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Hummus Tips

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I'm going to be trying to make hummus at home. I don't have a food processor. Would a Blender work? What about a mortar and pestle? I want authenticity and quality as the #1 priority...I'm a bachelor, so I don't have much room for a blender. Hand blender work ok?

Any other preparatory tips?

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  1. I've never tried it in a blender, but that shouldn't stop you. My best tip for making hummus is this: for super creamy, even fluffy, hummus, thin it with WATER, even though the temptation is great to thin it with oil.

    1 Reply
    1. re: GG Mora

      And if you've cooked your own chickpeas (practical in a pressure cooker) use the cooking water. It's delicious.

    2. The biggest problem with the blender is that it is difficult to get the chickpeas to move down to the blade and get chopped up. It takes a long time and frequent readjusting of the contents to eliminate that annoying air bubble that forms around the blade. Use plenty of water (or the fluid from around the canned chickpeas) to process.

      Generally, in a blender, I start with all the ingredients except the chiickpeas, puree them, then add the chickpeas on top.

      It does make nice hummous, but takes time.

      1. We make hummus alot, but we have a food processor. If you really want good hummus, use dry beans and not canned. You really can taste the difference. The beans don't need to be soaked, but they do need a bit of cooking before they get soft. Make sure they are soft first, since once you puree them, you can't go back.

        As far as a blender, it may be a hassle but I don't see why it would work.

        Also, as the other poster said, don't be afraid to add ALOT of water. I like my hummus really soupy, but my wife likes it more dry. She makes it her way, and I make it mine....Cumin is also great to add, even if your recipe doesn't call for it.

        1 Reply
        1. re: bigskulls

          Second that -- hummus made from dried beans tastes completely different than canned or commercial. Fresher, "beanier".

        2. Try the recipe in Moosewood cookbook. It's excellent and easy. Although I use a food processor, you can use a ricer or potato masher make a good but coarse-textured hommous. You might want to make a paste of the garlic, sea salt, lemon juice and a few chick peas in a mortar to get good incorporation of those ingredients before mixing into the coarser ground beans. I You might get soup you try to do this in a blender. Perhaps a half-blender and half-mashed approach would work better.

          1. I use a fork, if making a double batch, I will start with a potato masher.

            "authenticity" ? I doubt that Mr. Hum had a food processor or blender when he first made hummus.

            1. Along with the water, lemon juice is necessary - usually mixed with the tahini to thin it a bit before incorporating. I think adding some oil is ok and topping with oil at the end - along with toasted pine nuts, fresh mint, and, my favorite, sumac - elevates it from a pedestrian condiment found at every deli and supermarket to something to be savored. Sumac is the purplish-red powder, more granular than paprika, that you may have seen sprinkled on onions, salads, bean purees, fish, etc., at various middle eastern restaurants. It has a slightly sour lemony flavor if you pick some up at a middle eastern market, grab some "fancy zaatar" as well - a combination of wild thyme (zaatar), sesame seeds, and salt. Nigella seeds are interesting as well. Dipping pita in olive oil and then in zaatar and/or sumac (and/or nigella seeds) is a nice condiment.

              I've used a blender and, though it does require some adjustments throughout the blending, it works fine. By hand should work ... if you think about it, how many people across the middle east hundreds of years ago - or even today - had food processors and blenders?

              My biggest tip, and one that I think makes an enormous difference, is to mash the garlic and salt to a paste by hand with a mortar and pestle before adding it to the blender/processor/hand-mashing bowl. The garlic flavor becomes much more integrated, infusing the entire dish. A vast improvement.

              I always have chickpea flour on hand and, if the puree gets too thin, I thicken it with a bit of the flour. I don't know if this is "traditional" in any way, but it works.

              Even if you use canned chickpeas - Westbrae Organic are a good choice - you're going to get a much better product than you buy at most stores or restaurants.


              1. Beaverton, I am guessing that if we keep this simple you will be more likely to do it. If you want, you can then proceed to a more sophisticated method. Put into your blender a can of chick peas (hold the liquid for a while); about 2 tablespoons of lemon juice (fresh is nice but Realemon will work); about 3 heaping soupspoons of tahini; 1-2 cloves garlic; about a quarter of an onion, cut up; 1/2 tsp salt; 2 tablespoons olive oil. Blend it all. You may have to stop the blender a few times to scrape down the sides and keep all the parts in the game. If it's too stiff, add a little chick pea liquid. That's it. Keep hummos in the refrigerator, where it will improve.

                If you then want to use a mortar and pestle, buy a food processor, or cook your own dry garbanzos---true, all of these activities will improve your hummos. But I am troubled when beginning cooks are bombarded with chef-worthy caveats since often they become intimidated and decide not to try.

                1. For the best humus, cook the peas in chicken broth, and use lots of roasted garlic.

                  1. For some nice *tang*, get some good, real, high-fat yogurt and add a dollop or two. It also lends a nice creaminess too the hummus. If you can find it, use "Total" brand Greek yogurt.

                    I picked up this tip from Nigella Lawson's cooking show.


                    1 Reply
                    1. re: ANCyM

                      yeah i love it this way, but now with the total flap... any ideas for replacements?

                    2. Hummus is super easy and hard to mess up. Just use plenty of lemon juice, salt, and garlic--I find most packaged hummus to be way too bland, so I love making mine really lemony and garlicky. a little cumin is a nice addition. Go easy on the tahini at first; you can always add more. A blender will take longer than a food processor, but it works. I can't imagine making hummus by hand; it would take forever!

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: dixieday

                        Oh no, it takes me less time to make it by hand than with a blender! I have a potato masher which looks like a grid - but my other one with the single zig-zag wire works well too, just not as well as the grid one.

                        I drain two cans of canned garbanzoes, and dump them into a flat bottomed pot. The flat bottom works well with the potato masher, and the handle is nice to hang onto. I add lots of olive oil, the juice of one lemon and some salt. I mash away. If I want to, I add yogurt and mash some more. I have a lactose intolerant friend, and often make it without. When it gets to a good consistency, in about one minute, I stop mashing, and stir in the rest of my flavorings. I use loads of cumin - about a tablespoon - and garlic roasted and mashed in olive oil. I also add sesame oil - I can't seem to buy tahini that isn't spoiled, so I just use the oil. This stuff is sooooooo easy and soooooo addictive! I like it really limey or lemony too. Try it by hand - it is really easy! The beans mash very well and very easily by hand.

                        My Chaldean friend always complains about hummus in the USA. She says that we make it too smooth. It is from her that I learned about the masher. I wouldn't have thought it was so easy, but it really is. In the blender, you have to make it too liquidy in order for the blender to work.


                        1. re: rosemary

                          i use a pastry knife and it really doesn't take that long. i prefer the texture to that i've made with the blender, too smooth like peanut butter.


                      2. To weigh in, since this ancient thread ranks high on the google: I've recently learned the obvious-in-hindsight trick of cooking way too many dried chickpeas then freezing them in batches so I can just pull out a container when the urge to make hummus strikes. This also prevent the problem of making way too much hummus and having to eat it every meal for days.

                        1. I've been making hummus in my plain old blender for the last ten years. I do have to pause every now and then to scrape down the sides, and I do have to add some water to keep things moving, but it's super easy.

                          1. Rubbing the skins off the chickpeas then adding in an ice cube while processing makes the texture extremely silky.

                            1. Yes on the hand blender--it's all I've ever used.

                              I was taught to make hummus from dried chickpeas by adding a teaspoon of baking soda to the cooking water; if you don't the texture is too firm. (Soak overnight, discard the water, cover with fresh water and baking soda and cook for about one hour.)

                              Once I have 3 cups of dried chickpeas cooked, drain the pot with the lid on to leave a little of the cooking water. Then mash in 1-2 Tbsp paprika, 3-4 Tbsp ground cumin, the juice of 3 lemons, 6-8 minced garlic cloves, and 1-2 tsp salt. Traditionally you would want to use about 1/4-1/2 cup tahini. (I rarely buy it, so I sub in almond butter--NOT according to Hoyle but it works for me.) Drizzle a good quality olive oil on top of the warmed hummus as you serve it, not before.

                              The fresher your spices and tahini, the better this will taste. Don't let it stop you from experimenting, though. Often I split the batch in two and add some butter chicken spice to half, or else make a lime/chili powder version. Mix it up, it's flexible and responds well to strong flavours.

                              1. If authenticity is really the aim - hummus is traditionally made in a mortar and pestal. However, the ones used are a larger than the ones you'd see for spices and often made from wood.

                                1. Wow, 2004?

                                  Oh well, my 2 cents: There are variations of hummus that are not a fine puree, nor are they a creamy paste, but are chunky. This isn't hummus bi tahineh that people in the US think of as prototypical hummus. It is just rehydrated boiled chickpeas, lemon juice, a tiny bit of garlic, and salt pounded together till you have a chunky texture in a mortar and pestle, then garnished with olive oil and possibly flat leaf parsley or mint leaves. It is often served warm.

                                  1. I make it at home all the time and I don't have a food processor. I prefer a lighter version (a little lower calorie) I use one can of chick peas, 3 cloves of garlic microwaved in 1/3 cup chicken or veg broth to soften garlic and infuse broth, a lot of lemon juice, S & P, and a tablespoon or so of olive oil.

                                    I usually microwave the beans for 15-30 secs to soften slightly and either mash with a fork (takes forever) or use my immersion blender. Have to move the hand blender around a lot and add broth, but it turns out a really nice texture.