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ISO a hummus recipe that doesn't require a food processor

I am interested in making hummus like the kind served at Manhattan's Hummus Place, which tastes like a CLOUD. And I don't have a food processor. I have a hand blender, a masher, and a ricer. And forks! And a whisk!

I tried this:


with the equipment I had on hand, and I am seriously under-thrilled. As would you be, if you'd had the hummus at Hummus Place, which is like a cloud. Did I mention that? It's pretty, too:


Is there hope for me?

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  1. assuming it was just the texture that disappointed you, there are three things you can do...
    1) skin the chickpeas. it's a royal pain in the ass and takes some patience, but the results are well worth it. i do it every time i make hummus now, and the delightfully smooth & creamy texture is well worth the effort.
    2) add more liquid (in the form of oil, tahini, or water).
    3) if you skinned the chickpeas AND got the liquid proportion right, and the hand blender still just doesn't seem to be doing the trick, consider getting a regular blender if you don't have the space or money for a food processor. you can get a cheap blender that will do the job. super-light, creamy hummus requires good emulsification and very sharp blades to pulverize the beans, and you really need to whip it well to make that happen. challenging with a hand blender, piece of cake with a regular one (or, of course, an FP).

    1 Reply
    1. re: goodhealthgourmet

      I did neglect to skin the chickpeas, because I just plain forgot. The flavor was fine; I'm just after a more ethereal fluffiness. I'm sure I added enough liquid - I even saved the chickpea boiling water for just that purpose (it's now a very interesting aspic-like substance). But I will repeat the process and maybe consider buying a blender if it doesn't go well. Your advice is much appreciated. How did people do this before electricity? Did they?

    2. No blender, huh? I'd say that's the best bet for breaking up/ processing the skins of the peas...

      I'd suggest using the bottom of a Mason jar... and just shove your elbow right into it.

      OH, and maybe consider peeling the garbanzos... That should help with a smoother texture! Maybe...

      2 Replies
      1. re: Emme

        <I'd suggest using the bottom of a Mason jar... and just shove your elbow right into it. >

        Can you explain this a little more? Do you mean I should mash the hell out of the chick peas with a glass jar, using all my body weight? This sounds like a fun thing, actually. If it's a strong enough jar - otherwise I'll be at your door begging for band-aids and first aid cream.

        1. re: small h

          Yeah, I meant mash the heck out of it! ...But I still thinking removing some of the "shells" would help.

      2. wow, I'm jealous - I want to eat there - looks fantastic!!

        I've had great luck making edamame hummus but I buy Sabra because I love the texture and taste.

        3 Replies
        1. re: lexpatti

          I'm not evangelical by nature, but everything I thought I liked about hummus changed when I had the hummus at Hummus Place. It was a serious "come to hummus" moment. They are doing something different - and better. Which is good for them, because if they had to depend on the staff to draw people in, the place would fail instantly. Really, really irritating people, there.

          Sabra's fine. But it's no comparison.

          1. re: small h

            do they franchise? That would be a very kewl business to open in my area.

            1. re: lexpatti

              I don't think so. There are five locations, but they're all in Manhattan.

        2. I make really fluffy hummus. My secret is using Greek yogurt in place of olive oil, or at least in place of most of the the olive oil. I use a masher to make mine and it is fluffy and lump free.

          No real recipe though, I just keep adding lemon juice, tahini, and yogurt until it looks/tastes right

          2 Replies
          1. re: lulubelle

            I saw a recipe that called for full-fat Greek yogurt. Is that what you use, or do you think non-fat would work?

            1. re: small h

              The full-fat tastes better and has a better texture, but I've used the nonfat as well.

          2. if you're gonna spring for a blender, spring for a food processor instead. the blender, in my humble opinion, is not the right tool, because it isn't the right shape, nor powerful enough.

            3 Replies
            1. re: alkapal

              I'm sure you're right. One of these days I will break down and buy one.

              1. re: small h

                It will make it a lot easier, and you can certainly set your sights lower than Williams-Sonoma for a food processor. I've made a ton-o'hummus with my 30-dollar one -bought at *cough* a well-known discount store.

                1. re: Samalicious

                  ...or goodwill..... or yard sales.....

            2. I have heard that using chickpea flour makes super-creamy hummus, and I've heard that you should NEVER make hummus with chickpea flour. . .has anyone tried it?

              After years of making homemade hummus, lately I've been using Sabra as a base (because of the texture) and adding fresh garlic and lemon juice.

              2 Replies
              1. re: mamaciita

                One recommendation I've read about, but not tried, is to add a potato. Boil a potato with the chickpeas (or separately), chunk, and then mash with the other ingredients. I was going to say put in the food processor with other ingredients. I've heard that this produces a very creamy and fluffy texture.

                Technical question:
                How did middle eastern grandmas make hummus before the invention of blenders? Did they have hand-cranked blender type things? Or mortar and pestles? (made of what? Some kind of stone, or metal, or porcelain?) Or ...?

                1. re: Rasam

                  forks mash chick peas to make hummus. ultra-smooth is a product of the electric age, i suspect.

              2. One chef told me he presses it through a fine sieve. I think you'll need a food processor for true fluffiness, but this trick might get you a smoother texture.

                1 Reply
                1. re: Foodie in Friedberg

                  Yes, that sounds like a good method, and it's why I mentioned having a ricer - that might work, also.

                2. I wonder if the olive oil usually added to hummus makes it less fluffy. I don't add olive oil to mine, but I do add a little chicken broth and it turns out somewhat fluffy. I also use a food processor. But if I didn't have one, I'd just mash the chickpeas using a little more liquid than usual. I question whether you can achieve the texture you want without a processor, though. Another thought, why not ask the resto how they achieve the fluffiness. They might tell you.

                  10 Replies
                  1. re: sueatmo

                    They might. But this is a restaurant that will not make you a falafel sandwich, although they have all the components. Nor will they serve you hummus and falafel on the same plate. Or maybe they just hate me, for some reason.

                    1. re: small h

                      i refuse to believe that they hate you!

                      according to the menu on their website, the lunch special is hummus plus one appetizer. so you could order falafel as the appetizer, and maybe that way they'd serve it with hummus on the same plate.

                      i sort of understand why they won't typically make you a sandwich, since they don't actually offer sandwiches as an option anywhere on the menu. but if i worked in a place like that and it wasn't busy at the time of your request, i'd do it for you. but hey, if you order all the components and make your own sandwich, i'm guessing at least they won't pull a "Father's Office" power trip on you and throw you out for breaking the rules :)

                      and as an amendment to my initial reply, i assumed you were opposed to buying a food processor for some reason. but if you're willing to spring for one, go for it. not only will it be the easiest way to achieve the texture you're after, it's also a super-handy and versatile piece of equipment to have in the kitchen. in fact, you can get one of the duets that comes with blender AND processor options, and then you're really set!

                      Amazon has a *fantastic* deal on the Cusinart right now...

                      or you can find the Black & Decker or Hamilton Beach ones for even less money.

                      1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                        I agree. Even if you have to get a little one because of space limitations. A food processor works magic.

                        1. re: sueatmo

                          It isn't really a problem of space (although that's a concern) or money (ditto). It's the disheartening realization that I am buying yet another item that, in all likelihood, I will not use very often.

                          1. re: small h

                            *we'll* give you reasons to use it. you can make salsa, soups (gazpacho, squash soup, bisque), dips (my black bean dip, white bean dip, spinach dip, my favorite carrot spread, baba ghannouj), nut butters, mousse, pie crust...you can also use the shredding disk for cabbage (coleslaw), potatoes (latkes), carrots & zucchini (quickbreads)...

                            sorry, as a gadget junkie i can't resist enabling others ;)

                            1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                              Believe me, if I were running a catering business out of my apartment, or if I had a kid or three, I'd be all over this stuff. But usually I'm just cooking for myself. And I only eat three times a day. And the first two meals are usually an egg & a sandwich!

                              1. re: small h

                                i'm solo as well, though i eat 5 or 6 times a day...but that's what freezers and dinner parties are for! ;)

                        2. re: goodhealthgourmet

                          Not sure I'd rec. a combo, as they don't always get the best reviews. Here's some recent discussion: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/679054

                          1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                            I have the Cuisinart combo and don't like it at all. The blender jar is twice as large as I need and the food processor bowl is half as large as I need, in fact almost useless. My husband's conclusion was that we should drink lots more margaritas and eat many fewer vegetables.

                        3. re: small h

                          Oh I'd ask the waitperson, sort of in confidence. You might be surprised.

                      2. my lebanese friends never put olive oil in the hummus, but would swirl some on top.

                        1. Round two. I peeled the chickpeas, which took forever but gave me a chance to reflect on my oneness with the universe. I tried to rice the chickpeas, but the ricer was not up to the task and threatened to break in half. So I went back to my trusty hand blender. This time, I got a very creamy, smooth result. It's a little too loose, because I should've added the lemon juice first and THEN the chickpea cooking water. But I am 90% happy - this is a vast improvement. I will next try lulubelle's Greek yogurt suggestion, as well as Foodie in Friedberg's idea about pressing the chickpeas through a sieve. This is if I don't burn out on eating hummus, which I might.

                          Thanks to all! Your contributions were excellent and useful.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: small h

                            Cheers to you for peeling CHICKPEAS! I did, too. . .once (and the resulting hummus was ethereal. . .).

                            Congratulations--hope you never get to "hummus burnout."


                          2. You were under thrilled mainly because you used canned chick peas (ask Hummus Place if they use canned). So if you want decent hummus plan a day ahead and used dried chick peas. And a hand blender is actually the best tool for the job, since you don't need to add as much liquid to get a nice puree.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: Zeldog

                              I used dried chickpeas. Note my references to the chickpea cooking water. And I'm no longer underthrilled, as you'll see if you read my post from last night.

                            2. Small h, am wondering why you're obviously a foodie yet you don't have a food processor. Not that it's that important I suppose, altho to me it's without question a favorite in my kitchen. I won't mention how many Magi Mix's or Cuisinarts I have.
                              I haven't read the other comments here, I just jumped in. Sounds like you went through a lot of effort with little results. I'd bet that the cloud hummus is wonderful but I'm too lazy to go through the effort unless it's, well, easy. Patience isn't my virtue in anything in life unfortunately and my name isn't Job although I do collect Bibles. *)

                              About the hummus place, I'd go straight in there and ask them how they achieve their willowiness. Hope you get what you're looking for.

                              7 Replies
                              1. re: iL Divo

                                I don't have a food processor because I live in Manhattan, land of small kitchens. With another person, who has his own supply of gadgets and machines. I have a hand blender, and a stand mixer, and a coffee grinder, and...enough is enough. I also very rarely cook for a group, so a knife is usually plenty fast enough for me. However, if you'd like to buy me a food processor, you are welcome to, and I will think of you each time I use it.

                                1. re: small h

                                  if only this had come up last Fall...i gave away tons of kitchen stuff before i moved back here to San Diego!

                                  1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                    Chowhound should really consider a Freecycle-style exchange. That would be very useful.

                                  2. re: small h

                                    sorry small h, didn't mean to offend, was halfway being silly, my fault, apologize to you.
                                    and no, I won't be buying you one, you have no room after all..........

                                    1. re: iL Divo

                                      I wasn't offended at all. Just thought I'd give you a detailed explanation, to show that I have, indeed, thought this through. Maybe too much.

                                      1. re: small h

                                        I think there's no happy medium. You have tight space, I have a huge kitchen with counterspace abundant and drawers, walk in pantry and cupboards a plenty. And unlike you having not all you'd like, I have all I want and cram it in every inch of this space. I think you're the wiser of us both.

                                        1. re: iL Divo

                                          Your stuff expands to fill the space available, like water seeking its own level. I am pretty sure this is one of the laws of physics. Cabinets abhor a vacuum.

                                          P.S. I didn't even buy the stand mixer. I won it on a game show. I've used it twice in 17 years.