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Home made hummous just not as good as restaurants

I am always wondering why hummous that you make at home with a food processor is never as good as the stuff you get in restaurants.

Admittedly I used canned chick peas, tahini and olive oil. Then I was turned on to canned fava beans which I thought vastly superior to chick peas (although they were much cheaper and easier to get in Jersey City than in Philadelphia). However, it still was not the same.

Do they cook the beans longer? Should they start dried? I think it is more the smooth texture that I am missing. Making it at home, it just seems grainier.

If I could make the chick pea hummous better I might try it again. As it is I sorta gave up because I couldn't get favas (and when I did find them they were $2 a can).

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  1. Try using a blender instead of a processor. You may never go back.

    6 Replies
    1. re: Nyleve

      if you buy quality canned chick peas like Eden, you wont detect much of a difference vs dry beans when preparing hummous. the key is you must take the skin off each and evey chick pea. it takes around 15 minutes, and while tedious makes a huge difference. the result is a hummous that is creamy and delicious.

      1. re: josh L

        If you run it through a food mill it will seperate the skins. The pureed chickpeas can then be further smoothed in a food pro or blender.

        1. re: josh L

          Wow. This is a major revelation to me.

            1. re: melpy

              This photo makes me want to dive right in and pig out.

        2. Yes; a blender should help. Also, I always include lemon juice, salt, and garlic with the three ingredients you've listed.

          1. Try loosing the tahini,add olive oil and tons of lemon juice.

            11 Replies
            1. re: missclaudy

              No reason to omit the tahini; if anything, it gives the hummus a smoother texture, not to mention added flavor. (a pinch of cumin is nice, too.)

              I make hummus in the food processor, using canned chickpeas. To prevent a gritty texture it helps to add liquid - lemon juice, fluid from the chickpea can, olive oil - and don't give up too soon! Keep processing, and the texture should improve.

              1. re: missclaudy

                I never use tahini and I've been told I make the best hummus in town.

                1. re: missclaudy

                  Don't people miss the sesame flavor the tahini adds?

                  1. re: missclaudy

                    If you never use tahini, you're making bean dip, not hummous bi tahini, the classic Lebanese dish.

                    1. re: pikawicca

                      Agreed. Hummous without tahini is not hummous.

                      1. re: jmckee

                        Add in a little Sesame Oil and it will be perfect.

                        1. re: jmckee

                          that's not true, hummus in Arabic means chickpeas so technically it is still hummus, just not hummus bi tahineh (with unroasted sesame paste). There are hummus recipes with yoghurt and also with meat on top and they are still hummus. An un pureed chickpea dish of chickpeas boiled and seasoned with lemon juice and olive oil is also still hummus.

                        2. re: missclaudy

                          what's your secret.. Just did recipe from food and wine mag. Just not that smooth!

                        3. re: missclaudy

                          I use sesame oil in lieu of tahini and olive oil. Lighter and fantastic. Often throw in a fresh chili if I want a little heat.

                          1. re: AmandaEd

                            oooh, nice, i'd never thought of using seasame oil

                        4. A Lebanese friend of mine taught me to boil the canned beans longer. It help tremendously with the texture.

                          I add water in addition to oil to thin it out. I find that gives a better texture flavor for me.

                          Beans, garlic, tahini, olive oil, lemon juice and salt and water is what I add.

                          6 Replies
                          1. re: jsaimd

                            A Lebanese friend taught me to make it this way, too, many years ago. Cooking dried beans and using a blender works better than canned beans and a food processor. If you use dried beans, save some of the bean cooking liquid to thin your hummus. If you use canned beans, rinse them thoroughly, drain well, and Ttin your hummus with water. The important thing is to add the liquids a little at a time, tasting as you go, until the hummus is just the way you like it. I like it thick, lemony, with not a lot of garlic. I know people who like it thin, really garlicky, and light on the lemon. I will not get into the subject of people who add cumin, cayenne, etc.

                            1. re: pikawicca

                              I did this yesterday and it turned out amazing!
                              I boiled the canned chickpeas for 20 mins. Let them cool. By this time the skins had come off and floated to the top, so I removed those.
                              The best hummus I've ever tried! The texture was light and airy. I also added a little bit of honey to the mix (saw it in a recipe once) and it turned out great.

                              I'm a convert!

                              1. re: Hondapendragon

                                i'm so glad someone resurrected this thread, because this comment about the skins coming off when you boiled the canned chickpeas just MADE MY DAY. i rarely make hummus anymore because i insist on removing the skins by hand since i haven't found a better way and i can't what they do to the texture of my hummus. i'll have to try boiling them to see if it works!

                                  1. re: Hondapendragon

                                    trying it this weekend - will let you know how it goes. oh, and my previous post should have said that i can't *stand* what they do to the texture - no idea where that word went!

                            2. re: jsaimd

                              +1 what jsaimd said. Add some water. And you have to blend the bejeezus out of it. You know how you put peanuts and a little oil in the food processor to make peanut butter and you grind and grind and it's still oily and gritty but then at about 5 minutes it turns to butter? It's kind of the same thing. It doesn't take as long as peanut butter but it's longer than just combining into a paste.

                            3. I make hummos at home all the time and it's always great! My recipe came from a Lebanese friend. 1 can of garbanzo beans, reserve the juice; juice of 1 lemon, to taste; 1-2 garlic cloves, to taste; 6 T tahini (the more tahini you use, the better the hummos gets :-); salt and evoo to taste.

                              Put the garbanzos with some of the reserved juice in a blender or food processor, add half the lemon juice, 1 garlic clove, and all 6T of tahini and process until smooth. If it's too think, add some of the reserved juice from the can. After processing, taste and adjust with more lemon, garlic or salt. Once the flavor balance is about right, whir in some olive oil to smooth it out at the end. Blend, blend, blend until it's as smooth as you like.

                              1. Since there are only a few ingredient, for the best hummus, you have to start with dried garbanzo, a good tahani (some have a bitter after taste), garlic, good olive oil, fresh lemon juice.
                                Soak the garbanzo beans overnight then cook until they are is VERY soft. As stated in the previous post, save a little of the cooking liquid to thin out the hummus. I use a food processor but a blender will give it a smoother texture. Start with the drained garbanzo, some tahini (use some of the oil if it has separated), a little lemon juice, minced garlic, olive oil, salt and pepper. Puree until very smooth and adjust the seasoning. Add a little cooking liquid if it is too dry. I like very little lemon juice because I don't think hummus should be too tart.
                                As hummus sits, it will need a little re-seasoning with salt, peppper and lemon juice.
                                Canned garbanzo makes a decent hummus but it has cook some more for a smooth texture.

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: PBSF

                                  I think this method is near perfect. I used to work at a place that made great hummus, and I'd always watch it being made, taking tips for myself. Cooking them long enough seemed to be key, and if they hadn't been, sometimes the pureed chickpeas would have to go through a tami in order to get the right consistency. This always resulted in a smooth, delicious puree to which olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, a little toasted cumin and tahini were added. Forcing the puree through the screen of the tami wasn't such hard work, either.

                                2. "Hoomoos" means "chickpeas." Use chickpeas. I start with dried chickpeas, soak them overnight, boil until soft, remove the skins (this is a very tedious process... give yourself an hour for a pound of dry beans), then puree in the food processor with good Lebanese tahini, lemon, and salt. Garlic is optional.

                                  3 Replies
                                  1. re: Luther

                                    Removing the skins was what I'd heard makes the difference in the texture. Why does it take so long?

                                    Edited to say, I just read further down where the question is answered. Thanks.

                                    1. re: JGrey

                                      My grandmother who was born in Syria, would always remove the skins off chickpeas for her hummus. It does result in a very smooth product which you will never get if you don't skin the chickpeas. I don't, but don't mind the little difference it makes. Restaurants will often use a lot more oil than you would at home which will also make a smoother hummus.

                                      1. re: scubadoo97

                                        Removing the skins will make a huge difference - also people don't use enough lemon juice. But the biggest thing is that people don't process it long enough, you have to process it for a very long time! Much longer than you might think.

                                  2. The key is that you need to make it with dried garbanzos. They put citric acid into the canned in order to keep them a more firm texture. Unfortunately, this creates a, impossible to cook away, grainy texture.

                                    Here's the hummus "recipe": simmer raw chick peas until really soft: maybe an hour and a half - no need to pre-soak. Put in food processor with olive oil, tahini, fresh lemon juice, salt and tahini. If you run out of tahini - for some reason this happens to me periodically, you can cheat with a little peanut butte. Process until smooth. No amounts are really necessary to specify. Everyone has individual taste - maybe you like it more or less oily, or you want to save calories and use less olive oil and more lemon juice, or use liquid from the pot to thin it out - whatever. Just play around until you find your own individual, personal recipe. And pass the matzohs (my favorite dipper)

                                    2 Replies
                                    1. re: niki rothman

                                      Looking around my neighborhood market and basement, I found that four of five brands of canned chickpeas did not list citric acid among the ingredients: Cedar Phoenician, Goya, La Preferida and Ziyad. Cortas does show citric acid. At least in this part of Chicago it is easier to get canned chickpeas without citric acid than with.

                                      1. re: niki rothman

                                        Inspired by your advice and that of others here, after years of making hummus excusively with canned beans, last week I decided to experiment and go the dried-beans route.

                                        The soaking and cooking process took some time, of course, but was not in the least demanding or labor intensive, so I have no complaints in that area. It's probably a bit more economical to start with a bag of dried beans, but only marginally so since canned beans are frequently on sale.

                                        As for results: I wish I could tell you that starting from scratch made for some kind of amazing hummus epiphany, but I can't say that it made much of a difference. The hummus tasted perfectly fine, but I suspect that in a blind taste test, I wouldn't have been able to distinguish the two.

                                      2. I agree dried garbanzos make better hummus, but mostly I can't be bothered. Lots of lemon and I add a little hit of cayenne with garlic and tahini.

                                        I suspect you may like the restaurant version better because they add lots of oil and it becomes more of an emulsification. Homemade, less oil, better for you.

                                        1 Reply
                                        1. re: Mila

                                          Really, it's so easy. Don't peel, don't soak - just rinse raw beans & pick over for pebbles. Simmer in plenty of water while you're off doing something else in your home. You aren't going to use the water so just add lots and you won't even have to check on it if it's on a low flame. Come back after an hour and a half - beans are done when they crush very easily against the roof of your mouth. Then put all the ingredients in the processor at once. Better than canned, as good as any restaurant - smooth, delicious, easy.

                                        2. Wow! Lots of good tips. I should have said I don't think store bought is as good either...hence, the reason I was hoping to make it myself (since getting to a middle eastern place on the spur of the moment is quite a chore).

                                          1. I remember an Iraqi friend once told me that she removed the skins of the chick peas before mashing/blending them. I tried it once, but it seemed like too much trouble. Has anyone heard of this?

                                            It involved rubbing them gently between your fingers after they were cooked. If you do it in a bowl of water or cooled cooking liquid I think they float to the top.

                                            3 Replies
                                            1. re: maviris

                                              I do hummus this way, posted about it on Chowhound and was loudly told I was an idiot.

                                              Nothing daunted, here it is again. After soaking dried chickpeas in plenty of water for several hours, heat to a simmer and cook until soft. Allow to cool, remove skins. I find some will slip off easily, others have to be peeled. It takes a LONG time. But it makes a butter-smooth puree which I find worth the effort. Proceed with tahini, lemon, garlic, salt, olive oil etc.

                                              I'm sure this is not the way restaurants make it, but I prefer my own version to commercial hummus so I'm sticking with it.

                                              I can link the original recipe if anyone wants it.

                                              1. re: cheryl_h

                                                Peeling certainly makes sense if you have the patience!

                                                I imagine forcing the cooked beans through a tamis, as mentioned in posts above, would also leave the skins behind and be quicker. I wonder if my potato ricer would work?

                                                1. re: maviris

                                                  I don't know about the ricer, but maybe a food mill?

                                            2. You might want to try using fresh squeezed lime juice instead of lemon juice in your hummus; an Egyptian guy in my ski club insists that makes all the difference.

                                              1. I love substituting toasted sesamie oil for the tahini.. helps with a creamier texture and more complex sesamie flavor.

                                                1. Yep, the big difference for me was a few tablespoons of warm water. This helps to achieve the right consistancy. Also, some roasted red peppers (out of the jar) add great flavor, and now you have a Roasted Red Pepper Hummous!


                                                  1. I think some people underestimate the amount of lemon juice (or other liquid) that is necessary to get a good consistency. Personally, I don't usually use olive oil at all in my hummus, though I have added a splash at presentation time. There is also a great variety between canned chickpeas. Personally, I like the ones that are lighter in color and larger, as opposed to the smaller, heavier chick peas. For my money, working with the dried ones, peeled or not, isn't worth the time or bother.

                                                    BTW, I started making my own when I moved to a place where the only commercially made hummus had cumin in it. *shudder*

                                                    6 Replies
                                                      1. re: teamkitty

                                                        Is there a reason to avoid cumin and other spices, other than just to be a purist?

                                                          1. re: piccola

                                                            Our family always used cumin in hummus.

                                                            1. re: scubadoo97

                                                              Ditto. Doesn't taste right to me otherwise.

                                                        1. I've also used some silken tofu to add a silky, creamy texture to the hummus without the extra oil. It adds great protein, too.

                                                          2 Replies
                                                          1. re: Sarah McC

                                                            That's my secret too. OK, it's not authentic - but is it ever tasty!

                                                          2. Okay, this week I'm going to soak some dried chick peas, slough off the skins and make hummus. I'll also try using a food mill to get rid of the skins. Will report back.

                                                            1. Hummus update.

                                                              I had to make a huge batch of hummus today for an event, so I thought this would be the ideal moment to give a report. I used 3 cans of chick peas. Two of the cans were a cheap store brand (Our Compliments - IGA brand). One was a name brand (Unico). The Our Compliments chick peas were softer and larger. The Unico were still tender but a bit firmer than the other ones. In the future I'd use the Our Compliments chick peas for hummus.

                                                              Drained the chick peas and dumped them into the blender. (Reserved the liquid.) Add to the blender 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice, 1/4 cup tahini, 1 clove garlic, 1/2 tsp. salt and a bit of black pepper. I also added nearly 1/2 cup of the chick pea liquid. (You might want to start with 1/4 cup and increase to taste.) Buzz the whole mess on high speed, scraping down the sides so that it mixes evenly, for much longer than you think is necessary. Long blending makes a smooth hummus.

                                                              Anyway - the hummus turned out extremely smooth and creamy. Almost as smooth as plain tahini - not the least bit gritty at all. I think that the blender does a far better job than a food processor; I think that you have to blend for a very long time; and I think that most people underestimate how much liquid should be added to the mixture. The result should be the thickness of sour cream - no thicker.

                                                              I did not use mayonnaise, yogurt, olive oil, tofu or anything else - not needed. I did not add any spices beyond the salt, pepper and garlic. On serving, I will spread the hummus on a flat platter, surround with olives and drizzle with olive oil.

                                                              Over and out.

                                                              1 Reply
                                                              1. re: Nyleve

                                                                After much experimentation, I've found that Cedarvale brand makes good hummus. Canada only probably.

                                                              2. I've found that using roasted tahini instead of raw really enhances the flavor - it never tastes flat anymore!

                                                                1 Reply
                                                                1. re: JessWil

                                                                  completely concur.
                                                                  tremendously better.

                                                                2. Agree big time! I couldn't understand why it took Way too much tahini to balance the lemon juice - don't need 3000+ tasteless calories :=(. BTW per previous posts Maranatha and Joyva seem to be the preferred brands, but Definitely look for 'toasted sesame' on the label.
                                                                  Other hints to add a little water and to remove 'husks' result in a light, smooth, creamy hummus.

                                                                  1. My homemade hummus is better than any restaurant's. I'm with Nyleve - no olive oil in the hummus. My recipe comes from an old cookbook - "Recipes for an Arabian Night" - 2 cups canned chickpeas, drained, juice of 2 lemons, 3/4 cup tahini, 3 cloves garlic through garlic press, salt to taste - all in a blender with a bit of water - enough to blend. I drizzle a little olive oil on top of finished hummus and sprinkle a little paprika. Looks cool. Everyone loves it.

                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                    1. re: suse

                                                                      I heartily agree with the no-olive-oil crowd. I used to blend it in, but I found that the flavor just covers up the beans and tahini. A bit for garnish when it's done perhaps, but not blended it. Otherwise, use lots of tahini (I used to be stingy, but have learned that the more the better). It isn't hummus without tahini, imo. I use dried beans if I have the time, but I often make hummus as a last-minute thing so frequently use canned. The only brand that is worth using, imo, is S&W. I don't know how widely available it is, but it's worth using if you find it. It's the only brand that doesn't taste flat out gross of the many, many I have tried.

                                                                      So anyway, I start with the beans, lemon juice, garlic, salt, and tahini. I actually use the bean liquid (from the pot or can) to thin to the desired consistency.

                                                                      On occasion, I will also add chipotle to the hummus. It's not authentic in any way, but it is a match made in heaven.


                                                                    2. If you're really striving to make top-notch, there's a big difference between the canned and dried chickpeas. Peeling helps too. Also, some more labour-intensive tips I dug up (keep in mind they're using equal amounts of lemon juice and tahini - 1/2 cup each to 3 cups of dried garbanzo):

                                                                      In a mortar, pound the garlic with 1 tablespoon salt until it is a creamy mush. In a small bowl, beat the tahini and lemon juice together slowly. If it is too thick, add water--never more lemon juice. Stir the tahini-and-lemon juice mixture into the garlic and salt. Stir this mixture into the chickpea puree, adjust the salt, and season with pepper. Check the consistency; if it is too thick, like an oatmeal, then add some of the remaining reserved chick-pea cooking water until it is smoother, like a Cream of Wheat. Check the taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary. If you do need to adjust the taste, the process must be repeated--in other words, mash some more garlic with salt or mix a tablespoon of tahini with a tablespoon of lemon juice.

                                                                      2 Replies
                                                                      1. re: Chester Eleganté

                                                                        I’m curious, can I make hummous in a Thai granite mortar and pestle? Will the chickpeas actually turn into a good consistence for the dip? I don’t really see the point of buying a bigish food processor only to make this dip. I do own an immersion blender with a 1 cup processor so I could use that if need be.

                                                                        1. re: snax

                                                                          I think the mortar and pestle would take a lot of work to get it smooth enough. However the blender, just in bowl without the 1 cup attachment would work fine.

                                                                      2. You've gotten a ton of good responses...

                                                                        I'll just add my little "trick".

                                                                        Try a bit of sesame oil, and process the hell out of it. If it's grainy, keep adding a bit of oil or even a touch of water... and let the processor go on and on.

                                                                        Canned chickpeas work fine for me.

                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                        1. re: Jennalynn

                                                                          I use a recipe from the first Chez Piggy cookbook (as adapted). I use about a 1/4 cup of the liquid from the canned chickpeas in the hummus. These days I toast my own sesame seeds and grind in a mortar, then add toasted sesame oil. I started doing that when I just didn't have tahini in the house - I like the result.

                                                                        2. I have just come back from Jerusalem, home to some of the most amazing hummous that I have ever tasted in my life.

                                                                          The best hummous I have ever had was at a place deep in East Jerusalem called "Abu Shukri's"

                                                                          Of course people will fight about which place has the best hummous in town, but as one of my friends put it, There's good hummous and then there's major league. and all of the major league places are in most ways exeptional.

                                                                          This is what makes hummous major league:

                                                                          The best hummous is made in places that make only that.

                                                                          Often they make a huge pot in morning and close when it runs out

                                                                          They all use a lot of tahini

                                                                          but sparing on the lemon and garlic. It should
                                                                          be a subtle addition. People often mistake
                                                                          in North America that make much more of a
                                                                          thick chick-peay and super garliky concoction

                                                                          On the contrary, hummous is light because it's
                                                                          whipped with tahini and the chickpea cooking liquid.
                                                                          with lemon and garlic in the background

                                                                          Then the most important:

                                                                          The hummous is served warm,
                                                                          sometimes with hot soft chickpeas in the middle
                                                                          or foule

                                                                          It is spread on the plate in such a way
                                                                          as to create a kind of moat around the edge.
                                                                          a canal , if you will, created by running a spoon
                                                                          around the edge, that is drizzled with
                                                                          olive oil. and very good quality olive oil

                                                                          to top it all off, the edges sprinkled
                                                                          with roasted pine nuts. (you can get it plain as well)

                                                                          a stack of 2-3 pitas (if you are lucky also warm and fresh)
                                                                          is stacked in front of you with a plate of
                                                                          pickles, raw onion to use as a dipping vegetable
                                                                          and a small bowl (like a soya bowl) with a kind of lemon-hot pepper herb sauce.

                                                                          It's absolute heaven.

                                                                          4 Replies
                                                                            1. re: jomo

                                                                              The first time in my life I ate Hummous was in the backroom of an after hours club in Kentish Town In London, UK. in 1964. Very posh people all eating heavenly WARM hummous with olive oil moat, and probably sumach (a kind of paprika) dusted overtop and stacks of warm pita. After 5yr stay in London, then moving to Greece gold coast for another posting, where I ate cold hummous every day for 6 months, You are the first person I've encountered who knows hummous can be served warm. Never been to the Middle East tho' so no doubt tons of others know about this. I serve it both ways, summer & winter. THanks for the confirm.

                                                                              1. re: jomo

                                                                                really makes me want to get to Jerusalem, great sounding stuff.

                                                                                1. re: iL Divo

                                                                                  Hummus is traditionally served warm or room temperature as a meze. It's only in America I have ever encountered it cold, as in served from the refrigerator.

                                                                                  There's nothing wrong with refrigerating hummus *IF* you bring it to room temperature before serving. Traditionally, it's always served with a heavy drizzle of olive oil over it. Sometimes the olive oil is intentionally pooled in an indent in the middle of the hummus, sometimes a cross shape is dragged across for the olive oil, and sometimes the moat around it. It is most often topped with a sprinking of freshly chopped parsley, or in some Middle Eastern countries. woth dill or mint or both.

                                                                                  The OP remarks on home made not tasting as good as bought. I suspect that is because it is now allowed to mellow and meld the flavors. I first learnedd to make hummus from a chef when I live in Turkey, and the traditional method does NOT produce "diet food." A LOT of evoo IN and ON hummus! And a mild bite from the fresh garlic. I would be afraid to heat a really authentic hummus in fear it might break. It is not a cooked dish, but always made from "raw" ingredients. I would be afraid that getting it too hot would cause it to break.

                                                                                  There are a lot of variations on dips made with tahini as an ingredient that Americans seem to call names like "eggplant hummus" or "red pepper hummus" and a lot of other "hummuses," but those are ALL called by different names in the Middle East. For example, nearly all "eggplant hummus" I've ever run across is simply babba ganoush. Oh well, it's probably all part of "globalization," and there is nothing we can do to stop that! <sigh>

                                                                              2. You are right. Nothing beats the hummus in East Jerusalem.

                                                                                1. i've noticed that there are a couple (read: 8 billion) different kinds of hummus (including different spellings)...

                                                                                  the hummus you get in, for example, a greek restaurant, is very different than the one you would get in a lebanese restaurant.

                                                                                  it sounds to me like the one you're looking for is a "lebanese restaurant type".

                                                                                  personally i prefer the greek restaurant one, but i think one of the tricks to the "lebanese restaurant kind" (in the ones i've been to anyway), just judging by flavours, is lots of tahina, not a ton of garlic, a bit of lemon, but again not too much, and blend the crap out of it so you get a very very smooth paste.

                                                                                  my version of the "greek resto kind" (which is more grainy and more garlicy) has the standard chickpeas, garlic, lemon (lots), tahina, cumin (which i think is standard, but maybe not), fresh ground pepper, and then then not so standard, but absolutely amazing, dill pickle. i just add in a dill pickle when i'm making it. soooo good. and not pickley at all, just delicious. yum yum.

                                                                                  1. Removing the skins really does make a huge difference. If you cook your canned beans and let them cool, you can just pop the each chick pea from the skin with minimal effort. It probably took about 15 minutes to do a 15 oz can.

                                                                                    You don't have to start with dried beans. But you should cook the canned beans first. I had always been disappointed that I could not achieve that wonderful creamy restaurant texture as well(it was very good, but not quite "it")...removing the skins, I made the creamiest, lightest hummus ever, and it only required small amounts (about 2 tbsp each) of tahini and olive oil(you can add more if you like a stronger taste). No matter how long you blend, you never get the same texture with the skins on. I'd tried adding more liquid, more tahini, more olive oil, and none of those things was the secret.

                                                                                    Also, the Lebanese places that I have been to do not use garlic or cumin or the other things that we tend to add here...only lemon juice and salt (and tahini and olive oil). I've realized that I do not like Americanized "hummus" at all, and most recipes that are floating around or the stuff you get in stores is just that...
                                                                                    I'm sure that in the restaurants, they use another method to de-skin the chickpeas...but that has to be their secret. I brought some home to do a side by side comparison, and I've finally matched it.
                                                                                    If you are ever in Detroit, try out the hummus at La Shish...served just as was mentioned before, with pine nuts and olive oil. Love it with lamb shawarma...

                                                                                    1. in addition to garlic, tahini, lemon juice, what is essential, to me, is ground TOASTED cumin, and Red Aleppo Pepper(very distinct armenian spice that makes all the difference in the world.)

                                                                                      2 Replies
                                                                                      1. re: opinionatedchef

                                                                                        Use of the Aleppo pepper is characteristic to Aleppo and the surrounding area in Northern Syria...known for having a spicier cuisine in that region. It is not specifically Armenian.

                                                                                        1. re: luckyfatima

                                                                                          many armenians migrated to syria/lebanon and those had a cuisine which used the local products- also there are some fermented turkish peppers very similar to aleppo which can be used in armenian food - I think OC is using the word generically to mean that type of full flavored not too spicy chile which is in use broadly in the region

                                                                                      2. I don't put olive oil in it but instead serve it ON it.


                                                                                        1. While visiting my parents over the holidays, I tried making hummus for them. However, I wasn't using a recipe -- just improvising. I soaked some dry chickpeas overnight, skinned them, and then simmered them for a long time. They required several hours of simmering to become nice and soft (easy to eat -- no toughness, no "crunch").

                                                                                          The first batch of hummus to go through the blender came out wonderfully, but the second batch (from the same pot of reconstituted and long-simmered chickpeas) was much more difficult and the blender was struggling terribly with it, even though I'm fairly sure I was using the same ratio of chickpeas to tahini to water to olive oil to garlic cloves. Or a similar ratio. Maybe even more water than the first time. The second batch was grainier and a smidgen more bland-tasting and not as good, even though I added the juice of a lime. Another later attempt produced really terrible watery hummus -- I had to add too much water (I used the water that the chickpeas had been simmered in) to get it to blend, on top of the juice of a lime or two.

                                                                                          That blender is probably five or six years old, and an off-brand. Too old? A crummy blender?

                                                                                          I want to get a blender for myself to use for making hummus -- should I look for a particular brand? Do stores sell "heavy-duty" blenders? Or maybe I was doing something wrong. I mean, besides not using a recipe.

                                                                                          Maybe the latter attempts needed more tahini. Prob. not, though, since there's been no other mentions in this thread of having trouble with blenders, despite all the differing opinions as to whether or not to use tahini, and how much, and whether or not to use olive oil, lime juice, etc. (I prefer to avoid lemon juice entirely since I'm just ever-so-slightly allergic to lemons, though small amounts don't usually bother me.)

                                                                                          3 Replies
                                                                                          1. re: Ike

                                                                                            Hummus Blending Tricks

                                                                                            All nut butters are dry particles suspended in fat. When any form of moisture hits them, they swell and the nut butter thickens/seizes (chocolate is the same way). Tahini thickens hummus tremendously by this seizing action, and makes it a LOT harder to blend without adding a ton of water. Add to this the fact that the tahini you purchase is already perfectly smooth, and you have no reason whatsoever to blend the tahini. Blend the other ingredients, pour them out of the blender, then mix in the tahini by hand. You'll never have watery hummus or blending problems again.

                                                                                            Hot foods are generally less viscous than cold. If cooking your own chickpeas, use them shortly after cooking while they are still hot. If your chickpeas are cold or room temp, heat both the chickpeas and the water/cooking liquid before you blend them. Not boiling hot (that could liquefy the lubricant in your blender blade) but just very warm. Raw garlic and lemon juice shouldn't be heated, so add them much later in the game (use a garlic press)- after the chickpea/cooking liquid/olive oil(if using) mixture has been blended and combined with the hummus and allowed to chill for a bit.

                                                                                            Old cheap blenders are not the end of the world. A narrow carafe helps to create a vortex. Wide carafes make blending more difficult. Quantity is important is a well. With many blenders, if you add too little or too much food, they don't blend well. If you're making a lot of hummus, try two batches rather than overfilling the blender. Most blenders seem to be happy with the food about one third to halfway up the carafe.

                                                                                            So, to sum everything up. Hot chickpeas/hot cooking liquid. Strain the chickpeas and save the liquid. Add the chickpeas and olive oil to the blender and add just enough liquid to get them to blend. Transfer from blender to a bowl and let them cool briefly. Stir in tahini. Chill in the fridge for about 1 hour, then add lemon juice and garlic, mixing well. Chill overnight for flavors to fully develop.

                                                                                            When stirring in the lemon juice and garlic the hummus will still be slightly warm/close to room temp, so it won't be incredibly thick, but after chilling overnight it will thicken very nicely. I've had a blender hummus or two that needed a little extra water the next day to make is spreadable. If you do everything right, it will be too thick and require more water. Adding water is always feasible. Removing water is not.


                                                                                            Lime juice is a bit of stretch for hummus. How allergic are you to lemons? I guess if lemons are that iffy for you, maybe you could get away with half lemon half lime, but ideally, hummus should be lemons. Can you tolerate citric acid? That might be an option in very small amounts.

                                                                                            And, use a recipe. Most of the ingredients in this are good when a certain amount is used, but when you stray from that, the hummus can suffer. Some people love raw garlic, but, for the rest of us, the parameters for acceptable raw garlic quantities are pretty tight. Tahini has a little more flexibility, but you can definitely underdo it as well as overdo it. Lemon juice- same thing. Start with a recipe, tweak it to your own preferences and then stick with it.

                                                                                            1. re: scott123

                                                                                              Thanks greatly for the advice. I should realized that tahini is too thick for some blenders to handle. And yeah, there's no reason to put tahini in the blender since it's already smooth as silk and can be mixed in easily by hand afterwards. Ah, so I had the batch amounts right. That's good to know. The tahini was the trouble. And my lack of a recipe. I should've just grabbed one from the above posts.

                                                                                              However, I must respectfully disagree with you about lemon juice. I may be unorthodox (by the standards of your nationality or tradition anyway), but in my opinion, lemon juice is not necessary. I've had hummus both with and without lemon juice, and personally, I prefer it *without*, or used in very, very, very sparing amounts (per Jomo above). And some people prefer lime juice, as Phoenikia's post above points out.

                                                                                              Citric acid is out, because I strongly suspect that it is the citric acid *itself* to which I am allergic, as oranges also cause me problems sometimes. Limes contain far less citric acid, and I prefer their taste, too.

                                                                                              Your rendition of hummus involves adding the garlic afterwards? Really? I would think it would be better in the blender with the chickpeas and thus more thoroughly spread throughout the hummus, rather than in little pieces. I wouldn't think a few cloves would cause the blender any trouble compared to tahini.

                                                                                              I (and my parents) tolerate high levels of raw garlic. I was using three to five small-to-medium-sized cloves per batch, and the batches weren't big either. Still couldn't taste it in the end. In my opinion it could've used more.

                                                                                              1. re: Ike

                                                                                                Lemon juice is a traditional ingredient in hummus. I've never seen a traditional recipe without it. I tend to place a certain amount of stock in history as well as the opinion of the masses. If, for hundreds of years, millions of people have been enjoying lemon juice based hummus... it could be that lemon juice makes a better tasting end product.

                                                                                                That being said, it really boils down to personal taste. If you want to be innovative and make it without lemon juice (or with very little) go for it. Keep in mind, though, that if you make hummus for someone who's eaten a lot of traditional hummus, it may taste different to them. Not necessarily good or bad, just different.

                                                                                                If you blend the garlic with the hot chickpeas, it could end up cooking it. Unless you're doing something like a roasted garlic hummus, the garlic in hummus should always be raw. It's rawness of the garlic that gives you the freshness/vibrancy of flavor. The taste of garlic is mellowed tremendously by heat.

                                                                                                If you wanted to work with room temp chickpeas, they'd require more water to blend/create a looser hummus, but you could blend the garlic with them. A looser hummus gets a little risky, though. The process I outlined earlier, when done right, creates a chilled hummus that's so thick, when you stick a knife in it, the knife stands straight up. I tend to err on the side of thick hummus rather than thin. Nothing is worse than soupy hummus.

                                                                                                From the people I've talked to, garlic content in hummus seems to run the gamut. I believe that particular nationalities might have varying tastes as to the amount of garlic they use. At least, that's my theory. The bulk of my hummus exposure has been with Egyptian families. These families have tended to like the garlic in their hummus on the mild side and the garlic in their babaganouj, incendiary. This is my philosophy as well. Excessive amounts of garlic, for me, are far more complimentary with eggplant than they are with chickpeas. Since I usually serve baba and hummus at the same meal, the variety of the mild garlic hummus and the in your face garlic baba works beautifully.

                                                                                          2. I make hummus in a food processor using the sharp blade. It gets very smooth.

                                                                                            I'm an extra-garlic, extra-lemon-juice kind of guy.

                                                                                            The presentation makes a difference. Put the hummus in a 10" oval plate and push most of it to mound around the edges. Sprinkle separate areas around the edges with paprika and cumin. Pour a tablespoon of fragrant olive oil along the center of the plate, add some black and green kalamata olives and sprinkle a little chopped parsley or perhaps cilantro around. Serve with well heated pita.

                                                                                            1. I boiled canned chickpeas with baking soda, then rinsed thoroughly before blending. Super creamy.

                                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                                              1. re: piccola

                                                                                                I forgot to add that you should blend it for much longer than seems appropriate. Think minutes, not seconds. Time yourself if you have to.

                                                                                              2. My trick is to add a little strained yogurt while blending -- it adds good tang and flavor -- along with the tahini, garlic, lemon, and a dash of olive oil. I often throw some paprika into the mix, and a little chipotle powder; not authentic, but tasty. Top with zatar and a drizzle of great olive oil. Yum!

                                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                                1. re: litchick

                                                                                                  A friend brought a hummus with just a little wasabi in it. It was just slightly green, very, very mildly "warm", and quite pleasant.

                                                                                                  [Bragging: I was the one who could guess the "secret ingredient".]

                                                                                                2. just wanted to say thanks...this thread inspired me to go home and make hummus and it was fantastic!!! yum.

                                                                                                  1. The recipe my daughter uses out of one of the Aussie Women's Weekly cookbook has a little buttermilk in it, makes it very smooth.

                                                                                                    1. IMO = Use a heck of a lot of garlic, more olive oil then you think, a bit of paprika and a touch of parsley and make sure the chickpeas are cooked through!!

                                                                                                      Finish with a bit of fresh lemon juice and you should be good...

                                                                                                      1. My homemade hummous is head and shoulders above what I can get at the local restaurants or the grocery store. I like a bit of texture, so I use a food processor. You could use a blender to get a finer grind, and add more tahini to get a pasty texture.

                                                                                                        I used canned beans. Save some of the broth when draining the can.
                                                                                                        It is possible to have too much garlic. I speak from experience :-) I use 2 large cloves chopped per pound of chickpeas. Add 2 tbsp of tahini, 2 tsp lemon juice, 1 tbsp olive oil, and some cayenne and ground black pepper.

                                                                                                        The trick to getting a nice creamy texture is to grind the peas first, add the other ingredients, then leave the processor running while drizzling in the reserved broth. You can make it as pasty or runny as you like, depending on how much broth is added. I like mine in the middle, creamy enough to scoop up with some fresh pita.

                                                                                                        I've made it with a blender, and with mortar and pestle, but the processor gives me the best texture. I use lots less oil than some recipes call for, to make it lighter. Oil can always be added.

                                                                                                        Favas are too mealy to make a decent hummous. Use the basic 5 ingredients - chickpeas, garlic, oil, tahini, lemon, cayenne - then experiment till you get what you like. Bedouins have been doing it for thousands of years, so don't give up too soon.

                                                                                                        Don't be afraid to experiment either. I've had good results adding either black olives or roasted peppers. Chopping things first before putting in the processor will give you a finer texture.

                                                                                                        I'm gonna go have some now!

                                                                                                        1. i know this is two years ago, almost exactly since this was posted, however this recipe mentions something that other people (at least in the past year have not) i have never thought about the order of stuff nor the processes of the food involved. give it a try...

                                                                                                          Recipe submitted by trisa (http://vegweb.com/index.php?action=pr...), 08/12/07

                                                                                                          Creamy Hummus, Restaurant Style

                                                                                                          Ingredients (use vegan versions (http://vegweb.com/index.php?topic=154...):

                                                                                                          1 can chickpeas
                                                                                                          1/4 cup tahini (from roasted seeds
                                                                                                          ) 1/4 cup lemon juice (not from concentrate)
                                                                                                          4 or 5 cloves of garlic
                                                                                                          olive oil
                                                                                                          ground cumin


                                                                                                          The secret to good hummus, and the difference between hummus and chickpea mash, is to understand what is really going on with the tahini.

                                                                                                          What is milk? Milk is generally an emulsion of protein and fat in a water-based liquid. An emulsion is when you mix one liquid into another that don't generally mix, like oil and water when you make salad dressing. They're not dissolving into each other, but the little molecules of one are suspended in the other.

                                                                                                          For dairy milk, it's an emulsion of animal protein, fats, lactose, etc. For soy milk and nut milk, it's the same thing, but now it's nut proteins and oils. But in all cases, the emulsion is where the creaminess comes from in "milk". If you have less water, you call it cream (either dairy cream or nut creams).

                                                                                                          Tahini is sesame butter, and to make creamy hummus, the secret is to first turn that into sesame cream! To do that, you need to emulsify the tahini in a water based liquid first. This will NOT happen if you just put everything into a food processor all at once!

                                                                                                          OK, so with that background, first put the tahini and lemon juice into a blender (I use an immersion blender) and blend away until it's frothy, white, and creamy. You can substitute a little water for lemon juice... experiment. This is your sesame cream! (If you added a lot more water and blended well enough, you'd get sesame milk.)

                                                                                                          Now mince the garlic and blend it into the cream, and add some salt to taste. This is a basic tahini cream sauce that's actually really good on its own!

                                                                                                          Now open the can of chickpeas, drain, and rinse them off in a strainer. Whenever using canned beans (except for black beans) it's good to rinse, since it removes the canned-beanie taste.

                                                                                                          Take a handful of chickpeas and blend it into the sesame cream until smooth. Continue to blend in chickpeas a little at a time until the cream has thickened, but isn't too thick and is still pale (not the deep yellow of the usual chickpea mash). Add salt to taste.

                                                                                                          You won't use all the chickpeas... much less than in many hummus recipes. For the above, I usually use about half of a 24 oz can's worth.

                                                                                                          Scoop the hummus onto a plate, put a few whole chickpeas on top, drizzle good olive oil over it, and sprinkle some parsley and/or cumin on top if you like. That's it! It's best if served at room temperature or slightly warmer.

                                                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                                                          1. re: makutamonster

                                                                                                            Wewlcome to CH!
                                                                                                            After skimming through the thread I think the real "secret" is that many here were not using any water. If you don't thin with water you wind up using excessive oil or lemon and the end product is not balanced.
                                                                                                            Hopefully no one goes off the deep end for posting in a two year old thread!

                                                                                                          2. the formula I use (I think originally from Claudia Roden) stafts with blending the tahina (seeds and oil) with water/lemon juice til you get a white creamy emulsion - thats the tahina. You wont have a good creamy hummus until you start with this step. You can then add the fresh garlic, chickpeas, salt etc to the mix. You particularly need a significant amount of fresh lemon juice . I think olive oil is more of a garnish than an ingredient to the dish - the sesame paste provides most of the oil content. a few handfuls of parsley and a bit of cumin are also good additions as iare a aleppo pepper or good paprika.

                                                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                                                            1. I disagree with those who say you must use dried beans or take the skins off the canned beans. I do agree that the addition of a little garlic, a good deal of of lemon juice and salt make the finished product taste better. I had the same texture problem as you the first few times I made it at home until I saw a cooking program where the chef emphasized the necessity of letting the food processor run for a long time - it whips more air and makes the hummus much smoother. I let mine got for several minutes and it comes out great. Good luck.

                                                                                                              2 Replies
                                                                                                              1. re: san antonio eater

                                                                                                                When using can beans I run my food pro for a long time. My Grandmother from Syria would remove all the skins when making hers. We all have different standards. I don't mind skins in my hummus, assuming they are blended well, but she would have had a problem with it.

                                                                                                                1. re: scubadoo97

                                                                                                                  Yeah, your grandmother sounds alot like my mother (albeit my mom is Mexcan-American, not Syrian) She always cooks from scratch too. I have found that I am just too lazy to cook dried beans or to remove the skins. I think the canned organic beans I used last time (from Central Market) didn't have any skins on them. I love hummus (and probably would have REALLY loved your grandmother's) and know that I just won't make it at home unless I can make it a little more convenient. My philosophy is that even a simplified recipe that you make at home will turn out far better than 99% of what you get in the grocery store. San Antonio used to have an excellent Lebanese restaurant that made killer hummus but it is no more. I miss it. they made great tabouli too.

                                                                                                              2. In the search for perfect hummus, I've read this entire 3 year old post. Here's my homemade addition:

                                                                                                                1 Can of top quality Garbanzos, drained. 1/2 teaspoon Cumin. Dash or two of cayenne pepper. 2 tablespoons good quality EVOO. 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt. Puree` in blender or food processor until thick paste. In a separate cup, mix 1/4 cup water & 3 tablespoons lemon juice. Add to garbanzo paste and continue blending. Mix 6 tablespoons good quality tahini with 2 tablespoons EVOO. THEN...THE CHEAT...add 2-3 tablespoons HALF & HALF!! Mix with the tahini well and blend into hummos. Blend for a long time. Taste...Adjust seasonings...ENJOY!!

                                                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                                                1. re: mssreatalot

                                                                                                                  I hope its not bad to piggyback on this thread but I'm also having a hummus problem. I was trying to make a version of the Trader Joe's Cilantro Jalapeno hummus. I followed a recipe on the web and it just doesn't have the depth of flavor in the bought version. I don't care so much about the creaminess,(or is the flavor part of the creaminess?):

                                                                                                                  1 can (15 oz) garbanzo beans/chick peas (drained and rinsed, with 2 oz reserved liquid)
                                                                                                                  2 tbsp tahini
                                                                                                                  2 cloves garlic
                                                                                                                  1 tbls lemon juice
                                                                                                                  1 jalapeno, seeds and membrane removed
                                                                                                                  1 cup chopped cilantro leaves
                                                                                                                  2 tbsp lime juice
                                                                                                                  salt to taste
                                                                                                                  1-2 tablespoons cooking water*

                                                                                                                  The recipe called for cooking canned chickpeas. I removed the skins from the Goya chickpeas and used Joyva tahini. I ended up adding some more chickpeas, some roasted sesame oil and more salt, but it definitely still tastes a little flat. From these boards, it looks like I needed a bit more tahini and perhaps should have used all lemon juice--any other suggestions? I haven't replaced my blender yet.

                                                                                                                2. The best hummus recipe I've tried at home was Nigella Lawson's recipe from her "How to Eat" cookbook. Her "secret" is to start with dried chickpeas, and to tenderize them by soaking them for 24-36 hours in a large amount of water to which a runny paste made with of 1 tsp baking powder, 1 tbsp flour, 1 tbsp salt and a bit of water are added. Once they've soaked for the required amount of time, drain and rinse them, then cover and cook for 1.5-4 hours over low heat until they are very soft. She says not to lift the lid on the pot for the first hour at all or the peas will harden. Her recipe also says to save 3/4 cup of the cooking liquid to use to thin the hummus when you blend it. (You usually end up only using about 1/4 cup of the water; I think she says to save that much in case certain processors/blenders end up needing more liquid to blend a smooth batch of hummus.)

                                                                                                                  Her other secret is to add a few tablespoons of greek yogurt to the mixture of the cooked peas, tahini, lemon, garlic, cumin and olive oil at the end of the blending process. She says this helps replicate the "whipped" consistency of restaurant-style hummus and prevents the "claggy" texture homemade hummus tends to take on once refrigerated. I know this is untraditional, but it's worked for me!

                                                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                                                  1. re: ACCritic

                                                                                                                    i don't really like cummin with traditional hummus. i think that the cummin really takes away from the true "taste" of hummus, and i see it more as a variation on a theme. personally, its a variation that I don't like to visit.

                                                                                                                    my two cents: add lemon zest. it helps with the flavour. not much, just some.

                                                                                                                    also, the tastiest way to serve hummous is a hot variation called masabacha. had it at Abu Hassan in Tel Aviv/Jaffa and once you have it, you will want to mix it in with your regular hummus preparations. masabacha has more lemon juice to it (so add another 1/2 to whole lemon to the recipe) and is more aqueous as well - so more liquid from when you cook the chick peas. in the end, it has a more citric and creamy taste to it, plus its served hot (and best made if you slow-cook the chickpeas and use them while they are still hot).

                                                                                                                  2. And I am always wondering why anyone would a) buy hummus in a package b) choose not to make it at home and go to restaurants.

                                                                                                                    There are some comical posts on this one. Hummus without tahini?? And people say it is great? Which people? What do they know about hummus? Yes, there are chick pea dips minus tahini but they aren't really what we're talking about.

                                                                                                                    A couple tips: if using canned chick peas wash them a lot before using them. Second, grind your cumin fresh.

                                                                                                                    3 Replies
                                                                                                                      1. re: pikawicca

                                                                                                                        At least concede that this is debatable.

                                                                                                                    1. chickpeas (boil them first), tahini, olive oil, garlic, za'atar, salt, fresh finely chopped parsley. I hand crush the chickpeas instead of using a food processor.

                                                                                                                      5 Replies
                                                                                                                      1. re: josiahstevenson

                                                                                                                        Za'atar...Wow! I had never heard of this before now, but must try it. Will have to check out PFI for this (or elsewhere in Seattle). I came to this board looking for ways to use fresh chickpeas, wondering about using for hummous, and then had to read what everbody said about how they make it.

                                                                                                                        I missed reading pikawicca's review of using a food mill for removing the skins of the chickpeas. To anybody here.....any reviews of this on this board?

                                                                                                                        I have only one thing to add that the last time I made hummous (from dried chickpeas) is I added some chopped preserved lemon and then blended and thought it was wonderful! The commercial Morrocan preserved lemon is great, but now have our own home-made preserved lemon from meyer lemons. Was also successful in preserving a Buddha's hand, with a milder citrus flavour than lemon.

                                                                                                                        1. re: robbyd

                                                                                                                          robbyd wrote:
                                                                                                                          "I missed reading pikawicca's review of using a food mill for removing the skins of the chickpeas. To anybody here.....any reviews of this on this board?"

                                                                                                                          I've used a food mill once to remove skins. It certainly works but to get the hummus as smooth as I wanted it and to add the other ingredients, it had to go into a food pro. I just didn't find the difference worth the effort. I can make a extremely smooth hummus but blending for a long time and having the right moisture level. You would never know there were skins in there.

                                                                                                                          1. re: scubadoo97

                                                                                                                            i've tried the food mill twice for removing the skins - didn't work for me. both times i ended up with a mess of mushed garbanzos with the skins smashed into them! i've since resorted to skinning them by hand, which is why i don't make hummus nearly as often as i'd like to. i have to try the boiling method this weekend...

                                                                                                                              1. re: sonia darrow

                                                                                                                                i will - i left the beans sitting out on the counter to remind me to do it tonight!

                                                                                                                      2. OK, so i promised i'd report back about my attempt to remove the skins by boiling the canned chickpeas, and i had high hopes for this one...unfortunately it was pretty much an unmitigated disaster. HOWEVER, i'm relatively certain it was my own fault :)

                                                                                                                        it was my [incorrect] assumption from reading everyone's suggestions that the skins would float to the top *during* the boiling process (note to self, resist the urge to speed-read when it comes to things like this). after 20 minutes at a rolling boil i gave them a few forceful stirs, and only a couple of skins floated to the top. uh-oh. against my better judgment, i let them simmer for another 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. i finally turned off the flame after 30 minutes because it just wasn't happening and i didn't want to cook the poor chickpeas to death. i skimmed off the few skins that had floated to the top, poured off the liquid, & gave them a good cold rinse in the colander. unfortunately only a *very* small number of skins were completely free in the colander. but the majority of the skins that were still intact/attached appeared to have at least loosened, so i decided to just deal with it and remove them manually the way i usually do. oy. vey. ever try removing the skin from overcooked, crumbling/ disintegrating chickpeas? NOT fun. it was a mess!

                                                                                                                        i'll try again sometime this week, and hopefully if i do it *correctly* i'll get better results!

                                                                                                                        6 Replies
                                                                                                                        1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                                                                          Don't beat yourself up. I did this experiment, this morning with the requisite Eden beans, and it did not work at all. Ended up with squishy, over-cooked, water-laden beans. Yuck.

                                                                                                                          1. re: pikawicca

                                                                                                                            thanks, it's nice to know it's not just me! i actually used Eden beans too, but i may try it once more with a can of Trader Joe's - now that i know they don't use BPA in their cans i'll gladly save a few pennies and buy theirs.

                                                                                                                          2. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                                                                            I had the exact same experience (with dried beans). In the future I'm just going to boil until the skins are loosened then hand remove and call it good at that.

                                                                                                                            1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                                                                              Hmmm. I'm really surprised it didn't work for you.
                                                                                                                              Boil for 20 min.
                                                                                                                              Take off heat and then run under cold water.
                                                                                                                              I can just skim the skins off the top of the water as they come right off and float to the top.

                                                                                                                              1. re: Hondapendragon

                                                                                                                                Perhaps it depends on the brand? Which do you use?

                                                                                                                              2. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                                                                                After cooking, the skins will be loosened somewhat, so if you take a potato masher and mash lightly or rub it over the chickpeas in circular (or haphazard) motions, you can get a lot of the skins to partially come off, and hasten the process.

                                                                                                                              3. This is my spin on hummus - not traditional, but the yogurt gives it added smoothness, and you have to keep blending for awhile to achieve desired consistency.


                                                                                                                                1. forget the shopping today, the day got away from me and the drive, too far.
                                                                                                                                  so, instead of making the hummus yesterday which I fully intended, that day got away from me too, I decided today I'd do it.

                                                                                                                                  ok, so what on tarnations name did I do wrong?
                                                                                                                                  I made it with all the usual suspects including dried beans that I soaked the smithereens out of.

                                                                                                                                  it's awful.
                                                                                                                                  too tart, too flat, not the right flavor at all.
                                                                                                                                  when I was 17 or 18, I started making hummus.
                                                                                                                                  back then, I didn't know what tahini was and have not used it ever except for today.
                                                                                                                                  I finally opened the can I'd bought.
                                                                                                                                  I don't like my outcome. Other than toss it, and I know someone will ask me what I did and exactly how it tastes so wrong, what is the icky ingredient in there, I can't say because I can't pin point what is so offal. < I know, wrong spelling on purpose.

                                                                                                                                  dang, I'm annoyed

                                                                                                                                  25 Replies
                                                                                                                                  1. re: iL Divo

                                                                                                                                    I've only ever used jarred, not canned, tahini. If your hummus tastes really "offal," I suspect that your tahini is rancid. Try to buy it from a Middle-Eastern grocery that has a high turnover. Once opened, store it in the fridge.

                                                                                                                                    1. re: pikawicca

                                                                                                                                      YOU KNOW WHAT? AND YES, THIS IS IN CAPS FOR A REASON. The only thing I can come up with is it almost tastes rancid. I've only made hummus all my life, again, never before using tahini and probably never will again. But not being able to put my finger on it, since I knew all the right components were in there, I even added about 1 1/2 tsp raw sugar trying to have it start to make sense. I'll let it remain in frig and when hubby gets home, I'll have him taste it. Wanna bet he makes a face? Never has before though for my hummus, if he does, I'll know I blew it.

                                                                                                                                      Thank you very much, I'm fumin here......................................but wouldn't have thought of the tahini in there being rancid, I think you hit the nail on the head. dang...........

                                                                                                                                      1. re: iL Divo

                                                                                                                                        Please don't let this experience turn you off tahini, which is a delicious ingredient in so many things. (Drizzle a bit into some good yogurt, add lemon and grated garlic, and you've got a quick sauce that is good on just about any meat, poultry, or fish.)

                                                                                                                                        1. re: pikawicca

                                                                                                                                          honestly I am a bit put off. I am going to check and see if there's an expiration date on the one I do have. maybe it was in Albertsons for a very long time and they need to know about that, if in fact, that stuff does have a shelf life.

                                                                                                                                          1. re: iL Divo

                                                                                                                                            forget the expiration date and just smell and taste it. If it's racid you will know.

                                                                                                                                            1. re: scubadoo97

                                                                                                                                              There is no expiration date, I am not into them anyway. I think they're usually just a clever way to get people to chuck the old-er and buy new, keeps their business flourishing.

                                                                                                                                              I'm holding it now. It' s Yehuda imported from Israel. There are numbers on the bottom but they'd mean nothing to you or me, it's a code of some sort and it's not like I can call Israel for info on this product.

                                                                                                                                              I thought tahini was sesame paste from ground sesame seeds only.
                                                                                                                                              The ingredients: exactly written like this..........
                                                                                                                                              water <[?] "tahini" [sesame seed paste] < what? cooked chickpeas, salt, citric acid, garlic, edible starch. Is that right? I think not.

                                                                                                                                              I almost felt sick last night on our walk with our dogs. My stomach wasn't right. I'd pulled out the hummus for my husband to taste and with a bitter face he asked, "do I like hummu?" I said yes, he frowned in disgust. I'm chucking it, it's awful, what a waste of good ingredients.

                                                                                                                                              I think I'll forget the tahini and just go back to making it as I always have before, sans the paste.

                                                                                                                                              1. re: iL Divo

                                                                                                                                                Sounds like you have a can of processed hummus. I looked up the brand and found Russ Parsons a food writer for the LA Times gave it a good review. http://www.amazon.com/YehudaTehina-11... it on it's own if you don't like it chuck it. Not sure why you feel sick unless it's spoiled.

                                                                                                                                                The word tahina is often used for the sauce made from tahini. I know this label is somewhat mislabeled, okay mislabeled but learn from it and read the ingredient list on most all foods if given.

                                                                                                                                                Joyva is a canned tahini that is found in most grocery stores. Very serviceable with a good roasted flavor

                                                                                                                                                Alkanater is a Lebanese brand found in many Middle Eastern food stores. It's very good. This is what I have in my pantry most often.

                                                                                                                                                1. re: scubadoo97

                                                                                                                                                  good words, thank you...................
                                                                                                                                                  I'll be on the look out for a good Leb or Mid East store

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: scubadoo97

                                                                                                                                                    i would be very surprised if that was russ parsons from the los angeles times. i don't believe he endorses products on amazon.

                                                                                                                                          2. re: iL Divo

                                                                                                                                            No offense, but hummus without tahini is like sushi without the fish, Il Divo.

                                                                                                                                            1. re: epop

                                                                                                                                              There's actually tons of really good fish-less sushi, so I don't really see your point.

                                                                                                                                              1. re: piccola

                                                                                                                                                For many of us sushi is about the seafood on the rice.

                                                                                                                                                Every analogy is imperfect.

                                                                                                                                              2. re: epop

                                                                                                                                                Oh I take no offense, it matters not. Food, as with many other things, becomes subjective. To you hummus is w/ tahini period, to me I've made it every other time w/ out tahini. I'll continue with what worked for me.

                                                                                                                                                1. re: epop

                                                                                                                                                  epop, the term "sushi" pertains to the vinegared rice, not the topping. so though you may personally feel that sushi isn't really worth eating without fish (and i happen to agree), that's certainly not a universal sentiment. the same goes for hummus - it's used to describe a paste of mashed chickpeas, but hummus *bi tahina* is specifically hummus with tahini. again, i prefer my hummus as you do - with tahini - but technically it doesn't have to be in there, and many people prefer it without.

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                                                                                                    True, hummus means chick peas in Arabic. But I think they've been making it with tahini for a millenium. I told my Arabic friend about this, making it without tahini, and he rolled his eyes. "Only in America."

                                                                                                                                                    The reason I used the sushi analogy is that I knew it only meant the rice, like in the case of hummus being chick peas.

                                                                                                                                                    I know there are nitpickers here who contested this, saying sushi doesn't require seafood. The last time I checked any sushi restaurant the mastery came from how the master handled the rice and seafood, not tofu or burdock.

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: epop

                                                                                                                                                      ha! your friend's response reminds me of the way we all reacted to Wolfgang Puck's pizzas back in the 80s when i was still an East Coaster. "only in California." :)

                                                                                                                                                      i hope you don't think i was nitpicking, i totally got why you chose that analogy. i, for one, prefer my sushi with fish (actually, i prefer sashimi over sushi!) and my hummus with tahini. i just wanted to be sure we weren't invalidating other people's perfectly acceptable choices.

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                                                                                                        I would prefer to call it a chick pea dip, that could taste stupendous. And that's the point, to make something tasty and healthy. But I do wonder about calling it hummus. Traditions mean something to me.

                                                                                                                                                        Hummus has gone the way of pizza. We have blueberry hummus and roasted artichoke hummus. Meanwhile it is almost impossible to find a decent hummus.

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: epop

                                                                                                                                                          yep, i started making my own hummus a long time ago, because it's just so hard to find good stuff anywhere. and don't get me started on lost tradition. every time i see a mention of a blueberry "bagel," i get the urge to slap the baker who made it ;)

                                                                                                                                            2. re: iL Divo

                                                                                                                                              Skip the tahini and use sesame oil instead.

                                                                                                                                              You'll always be pleased.

                                                                                                                                              1. re: Jennalynn

                                                                                                                                                bingo bongo and hasta pasta.............
                                                                                                                                                love that suggestion...............................

                                                                                                                                                1. re: Jennalynn

                                                                                                                                                  Exactly! Unfortunately, I can't find the pure sesame oil anymore, just the toasted which gives it a really asian flavour - no good.

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: dianne0712

                                                                                                                                                    The sesame solids are a critical component of the tahini (creamy amalgam of sesame paste with water) that makes the hummus delicious and attractively textured. I would not omit the tahini for a good result, but you have to blend/whiz til its silky and creamy as discussed below. Also, the sesame seeds augments the nutritional value of the hummus in a way the oil alone cant.

                                                                                                                                                    I dont like the paste right out of the jar either but in this mix and seasoned its excellent. I guess there is a possibility that its rancid, but my experience is it has a long shelf life.

                                                                                                                                                    If you want to buy pure sesame oil (unroasted) indian stores carry it - called til - used extensively in south indian cooking.

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: jen kalb

                                                                                                                                                      Yeah, I would think it would be missing some thing without tahini

                                                                                                                                                2. I just made my first truly successful hummus-- It's not all lumpy and grainy, not too dry, not too sour, and not overwhelmingly horribly garlicky (I like garlic, but I kept overdoing it in past hummus attempts).

                                                                                                                                                  Roasted garlic is the way to go! I used this recipe as a loose guideline, ended up using an entire lemon instead of just a few Tbsp:


                                                                                                                                                  I also blended extra long, as people have suggested.
                                                                                                                                                  Didn't remove skins!

                                                                                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                  1. re: sonia darrow

                                                                                                                                                    I used dried soaked beans.
                                                                                                                                                    I didn't remove skins either but don't think that would have made a difference.
                                                                                                                                                    As with most things I make, I'm not usually into recipes, only try to figure out the flavor and go from there. Honestly, back in the day, I'd never heard of tahini and won't be using it again for hummus at least. I'm done with that stuff, much prefer the old versions of hummus I'm accustomed to creating, call it what you will.....................

                                                                                                                                                  2. This blog from Desert Candy, summaries all the key points of this entire thread.


                                                                                                                                                    Important points:
                                                                                                                                                    1. remove the skins from the chickpeas
                                                                                                                                                    2. blend Tahini, lemon juice,garlic into cream first prior to adding chickpeas
                                                                                                                                                    3. Press or mash the garlic with sea salt, let sit for 5 minutes
                                                                                                                                                    4. Middle Eastern/Arab hummus is never made with both oil and tahini in the puree, it's either hummus with tahini, or hummus with oil, though olive oil is drizzled on top of both for serving.-

                                                                                                                                                    I used my Vita-mix for creamy smooth hummus.

                                                                                                                                                    Also, I stop using food from tin cans cause the BPA is leeches into the food. Eden manufacturer does have BPA-free cans for beans.

                                                                                                                                                    4 Replies
                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Funkalicious

                                                                                                                                                      With the VitaMix you don't have to worry about skins. It will come out as smooth as any restaurant quality hummus if not better.

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: scubadoo97

                                                                                                                                                        I thought so with the Vita-mix, then I wonder about the taste. So next time, I try it keeping skins on when using the Vita-mix.

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Funkalicious

                                                                                                                                                          I can't tell a difference and more fiber with the skins

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Funkalicious

                                                                                                                                                            yet another reason i wish i had gotten a Vita-Mix...when i make hummus i skin the individual chickpeas by hand. it's a lil' bit tedious!

                                                                                                                                                            FYI, Trader Joe's beans are also packaged in BPA-free cans :)

                                                                                                                                                      2. Hmmm. I don't agree with much of the advice in this thread. If you take a can of unskinned chickpeas (at least a good quality brand like Indo European) and process it for long enough with an appropriate amount of tahini, it should be perfectly creamy and smooth. Creaminess, as well as richness and depth of flavor, come from the tahini.

                                                                                                                                                        My guess for why people's homemade hummus isn't as good as restaurants is the same as for many other foods: people are health conscious at home and try to skimp on the tahini and salt.

                                                                                                                                                        4 Replies
                                                                                                                                                        1. re: AlkieGourmand

                                                                                                                                                          I probably said this in the thread above somewhere, but the stage of blending the tahini with water (and garlic and lemon) to form a silky cream is the key step in having a creamy textured hummus.

                                                                                                                                                          Folks who want to throw all the ingredients in the processor/blender at the same time are going to be disappointed by their result

                                                                                                                                                          I like the extra fiber from the skins and it makes a perfectly acceptable product to keep some or all of them in. If I have time, I rub off and many chickpea skins as I can.

                                                                                                                                                          In the end though, it is not going to be as delicious or have as a good a mouth feel without the tahini/olive oil And for those who are health conscious, there are good complementary proteins in those sesame seeds its not just evil fat.

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: jen kalb

                                                                                                                                                            And fiber in the chick peas skins. The fat content of tahini shouldn't scare people away, especially since most of the fats in sesame seeds are good for us.

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: jen kalb

                                                                                                                                                              I agree on making an emulsion with the tahini at the onset on processing

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: scubadoo97

                                                                                                                                                                I used both chickpeas and favas skins and all.I then added some e.v.o.,za'taar,pepper.and tahini with the bean broth it was real good .I'll serve with mixed olives,lettuce,lemon,and maybe some stuffed grape leaves or even a spiced lamb pattie.

                                                                                                                                                          2. You've got tons of advice already, but I'll go ahead and stick my 2¢ in. As others have said, use a blender, NOT a food processor. There is no way a food processor can possibly give you the fine smooth texture that a blender delivers. And the added bonus is that with a blender, you don't have to worry about the skins on the garbanzos. They puree right in there with everything else.

                                                                                                                                                            I suspect the big flavor difference in your home made and the store brought hummus that you like are the seasonings. I use fresh garlic rather than garlic powder. There is a real difference in the "bite." And I use cumin in mine. It's a traditional spice. And of course, lemon juice. Sometimes I add a little sumac too, but it's not as critical as cumin. I use a fairly generous amount of tahini, but no olive oil in the actual hummus. Olive oil is a topping that's poured over it just before serving. I also add parsley sometimes, but toward the end and just let it blend in enough that it is still in small green specks. Then sprinkle some over the top with the olive oil as well. And one of the most critical things I can think of when it comes to making really good hummus is letting it blend and marry for at least a couple of hours before serving. Overnight couldn't hurt either! Hope this helps!

                                                                                                                                                            4 Replies
                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Caroline1

                                                                                                                                                              Pssst....I remember Cooks Illustrated publishing that the key for a fluffy, velvety-smooth hummus is to add the tahini and oil at the same time. Meaning: you mix them and drizzle them slowly in--together--while the blender/processor is on. They also did a taste test and recommend Joyva tahini and Pastene or Goya chickpeas. Mixed reviews for Eden and Progresso.

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: emcityjill

                                                                                                                                                                I have been using Chana Dal aka split desi chickpeas that I bought from an Indo/Paki supermarket they cook up soft and make for a great Hummous

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: emcityjill

                                                                                                                                                                  Pssst....! I learned how to make hummus when I lived in Turkey, NOT from any stinking old American TV show! '-)

                                                                                                                                                                  If "fluffy" is your thing, make it in a blender instead of a food processor, and add a couple of extra spoonfuls of water or broth than your recipe calls for. Sometimes, instead of lemon juice -- or even in addition to -- I use the liquid from my preserved lemons, then taste before adding any salt. It has a taste that I find a bit richer than standard lemon or lime juice. And no one ever tells you what to do with the liquid (or pulp!) from preserved lemons, so now you know about at least one thing you can do with it!

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Caroline1

                                                                                                                                                                    Thanks for mentioning preserved lemons! I use the liquid from my own preserved meyer lemons, it makes for an exceptional hummus. Also use it in ceasar salad dressing, sauce for salmon, the skin and pulp to flavor artichoke cooking water and in roasted garlic-lemon mayo for dipping.

                                                                                                                                                                    My wife introduced me to Zhug from a Yememite cookbook: usually consists of garlic, cilantro, peppers, olive oil, salt and maybe cumin and cardamon, all ground-up together and sprinkled on the finished hummus for an extra "zing" flavor.

                                                                                                                                                                    There I go again, raving about foods

                                                                                                                                                              2. I realize this is an ancient thread but I decided to resurrect it anyways.

                                                                                                                                                                Most people who attempt to make homemade hummus use canned chickpeas and that is the fatal flaw in their technique. You will never be able to attain the flavor of hummus from a good restaurant through bland canned chickpeas. Unfortunately many people have never tasted fresh chickpeas to be able to realize the difference in flavor between the two.

                                                                                                                                                                If you think about it, chickpeas are the main ingredient in hummus so it makes sense that you need tasty chickpeas in order to attain a good hummus. Traditional hummus bi tahini is made with only 4 ingredients: chickpeas, tahini, garlic, and lemon juice (with salt and water/liquid added as necessary). That's it. There is no olive oil, yogurt, sour cream, or other additions that people resort to in order to make their hummus taste good. Olive oil is usually drizzled over the top but doesn't go into the hummus itself.

                                                                                                                                                                In order to make good hummus, you need to start with dried chickpeas. Canned beans will never become transcendent. The flavor difference between fresh and canned chickpeas is night and day. The fresh ones are richer, fuller, and have better texture. And it doesn't take all day to cook them either. I soak mine overnight then cook them with water and salt in a pressure cooker and they are done in exactly 13 minutes. Make sure to use fresh beans, not old ones and use a little bit of the bean liquid instead of water to thin out the hummus.

                                                                                                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Chi_Guy

                                                                                                                                                                  This agrees with most of your points and also uses some baking soda before cooking the chickpeas which also reduces the cooking time. I just used it with a very nice result:

                                                                                                                                                                  Yotam Ottolenghi & Sami Tamimi's Basic Hummus

                                                                                                                                                                  Got to love a thread from 2006!

                                                                                                                                                                2. My hummus is at least as good as stuff in restaurants. I never used canned or overcooked chick peas. I soak my chickpeas uncovered OFF THE HEAT in boiled water and strain them well. I never add olive oil--I only drizzle it on later. I flavor with tahini, garlic, lemon juice, coriander, cumin and allspice. Salt to taste. I use a food processor. Don't skimp on the fresh lemon juice and garlic.

                                                                                                                                                                  1. I love hummus ... all kinds. I use a Vitamix to make my hummus and use the Vitamix recipe.


                                                                                                                                                                    It always turns out well whether I use canned or dried chickpeas. It's a great recipe because it uses sesame seeds instead of tahini, which I never have never acquired a taste for even though I like sesame seeds and oil.

                                                                                                                                                                    I can have hummus ready in less than 15 min. And it freezes beautifully.

                                                                                                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: mrsleny

                                                                                                                                                                      I second that. The Vitamix hummus is delicious.

                                                                                                                                                                    2. i almost always cook dried peas in the pressure cooker with baking soda. on the occasion where i'm pressed and OH doesn't want to wait... i will use canned. BUT for me, the key is peeling the chickpeas. it only takes about ten minutes. but the texture is far superior. i rotate two variations..
                                                                                                                                                                      1. peeled chickpeas, tahini, lemon juice, garlic, chickpea cooking water and salt
                                                                                                                                                                      2. peeled chickpeas, tahini, lemon juice, garlic, salt, chickpea cooking water and chipotle in adobo
                                                                                                                                                                      OH loves it with sliced cucumber or when he wants the starch - homemade rye lavash chips

                                                                                                                                                                      3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Emme

                                                                                                                                                                        help with homemade rye lavash chips, sounds very good...

                                                                                                                                                                        confused about OH:

                                                                                                                                                                        other husband
                                                                                                                                                                        obnoxious heel
                                                                                                                                                                        omnivore honey
                                                                                                                                                                        obviously hononed

                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: iL Divo

                                                                                                                                                                          Ha… OH = Other Half for me…

                                                                                                                                                                          Rye Lavash
                                                                                                                                                                          100 g bread flour
                                                                                                                                                                          90 g rye flour (you can increase ratio of rye to bread flour if you like)
                                                                                                                                                                          ½ tsp. dry yeast
                                                                                                                                                                          ½ tsp. salt
                                                                                                                                                                          1 tbsp. oil
                                                                                                                                                                          1 tbsp. honey
                                                                                                                                                                          ⅓ - ½ cups water (i usually only need the lower end of this)
                                                                                                                                                                          Flaked or coarse grind sea salt
                                                                                                                                                                          Caraway seeds

                                                                                                                                                                          Mix it all up, using as much water as needed to get a moist dough that isn't sticky.

                                                                                                                                                                          Knead it until it passes the windowpane test.

                                                                                                                                                                          Let it rest for 90 minutes in a greased bowl.

                                                                                                                                                                          Roll it out to about 1 foot x 15-16" -- i like mine as thin as possible. Let it rest for 5 minutes.

                                                                                                                                                                          Sprinkle the top with flaked sea salt and as many caraway seeds as you like. Dock the cuts you want to make after it's baked. (Depending upon size of pieces you want… Sometimes I just bake the thing inserting a few holes to stop it from puffing up to one big bubble, and break it apart.)

                                                                                                                                                                          Bake at 350 F for 15-20 minutes, until it's golden. The thinner you roll it, of course, the less time it will take to bake.

                                                                                                                                                                          Hope that works!

                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Emme

                                                                                                                                                                            thanks, that looks terrific.
                                                                                                                                                                            windowpane test? uuuuuhhhhh......what's that? ok, no clue, help me out here please/thank you.

                                                                                                                                                                            the pita I made yesterday for dinner last night was a beautiful recipe/dough feel but "didn't > pocket". originator said to hold down with a thick clean towel if it had many tiny holes to flatten it out, but there was no pocket so we filled the falafel by putting all on top and using the fold method. was very disappointed. guess I'd better look up new pita bread recipe that guarantees pockets.

                                                                                                                                                                            love caraway seeds, found caraway flour, no lie, yesterday in a market in Valencia, Family Harvest Farm or something like that, have to look at REALLY long receipt for correct name. I do already have rye flour maybe that Red Bob Bills or whatever it's called in the freezer.

                                                                                                                                                                            was surprised that they didn't have falafel already mixed up and ready in the deli section, especially since this marvelous establishment had everything else.

                                                                                                                                                                            and for OP, I did also purchase white hulled sesame seeds yesterday and brand new oil for attempting home made tahini. in the market reported above there was an abundant amount of tahini's to choose from but read how apparently easy it is to make your own tahini so I bought the two things needed. maybe I'll like the stuff but bet I won't. as far as hummus goes, love making the stuff, love eating the stuff, gotta get to Tel Aviv but hubby says no, not at "this time".

                                                                                                                                                                      2. Olive oil is a topping you should add later, NOT in the blender or food processor

                                                                                                                                                                        You need tahini, chick peas. You didn't mention lemon juice, salt, garlic and water - you need those too.

                                                                                                                                                                        Try using Ottolenghi's recipe from the Jerusalem cookbook, and also try using the best quality tahini you can find. The one Ottolenghi recommends (and which is sold in his UK store) is named Al Arz. I noticed today it's available on Amazon.

                                                                                                                                                                        1. In my exp a blender is needed, much smoother silkier texture. Also, my mother made the best hummus ever, and I've consistently gotten rave reviews from her method, which is: 2 med onions, chopped rough. Pour oil off the tahini you plan to use into a pan, and fry the onion on fairly high heat. Reserve about 1/4 of one onion to use raw. Let the onion carmelize and even almost burn a little, stirring a lot. You want to cook it fast and hot, so some of the uneven pieces are almost raw, and some are almost burnt. This, plus the sesame oil, provides a special flavor.

                                                                                                                                                                          Throw in a clove or two of garlic at the last minute. When the onion is cooked and sweet with some brown charry bits, combine with 2 cans chick peas, liquid or an equal amount of cooked chick peas and cooking liquid, and the reserved raw onion. Add plenty of tahini, at least 1/2 cup. Grind in batches in a blender, add lemon juice to taste, probably a couple of lemons worth. This hummus is great.