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Sep 2, 2007 07:53 AM

Humus hummus hummous

Dear Message Board,

I've been purchasing Sabra brand humus from the supermarket for the last year or so. I find the smooth and creamy texture of Sabra is only surpassed by its totally awesome favorites are roasted red pepper and lusciously lemon.

I was wondering if anybody had a recipe or a method of achieving that great texture and consistency Sabra has so excellently demonstrated. Can this only be achieved by the experts themselves?

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  1. I think the secret to a nice creamy hummus is to process the heck out of it in a cuisinart.

    I process chickpeas and garlic (plus opt. cumin) and tahini and a bit of lemon juice till chopped up well then start adding either some liquid from the chickpeas or a bit of oil then let the cuis go. Then I add either a bit of yogurt or more oil or a bit of water as it is processing. When you think it is done, let it go another few minutes!

    Nice an creamy.

    good luck,

    4 Replies
    1. re: PamelaD

      Here's how I learned it:

      1 can chickpeas -- drain, and save the liquid. Dump peas into food processor.
      Add garlic, sesame tahini (too much can give it a nasty undertone -- going to try just sesame oil next time & see how that works) and a little lemon juice, plus whatever else you want in it (roasted red peppers etc).
      Turn on the food processor.
      Once it's ground into a paste, pour in liquid from the can, a little bit at a time. You might want to wipe down the sides of the bowl at some point. Pour in a little olive oil (teaspoon? more? whatever). Leave the machine going until it looks as smooth as you want it.

      Not sure if it's possible to over-process... I guess eventually it would explode or turn into cement or something.

      1. re: misterbrucie

        Yes, that's my way too - to serve, sprinkle with a tiny bit of fresh chopped parsley - serve with a bit of a hollow in the middle, filled with a tablespoon or less of really good olive oil

      2. re: PamelaD

        I get a much smoother finish when I use my blender rather than my food processor. I also use some of the canning liquid to thin it enough to blend. My ratio is a can of garbanzos, a half a cup of tahini, a couple of ounces of olive oil (to taste), two or three cloves of garlic and whir in the blender until it's as smooth as room temperature butter. When I've achieved that, I check for salt and add a bit if needed. And then I add a dash of cumin and blend some more, but do be careful because cumin "grows" in flavor as the hummus ages. Pour it into a bowl, smooth the top, make an "X" across the top that is a bit deeper where it crosses, drizzle it full of olive oil, top with a dash of finely chopped parsley and serve with wedges of warm pita.

        Oooops! I forgot the lemon juice. Actually, I use lime juice instead.

        There are a lot of variations on "hummus," even though it is the Arabic word for garbanzos (chick peas, cece beans or whatever you want to call them). My recipe is for basic Turkish variety, but you can jazz it up by adding hot green chiles (and there are no hotter chiles than those in Turkey!). Sun dried tomatoes will give you pink hummus. You can also make interesting variations by substituting just about any bean (well, except green beans) known to man for the garbanzos. But if the beans have a thick skin, such as true fava beans and most lima beans, then you need to pop them out of their skins before processing.

        1. re: Caroline1

          also caroline, recall roasted red pepper pureed with the hummus. yum-bo!

      3. i also think that it's just a question of processing it LOTS. but actually, in my experience if the vast majority of your hummus is just chick peas, then it won't be as smooth. there needs to be a good amount of tahini, olive oil, lemon juice, and the water from cooking the chick peas. i don't really use a recipe, just to taste. and you really can't hurt it by processing it for a long long time.

        1. My grandmother would remove the skins on the chickpeas. If you don't do that you just need to process it for a long time until it is smooth.

          8 Replies
          1. re: scubadoo97

            I've made hummus for years but recently began buying Sabra because it was so much smoother than any I've made. Recently I've gone back to experimenting and have learned a few things.

            First to obtain that texture, you need to remove the skins. I've had equally good results with canned chickpeas and dried. It's not as time-consuming as it at first seems and the finished product is sublime. If I have the time, I push the chickpea puree through a fine sieve (as I don't have a food mill), then return to the food processor and add the garlic, tahini, and lemon juice. I've found too that using more lemon juice and tahini than the recipe calls for will greatly enhance the creamy texture.

            1. re: antrobin

              How exactly does one remove chickpea skins? I am looking for that sought after creamy texture. :)

              1. re: bachlava

                fastest way is to fill a big bowl with water, float the cooked chickpeas (doesn't matter if they are home cooked or canned), rub them with your hands. let the skins settle out, then lift out the cleaned chickpeas.

            2. re: scubadoo97

              Your grandmother was right. It's a pain, but the result is smooth hummus.

              I don't like packaged hummus like Sabra 'cause they use oils other than olive. Canola makes my husband sick.

              1. re: fran124

                Most people don't realize that they are actually allergic to soy, it may be the soy oil in the Sabra Hummus that makes your husband sick. I learned the hard way it contained a mixture of soy oil after ingesting it.

                1. re: fran124

                  Another ingredient in Sabra Hummus: Potassium Sorbate as an preservative.

                  One thing that makes great food is ingredient history. Some foods have a vibrance that allows complete appreciation of it's experience, from before consumption to after digestion.

                2. re: scubadoo97

                  I didn't know that the skins would be blended in if one processed the chickpeas "a long time"......I don't find it too difficult or irritating to rub the skins off. I almost always buy dry garbanzos and cook them myself. After rubbing off the skins, I process the garbanzos with garlic, tahini, lemon juice and salt and pepper. Sometimes I blend in cilantro or parsley.

                  A favorite dinner is a sort of taco made with half pitas warmed and opened up. Stuff with some hummus and top with a salad mixture of chopped parsley (NOT CURLY!), tomatoes, bell peppers, arugula and crumbled feta. A wonderful breakfast as's even great with coffee.

                  1. re: oakjoan

                    Hummus and salad go great together. In the Middle East it's not uncommon to see curly parsley well as the flat. Both have good flavor if fresh, even though curly get's a bad rap

                3. Ever look at the ingredients of Sabra hummus? The second one is water...maybe that's how they do it...I have some (the roasted garlic variety) and I do like it but recently tried another brand, Sultan, sold at small independent health food store and the texture is TOTALLY different...Sultan does not list any water as an ingredient.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: Val

                    Val I just looked and yes the 2nd ingredient is water then tahini, then soybean oil or canola oil. So it's got a lot of water and oil. They use citric acid in lieu of lemon juice so I guess that's were some of the added water comes in. I've tasted Sabra and still like to make my own. Just one of those things I feel I don't have to buy.

                    1. re: scubadoo97

                      Yeah, I hear you...but I've tried making my own twice and have been disappointed and say to myself "Well, this is one thing that's it's just better to buy." I'll keep trying...I'm not putting the Sabra product down at all and I also loved the Sultan hummus, totally different texture and flavor, much tangier as they do use lemon juice in theirs.

                  2. I've used recipes that call using the juice from the can. Although, if your processor blade isn't sharp it will never get creamy. I finally replaced the 10 y/o blade in mine. Anyway, the best hummus I get is at a Mediterranean restaurant in Tampa called Byblos. It's incredibly smooth and creamy and has a fresh flavor but I'm almost certain they don't use garlic. If so, it must be roasted. What's nice about the hummus is that it has a nutty sweetness and so smooth! My guess is that they use a good quality, probably toasted sesame, tahini and the icing on the cake...fantastic and fruity Lebanese olive oil. It's always drizzled on top and I'm sure it's in the recipe. Good luck with yours...maybe consult a Lebanese cook book?

                    6 Replies
                    1. re: loveinmytummy

                      where can you find toasted sesame tahini? i have never seen it. thanks.

                      1. re: alkapal

                        it'a rare, but sometimes you can find it at random whole foods locations or natural foods stores.

                        1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                          Or make it yourself. Not that difficult. Buy a couple of pounds of sesame seeds, spread them out in a jelly roll pan, put them in a 300F oven stirring them every five minutes or so. Taste regularly until you get the degree of toasting you want but be very careful not to let them burn. Cool completely, stirring every once in a while to help the cooling along. Then put them in a blender with a cup and a half of oil (maybe two cups) and whirr away! I use either a mild flavored olive oil or peanut oil. I don't like the taste of canola oil.

                          1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                            Tahini comes in a jar in the supermarket. If your market doesn't carry it, ask the manager to order some. The other day there was a hummus thread on a political board, Yahoo News, with about 20% of posters fearing hummus as evidence of an Islamic takeover, but at least 60-70% of posters from all over the country were saying they make their own hummus. I was kind of surprised that it has become so mainstream so fast. So if people are making their own hummus, your market should be stocking tahini. And it doesn't have to be special "toasted sesame" tahini---just get the jar that says "tahini" which is sesame seed paste. This doesn't have to be complicated and esoteric.

                            1. re: Querencia

                              "This doesn't have to be complicated and esoteric."
                              One would, on the other hand, like it to be good. There's some pretty awful tahini out there; it's not all created equal.

                          2. re: alkapal

                            Sometimes you Really have to pester the manager, or better yet e-mail them. The most common toasted brands at WF are Joyva or Sahadi (in a can). Maranatha makes a toasted version but it was on recall recently.