-20 minutes or so – skimming any skins that rise to the top of the pot.
- Drain and cool – then rub the chickpeas together in a bowl of cool water to remove any remaining skins. Set aside.
Making Your Hummus:
- Peel and finely chop 6-8 garlic cloves (depending on size, taste) and place in your food processor bowl. Add the juice of two lemons. Let sit for 10 minutes to allow the garlic to mellow. After 10 minutes blend thoroughly.
- Add your tahini, then blend again – adding aquafaba (chickpea water) until it is a thick creamy consistency. Once fully blended, add your chickpeas, salt, and cumin.
- You cannot overblend this, so run the processor until it is smooth, then slowly drizzle in your olive oil while the machine is still running. Blend again until the mixture is super smooth and creamy.
- If the mixture is too thick, you can add more aquafaba (chickpea water) if needed.
- Serve with a drizzle of olive oil, and a sprinkle of parsley, za'atar, cumin, sumac, Aleppo pepper, or harissa – whatever your heart's desire!