HOME > Chowhound > Home Cooking >


scott duncan Oct 15, 2002 05:27 PM

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.


  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. s
    Sharuf RE: scott duncan Oct 15, 2002 05:34 PM

    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
      Norm RE: Sharuf Oct 16, 2002 03:49 AM

      Try mixing in some pesto.

      1. re: Sharuf
        JerryMe RE: Sharuf Jul 13, 2009 06:27 PM

        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
          sueatmo RE: Sharuf Jul 14, 2009 06:47 AM

          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
            jen kalb RE: sueatmo Mar 12, 2010 04:11 PM

            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. e
          epicure-us RE: scott duncan Oct 15, 2002 05:36 PM

          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. 2
            2chez mike RE: scott duncan Oct 15, 2002 05:45 PM

            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. t
              Terrie H. RE: scott duncan Oct 15, 2002 06:02 PM

              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. r
                Rubee RE: scott duncan Oct 15, 2002 06:38 PM

                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. s
                  Sid RE: scott duncan Oct 16, 2002 09:27 AM

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

                  1. l
                    lissar RE: scott duncan Oct 16, 2002 10:02 AM

                    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. s
                      suzannapilaf RE: scott duncan Oct 16, 2002 05:26 PM

                      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: suzannapilaf
                        Sharuf RE: suzannapilaf Oct 17, 2002 12:58 PM

                        What? No cumin?

                        1. re: Sharuf
                          suzannapilaf RE: Sharuf Oct 17, 2002 01:12 PM

                          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
                            Old Spice RE: suzannapilaf Jul 13, 2009 09:41 PM

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

                      2. g
                        GoalieJeff RE: scott duncan Oct 17, 2002 02:48 AM

                        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
                          DrMike RE: GoalieJeff Jul 13, 2009 02:37 PM

                          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
                            vday RE: DrMike Jul 13, 2009 04:29 PM

                            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
                              DrMike RE: vday Jul 13, 2009 05:41 PM

                              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
                                PamelaD RE: DrMike Jul 14, 2009 09:23 AM

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

                                1. re: DrMike
                                  vday RE: DrMike Jul 14, 2009 12:15 PM

                                  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
                                    cheesecake17 RE: vday Jul 14, 2009 01:33 PM

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

                                    1. re: cheesecake17
                                      dmd_kc RE: cheesecake17 Jul 14, 2009 02:25 PM

                                      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
                                        scubadoo97 RE: dmd_kc Jul 15, 2009 06:36 AM

                                        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
                                        vday RE: cheesecake17 Jul 14, 2009 04:32 PM

                                        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
                                          kubasd RE: vday Jul 14, 2009 07:51 PM

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

                                          1. re: vday
                                            cheesecake17 RE: vday Jul 15, 2009 06:38 AM

                                            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
                                    iL Divo RE: DrMike Jun 24, 2010 08:17 AM

                                    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
                                    cresyd RE: GoalieJeff Jul 13, 2009 04:17 PM

                                    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. k
                                    kit marlowe RE: scott duncan Oct 17, 2002 04:22 PM

                                    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. k
                                      KristieB RE: scott duncan Jul 13, 2009 05:29 PM

                                      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
                                        iL Divo RE: KristieB Jun 24, 2010 08:18 AM

                                        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. pikawicca RE: scott duncan Jul 13, 2009 05:48 PM

                                        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
                                          Sal Vanilla RE: pikawicca Jul 13, 2009 07:26 PM

                                          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
                                            iL Divo RE: Sal Vanilla Jun 24, 2010 08:22 AM

                                            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. t
                                          tomishungry RE: scott duncan Jul 13, 2009 09:18 PM

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

                                          1. m
                                            modthyrth RE: scott duncan Jul 13, 2009 09:47 PM

                                            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
                                              cresyd RE: modthyrth Jul 14, 2009 06:30 AM

                                              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
                                                aricat RE: modthyrth Mar 12, 2010 03:22 PM

                                                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
                                                  Val RE: aricat Mar 12, 2010 03:42 PM

                                                  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
                                                  benjym RE: modthyrth Mar 12, 2010 05:01 PM

                                                  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
                                                    rcallner RE: modthyrth Apr 27, 2010 04:59 PM

                                                    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. p
                                                    phantomdoc RE: scott duncan Jul 14, 2009 07:29 AM

                                                    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. daily_unadventures RE: scott duncan Jul 14, 2009 01:02 PM

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

                                                      1. r
                                                        runwestierun RE: scott duncan Mar 17, 2010 12:19 AM

                                                        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
                                                          glacier206 RE: runwestierun Mar 17, 2010 06:43 AM

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

                                                        2. k
                                                          KBrown4461 RE: scott duncan Apr 25, 2010 04:09 PM

                                                          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. m
                                                            MarkC RE: scott duncan Apr 25, 2010 09:52 PM

                                                            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
                                                              scubadoo97 RE: MarkC Apr 26, 2010 05:07 AM

                                                              I wonder how many restaurants pound their beans?

                                                              1. re: scubadoo97
                                                                coll RE: scubadoo97 Apr 26, 2010 05:21 AM

                                                                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
                                                                  scubadoo97 RE: coll Apr 26, 2010 10:10 AM

                                                                  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
                                                                    vday RE: scubadoo97 Apr 27, 2010 02:02 PM

                                                                    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:-)

                                                            Show Hidden Posts