This is a very traditional hummus recipe, made from scratch. Whether you slather it on pita bread or use as a dip for crunchy veggies, it is just delicious. Homemade hummus is easy to make, healthy and delicious – what more can you ask for in a snack/dip/spread? Vegan
Hummus does make you feel better about what you eat, just like guacamole or salsa! At least that is the excuse my family uses when I find them with a large chip bag, and no sign of chips in it save a few crumbs. It is essentially chickpeas and some seasonings – all healthy stuff.
The lady who owned the middle eastern take out place nearby used to make fresh hummus and it was a treat slathered on the pita bread with a slice of meat and few veggies. Alas the store is there no more. We do get a lot of fancy hummus at the grocery stores. But none of it seems to match the taste and texture of fresh made ones.
What do I have against the standard grocery store versions? Well these are too way too creamy for my taste – often feels more like chickpea mousse than hummus! On top of that none of it compares to the fresh made taste.
Making Homemade Hummus
But that is besides the point – it is so easy to make it at home. All you need are chickpeas, sesame seeds, garlic, lemon and salt. Everything else is optional. Olive oil, cumin and paprika are all add on ingredients to give it extra depth.
Garbanzo Beans / Chickpeas
Chickpeas are one of the earliest legumes cultivated by humans , with recorded history dating back to 6000 years. There are 2 main varieties – the large plale and the smaller brown ones. For hummus we use the large pale version.
I make chole quite often, which means that I have dried chick peas (aka garbanzo beans) in the pantry most of the time. With a pressure cooker it is very easy to cook dry beans. So often times I cook double batch of garbanzo beans when making chole. This gives me extra cooked garbanzo beans that I can freeze for later use or make into hummus.
If cooking dried beans is not your thing or you don’t have time to soak and cook the beans by all means use canned beans. Canned beans won’t have the same fresh flavors, but will be darn good still.
To leave the skin on or not
In order to make a very creamy hummus you have to skin the cooked garbanzo beans. It is a little extra work, but not hard work. I prefer to leave the skin on or remove skin from some. The cooked chickpea skin does not have any flavors to bring to the table, but it sure has some fiber, moreover I like a bit of texture to my hummus.
Sesame Seeds / Tahini
Did I mention sesame seeds in the list above? Oh yes, I did . Well if you scroll down to the recipe you will see tahini listed there, not sesame seeds. Tahini is ground sesame seed paste. Think of it like peanut butter and peanuts. Unless you do a lot of Mediterranean cooking chances are tahini is not a staple in your pantry. Tahini is readily available in the international section of supermarkets or middle eastern stores.
So if all you can find in the super marker is a large jar of tahini, then go ahead and get sesame seeds and make your own tahini – more on that down below.
Tips >> No worries if you do not have tahini or sesame seeds – the hummus will be good without it. You bet there are people who swear by hummus made without tahini. So don’t worry if you don’t have it – you are in good company.
How to make Tahini
Lightly toast about 1/2 C hulled white sesame seeds until it begins to pop. Keep stirring or shake the pan as it is being toasted. Do not brown. Cool and grind in a food processor or blender. If your machine is not equipped to process small quantities you might want to make a double batch. When the ground paste begins to stick to the sides add 1 to 2 tablespoons of oil (pure olive oil, canola or sesame oil) to the bowl and scrape the sides. Process again until the mix becomes a smooth paste.
So the above method is how you make smooth tahini. It is OK if you can’t get it into a smooth paste. If the seeds are ground pretty fine and begins to stick to the sides of the bowl, you are good to go.
What to do with leftover tahini?
Make more Hummus of course! Refrigerate the leftovers in an airtight container for 3 to 4 weeks. It is a great addition to recipes that call for peanut butter. Substitute about a 1/4 of the peanut butter with tahini and use to make sauces, salad dressings etc.
Whether I make hummus with or without Tahini, lemon is a must. Lemon adds fresh flavors to almost everything. Fresh squeezed lemon has the flavors and I suspect that as you squeeze it some of the essential oil get added to the dish as well. So use fresh lemons and don’t use the bottled or powdered stuff.
Garlic is another ingredient I would not recommend going without. You don’t need much – one clove is enough for this recipe. It adds that elusive savory component which makes you go for one more serving! Use fresh garlic, and if your garlic is sprouting remove the green sprout before using.
Cumin, Paprika, Olive Oil
All these are flavorings that go great with hummus. A little goes a long way. Add a little extra olive oil if you can’t find tahini. A pinch of cumin gives it a light smoky flavor and you can add it to the blender with the beans.. Paprika, on the other hand is added more for a hint of heat and color. It is added while serving, and is totally optional.
Hummus is one of the easiest dips to make. Just add the garbanzo beans, garlic, cumin, lemon juice, salt and tahini to the blender and blend till smooth. You can add a little chickpea cooking water (or the brine from the can) to help things along. If you want a very smooth hummus remove the skin from the garbanzo beans. Personally, I prefer a bit of texture from the skin.
The most important thing is to taste while you make it. Adjust salt and lemon juice to your taste and add olive oil to the blender if you don’t have tahini.
Homemade Hummus – don’t you think it is easy to make?
- 1 1/2 Cup Cooked Chickpeas I Can
- 1/4 Cup Tahini See Notes
- 2 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil More for serving
- 1 Clove Garlic Medium sized
- 3/4 Tsp Fine Sea Salt To Taste
- 1 Lemon
- 1 Pinch Cumin Powder
- Paprika To Garnish
- Drain the garbanzo beans and reserve ¼ C of the cooking liquid. Skin the beans if you are looking for smooth and fluffy hummus.Add tahini, juice of half fresh lemon and a pinch of salt to the food processor. Process for a minute until creamy. Add the drained chickpeas, chopped garlic, cumin, and 1 tbsp of olive oil. Process a few times until the mix turns smooth and no chunky bits remain. Add 1 to 2 tbsp of the chickpea liquid to keep the blender moving smoothly. Taste and add more salt and lemon as needed.
- Transfer to a serving plate. Smooth the top. Drizzle the remaining olive oil on top of the spread and sprinkle paprika.
- Use canned or home cooked chick peas /garbanzo beans
- Tahini is sesame paste readily available in international/Mediterranean sections of the grocery store. Check the blog for quick home made tahini.
Important: Values are only estimates. Actuals vary depending on ingredients and serving size.