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The other night I was making hummus and I wondered what I could do to elevate this dish to chowhoundish levels. I normally just take canned chicpeas, rinse and dump them in a blender, add lemon juice, tahini, green onions, olive oil. I blend them to the consistency I am familiar with and garnish with olive oil and paprika and maybe more green onions.

My question is what could I do to make this more authentic or a higher level experience. I am calling on your experience to know what changes will make a difference. Should I use dried chickpeas rather than canned? Is there a particular brand of tahini that will make an improvement? What type of paprika? Olive oil? Are there other ingredients I should be using or some I am using that should be left out? Let me know how I could make the perfect hummus.


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  1. I didn't hear you mention garlic or cumin, both of which I think are essential. Also, S&W garbanzos are way better than the brand X competition. For diet purposes I substitute juice from the can of beans for much of the oil. I go generous on the lemon juice and tahini 1/4 cup each per 1 lb can of beans.

    4 Replies
    1. re: Sharuf

      Try mixing in some pesto.

      1. re: Sharuf

        S&W are the best and I'm using roasted garlic. From the grill. I do the same w/ juice from the can. Cumin is also great.

        I want to know what you put it on, cuz' I don't make nan.

        1. re: Sharuf

          You are so right! S & W garbanzos are really, really good. I like your idea of using the bean juice. I have been using a chicken broth in my hummus, to make it a little lighter.

          1. re: sueatmo

            the chickpeas may be good but the juice from canned beans is gross.

            The key to a good texture IMO is creaming the tahina with lemon juice and some water at the beginning of the recipe until it reaches a silky, creamy white consistency..

            I. I usually throw the garlic cloves (lots) into the processor, grind, then, add the tahina paste and oil , squeeze lemon juice and some water process and add additional water as necessary until the right silky light consistency is reached. Only then would I put in the drained chickpeas (skinned if I am being fussy) and further process to the desired texture. I then would add some cumin, salt, to taste and usually a handful or two of fresh parsley, with aleppo pepper for a little extra bit.e Some olive oil maybe at the end or to garnish.

        2. i flavor slightly with cumin and a little cayenne pepper. and yes, dried instead o' canned can make a difference espcially if you're mashing with a potato masher for the chunkier kind. making it without tahini is an option. and raw garlic is a common ingredient, no? using sea salt is nice too.

          have fun.

          1. Canned chick peas are fine especially if you're going for a creamier texture. Find a good brand though, because I've found the preservatives used in some have a strong flavor.

            Try adding roasted garlic and/or roasted red pepper before you blend.

            1. Definitely add that garlic. But, to make it more special, consider topping it with something. Place it in a wide, shallow dish and sprinkle any of the following around the edge (I like to leave the center uncovered for the guests who don't want the extras): well seasoned, cooked and crumbled ground lamb; pomegranate seeds; finely minced parsley, mint and/or cilantro; toasted pine nuts or chopped walnuts; sprinkling of sumac, zatar or cayenne.

              1. I always drizzle mine with homemade parsley oil. It doesn't just add a level to the taste, but also makes a nice presentation. Make a slight well in the center, and drizzle more around the edges. Just combine blanched (to maintain a bright green color) parsley with a little salt and a high quality olive oil in a blender or food processor. Strain, and store in a jar.

                1. I don't remember the exact ingredients, but I once made a hummus that included Sun Dried Tomatoes.

                  1. LOTS of fresh garlic! And bits of roasted pepper are nice, both for presentation and taste.

                    I've never tried it with green onion before. Hmm...

                    1. I'm a purist in this department. Just good canned beans (look for Middle Eastern process to get the creamiest texture), roasted tahini, fresh garlic, lemon juice, extra virgin oil, and salt. Use a food processor and drizzle in the oil last. Sometimes I will use smoked garlic, but nothing more foo-foo than that!

                      3 Replies
                        1. re: Sharuf

                          Nope. I love cumin but I don't put it in my hummus. I forgot to say though that I do sprinkle with za'atar or sometimes with Spanish smoked pimenton (not traditional but delicious). Also with a little chopped parsley and a wedge of lemon for garnish. I liked the parsley oil idea and might try that...

                          1. re: suzannapilaf

                            Za'atar is very nice garnish for hummus. Alternatively, I sometimes make pita chips with za'atar for the "dippers."

                      1. Living close to Dearborn , I have access to some greatly helpful old middle eastern grandmas . I have also wondered how to make that delightfully creamy , light hommus . The fresh garlic is good idea , and of course anything you like is good for you . But what my questions have uncovered is that dried chick peas are the traditional way to go , and that there are at least two or three kinds of middle eastern dried peas . You want the dried skinned kind ( no skin ) rehydrated ( save the water ) tahini , and spices they wouldn't tell me exactly . They said not to use olive oil at all when mixing , just the water and tahini . Puree together with garlic and salt , and garnish with good olive oil and olives . Now , I am a white guy , so they may have been just having fun with me , but the market where I go makes some of the best hommus I have ever tasted , and I spend a lot of money there , so I have no reason to doubt them . If anyone else knows more , I would love to hear it .

                        13 Replies
                        1. re: GoalieJeff

                          Can you make hummus without using tahini? I remember seeing a couple of recipes
                          that called for peanut butter or olive oil instead of the traditional tahini.

                          1. re: DrMike

                            I routinely make mine without tahini . . . I use very well rinsed organic canned beans, blend up with LOTS of meyer lemon juice and salt, a small amount of fresh pressed garlic, small amount of chopped fresh rosemary or other herb in the cuisinart til very well incorporated - scraping down the bowl. Then drizzle into the spinning blade copious amounts of super high quality olive oil. I Cuisinart the bejeebees out of it all at this point . . . comes out light and soooo delicious. This is probably not very "traditional", but everyone who has had this version wants to know how it's made.

                            1. re: vday

                              Thanks vday! I have to make an appetizer for a potluck supper and hummus will be a great choice. I have the dried chick peas but don't want to make a trip to the store
                              to buy tahini.

                              1. re: DrMike

                                I never have tahini on hand, either. I add a squirt of toasted sesame oil, instead.

                                1. re: DrMike

                                  I've never cared much for tahini . . . it always seems bitter to me. So I compensate with extra olive oil and get it really creamy with the cuisinart. Yum - now I want to go make a batch . . .

                                  1. re: vday

                                    If it's bitter, it might be rancid..

                                    1. re: cheesecake17

                                      I find the best-quality tahini bitter, too. Not overtly, but enough. It's far from my favorite ingredient, though one of my favorite restaurants makes a pan-roasted cauliflower in tahini sauce that is fantastic. The chef tells me citric acid and water are his secrets. I've never experimented with the technique, but I'd like to try some day.

                                      1. re: dmd_kc

                                        I find there is a little bitterness to some tahini. Depends on the brand. Some are way better than others. My mom would keep citric acid around for a sub for lemon juice. I only use it to clean my coffee equipment. On rare occasion i will use it to sub for lemons when not available

                                      2. re: cheesecake17

                                        Maybe, but I'm pretty sensitive to sniffing out rancid oils and avoiding them . . . tahini to me is just bitter. I notice the same thing when I just chew raw sesame seeds. A certain percentage of the population has those "bitter" sensors in their taste buds (did any of you ever do that experiment in a biology class?) I know I've got them and maybe tahini is one of those things that sets them off.

                                        1. re: vday

                                          Funny, tahini is one of my favorite things.... interesting how different people's tastes can be

                                          1. re: vday

                                            Could be that you're just sensitive. I grew up eating tahini on everything, so maybe I'm just used to the flavor...

                                  2. re: DrMike

                                    I never used tahini in my hummus many many years ago and still loved the hummus. Now of course I own tahini but to me, it's not that necessary. From the first time I made it, probably 25 years ago, I never knew what was in the stuff, nor did I care, from eating it the first time, I knew garbanzos, lemon, olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper. Didn't even know back then what tahini was.

                                  3. re: GoalieJeff

                                    I'm curious if they're not adding olive oil to the actual pureed version of the hummus - do the pour a light amount on top of what they're serving?

                                  4. I like a bit o' cumin and some parsley blended in. I also find that I like more lemon juice in mine than I typically get in restaurants--makes the taste brighter and the mouth-feel less oily/heavy.

                                    1. I am a hummus freak. I make it traditional with lemon juice, garlic, tahini, parsley and a little of the juice from the cans of beans.

                                      I also make it with lime juice, cilantro, green onion, tahini, garlic.

                                      Or roast a red pepper and throw that in with the traditional recipe.

                                      Or use the traditional recipe and add cumin, chipotle chili powder, and garnish it with olive oil and smoked paprika.

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. re: KristieB

                                        now listen stop it. know why? because I actually have all the ingredients and you're making me hungry............................. wink............ ;)

                                        if I got on my knees and begged would you post all 3 recipes so mine comes out as good as yours? I'm on a knee :+)

                                      2. If you're looking for authentic, use dried, soaked chick peas, tahini, lemon juice, a little garlic, and some of the chick pea soaking liquid. Puree this, spread on a platter and drizzle with great olive oil. No cumin, no green onions, paprika, or other crap. This is authentic hummous. If you add other weird stuff, it might be a good dip, but it's not hummous as it's known in the mideast.

                                        2 Replies
                                        1. re: pikawicca

                                          This is the base for my hummous as well. You have to use dried chickpeas. Try it.

                                          I also do the variations with this base. I add lots of garlic, lemon, some cayenne. Sometimes I add black beans. Sometimes some cilantro. Always more lemon juice than they say. Sometimes I cuisinart lemon zest. garlic and cilantro or parsley. then add the beans and juice and some oil etc. I usually skimp on the oil because I am watching calories and am a known hummous hog.


                                          1. re: Sal Vanilla

                                            I love your doggy Sal, very pretty.
                                            does my supermarket, a large major chain, sell dried chick peas? or do I have to go to a store of culture to get them?

                                            years ago I did a hummus of sorts using nothing hummus-ie though.
                                            pureed white beans with lemon olive oil lots of black pepper a bit salt ground walnuts garlic. over toasted thin baguette pieces, it was sinful

                                        2. Try using some of the lemon peel. Great flavor boost from the lemon oils.

                                          1. What's the key to getting it completely smooth and creamy like the kind I get from my local middle eastern restaurant? I adore the hummus they make at most markets and restaurants, but revile every attempt I've made.

                                            Texture is huge for me, and I really, really, REALLY hate beans. I like hummus because when it's well made, it somehow has no bean texture. Just smooth tangy savory goodness. When I made it with canned chickpeas from the local Asian mega-market (good middle eastern selection) in my Cuisinart, it just felt and tasted like a big pile of mushed beans, and I actually gagged and spit it out. Others in the family liked it just fine, but admitted it was nothing like the stuff we like to purchase and eat.

                                            What's the secret?

                                            5 Replies
                                            1. re: modthyrth

                                              The more tahini and/or olive oil the smoother you can get it. Lemon juice will also help add to the creaminess

                                              1. re: modthyrth

                                                My version of hummus is here... http://www.chow.com/recipes/22787

                                                I think the texture is great, but one thing you have to do, though it might seem kind of obvious, is to keep on blending it until the texture is the smoothness you desire - takes a couple of minutes in my small food processor, not just the typical 30 seconds you might expect.

                                                1. re: aricat

                                                  Aricat, you're right...you have to keep running that fp...I keep thinking I'll burn mine out one of these days, all because of the hummus, which I love...

                                                2. re: modthyrth

                                                  I think adding some water while you are blending will get you the consistency you are looking for. I used to have texture problems with my hummus, I could never get it smooth enough. I tried upping the olive oil, the lemon juice, and the tahini in varying amounts, but by the time it was smooth it was either really oily, lemony, or tahini-y. Then I thought of adding some water and it worked perfectly. Smoothy creamy hummus just like the restaurant version.

                                                  1. re: modthyrth

                                                    Like another person on this post, I understand that peeling the outer membrane off of each bean will create the smoothness you seek. If that's just too anal an undertaking for you, you might just get there by (if using canned beans) adding some of the can juice, it really helps to smooth it out.

                                                  2. Dried chickpeas, soaked and sprouted. Boiled until soft. Tahini, lemon and garlic in food processor. Garnish with olive oil, cayenne and a few pine nuts.

                                                    1. If you want to change it up a bit try adding cooked artichokes or roasted red peppers (canned is fine).

                                                      1. My friend Sherry makes hummus that is so smooth and creamy, it really is like butter. When I follow her recipe, mine is not as smooth. Why? We figured out it's because she's using a Vitamix blender, whereas I am using a blender that doesn't require financing.

                                                        1 Reply
                                                        1. re: runwestierun

                                                          I get great results making hummus with my immersion blender. I highly recommend one of those--they're handy for so many things.

                                                        2. Instead of paprika, I use ground sumac. After I drizzle the hummus with a good olive oil I sprinkle it with the sumac. Sumac has a bright lemony quality that you can't duplicate with paprika.

                                                          1. I'm one of those who believes that it's impossible to make homemade hummus as good as restaurant, because the home cook doesn't have the necessary equipment to pound the beans to the right consistency.

                                                            One thing Bobby Flay does, which I absolutely love, is throwing a canned chipotle into the blender. This gives a wonderful spicy, smokey, barbecuey flavor, great for outdoor barbecues. Not for purists, though.

                                                            4 Replies
                                                            1. re: MarkC

                                                              I wonder how many restaurants pound their beans?

                                                              1. re: scubadoo97

                                                                I always thought the trick to making it smooth is to remove all the peels off each bean. Too much work for me, but I'll have to try it someday, maybe when I'm retired.

                                                                1. re: coll

                                                                  I will assure you that you can make smooth hummus without removing the skins. A good food pro or blender will do the job. I make it several times a month and I'll put it up against a restaurants hummus any day. Restaurants often use Vita Mix blenders in their kitchens. These blenders will puree much better than the typical home blender.

                                                                  1. re: scubadoo97

                                                                    I agree with you scubadoo . . . mine comes out nice and smooth in the cuisinart too . . . but then I use LOTS of olive oil and blend the heck outta it:-)