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why did my hummus turn out gritty not smooth?

  • n

Followed a wonderful recipe, and the flavor was spot-on. Unfortunately, the texture was grittier than I would have liked. Is this due to my (inexpensive) food processor?


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  1. What type of beans did you use, canned, or dried? Did you cook the beans from scratch? If so, they may not have been cooked enough. What was the recipe?

    2 Replies
    1. re: wyogal

      dried, and yes, cooked from scratch

      1. re: noya

        Then I would say that the beans were not fully cooked.

    2. Not enough liquid? That would be my immediate guess.

      1. If you used canned beans, did you make sure you rinsed them thoroughly? If you used dried, were they old? I made a bean soup last week and the dried beans I used were too old....no matter how long I cooked them, they still were never tender and gritty. Made the same exact recipe on Sunday with dried beans I just bought and the soup turned out perfect.

        1. Consider a vitamix, you will get velvet texture

          1. don't be afraid to let your processor run long enough to get the smoothness. Also, more oil will make it smoother, but also might add more fat than you're looking for. You can use the liquid retained from the canned beans, if you're using them, and add it a little at a time until you reach the desired consistency.

            11 Replies
            1. re: awm922

              Hummous should never have olive oil IN it, rather drizzled on top when it's served. For smooth hummous, use a blender and plenty of liquid.

              1. re: pikawicca

                right--I'm a purist on this one and prefer the olive oil on top

                1. re: pikawicca

                  There are many recipes that have O.Oil in the puree as well as a garnish.

                  1. re: chefj

                    That may be, but it's not how it's done in the Middle East.

                    1. re: pikawicca

                      1) Does it matter how it's done in the Middle East? BBQ sauce isn't used on pulled pork in North Carolina, yet more people in the US put BBQ sauce on pulled pork than those that don't. Are they wrong?

                      2) Historically, there are a variety of ancient recipes for something resembling hummus. One calls for chickpeas, vinegar, spices (cumin?), and oil, but no tahini or garlic. Another from the same 13th century calls for chickpeas, vinegar, tahini, spices. No oil, no garlic. No lemon in either. Today, the typical acid is lemon. Few people add spices, though I add cumin. And garlic.

                      Lastly, many modern Middle Eastern cookbooks, such as Roden's, calls for olive oil to be added with the chickpeas, in addition to being drizzled on top.

                      I'm not Middle Eastern, but everything I've read about hummus, from modern recipes to ancient, indicate that hummus recipes are all over the place, and many include OO in the preparation.

                      1. re: foreverhungry

                        forever hungry.....hats off to you....well stated.

                      2. re: pikawicca

                        The Middle East is a big place and Hummus is commonplace all the way across North Africa and Eastern Europe with all sorts of family variations. So your blanket statement that it is not done in the Mideast is not true. I have seen it done.

                        1. re: pikawicca

                          if you put the oil in while mixing, it's makes it smoother. That's what the OP was looking for. Also, it's an option.

                          1. re: awm922

                            But, only if the beans are cooked thoroughly to begin with.

                            1. re: wyogal

                              No question there.
                              The Baking Soda in the soak or the cooking really helps as well.

                    2. re: awm922

                      A little water is actually a great addition -- makes it fluffier.

                    3. One of my favorite brands of prepared hummus uses steamed garbanzos. Just found that out this week. Can't wait to try it.

                      That being said, I've heard that if using canned beans you can de-skin the beans to make the hummus creamier. Supposedly it's the tiny bits of skin that cause the grittiness. But I haven't tried it, just thought I'd throw it out for consideration...

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: Leepa

                        This is the answer. If you leave the skins on your beans (canned or cooked from dry) you'll never get as smooth a final product as you will without them. They're a bit time consuming to remove, but worth it. Also, a good blender will give you a much more velvety texture than a food processor will, all else being equal.

                        1. re: Leepa

                          I think skinning the beans is more important with cooked beans. You will end up with a slightly textured hummus no matter how much you process if you leave the skins on. When I make hummus with canned chickpeas, whether I leave the skins on or off, I can still obtain a creamy texture by adding some water, yogurt or oil.

                        2. I'd guess old beans as well, but a recent recipe I tried called for cooking the chick peas with a tsp of baking soda, and then pureeing them in the food processor while dropping in few ice cubes. It was light and fluffy.

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: Madrid

                            The Baking soda ( very base) helps to break down the skins Much like lime in making Nixtamal.

                            1. re: chefj

                              hmm--that's a great idea! next time I'll add baking soda. THANKS!!!

                          2. It also helps to process the beans first, before addin anything else, so te skins get broken down better.

                            1. In general, I follow the Cook's Illustrated method for hummus. But truth be told, no matter what order I add ingredients, and no matter if I use canned or dried, and how wrinkled the poor dried beans are, I usually end up with the same product.

                              Personally, the variables that I've found that matter are:
                              1) The amount and quality of the tahini. CI suggests using a relative crapload, as compared to what most recipes call for, and after a lot of experimentation, I agree.

                              2) In addition to said crapload of tahini, I'll sometimes add toasted sesame seeds AND a little sesame oil.

                              3) Fresh lemon juice. Yes, I've found fresh makes a difference. Not huge, but some.

                              4) Salt. Lots of it. And then a pinch more....because....

                              I'm making it at room temperature, or warm (hot chickpeas). Senses are dulled with colder foods, so usually a little more salt is needed for stuff that's cold.

                              5) Yes, I know you're issue wasn't one of taste, but rather of consistency...I whiz the heck out of mine in the Cuisinart. And then some. I start with the garlic and salt, then add the chickpeas and puree the heck out of it. Then add the wets, one at a time. Total process time might be 5 minutes, at which point poor Cuisinart is getting hot. I'll give her a rest, taste, add a scootch of whatever is needed, and blend more. I've found more blending is better.

                              6) And then, after 24 hours in the fridge, the relatively bland product that came out of your processor is magically 1000 X more tasty after a rest in the fridge. I always make hummus the day before I actually want to eat it; the difference is enough to knock my 6 year old over the head. At that point, I might add a little more salt, and add OO depending on how I'm serving, and depending on consistency.

                              You can make it in a mortar and pestle, and if you had the time and determination, achieve a paste superior to what what any food processor could, and the quality of the beans - dried, fresh, canned, baking soda, etc. - doesn't matter. Given that, I'd say it's the food processor, rather than the beans, that are making the difference.

                              3 Replies
                              1. re: foreverhungry

                                I agree with letting it puree longer than you think you need to. I use the chickpea cooking water for liquid and keep adding a bit at a time until I get the texture I want.

                                1. re: LisaPA

                                  but cook the beans thoroughly, first. No amount of pureeing will help undercooked beans.

                                2. re: foreverhungry

                                  my family made it in a mortar and pestle that I use as decoration in my kitchen. Not much of a chance that I'm going to put it to use ;-)

                                3. My fail safe and simple hummus recipe:
                                  Open 2 cans of chick peas. (I use whatever is on sale at the market) Pour one with liquid into a plain old blender. Pour the liquid from the second can into the empty can and save it. Empty the peas into the blender.
                                  Salt to taste
                                  Garlic cloves to taste
                                  A pinch of cumin
                                  A splash of lemon juice
                                  Blend until the mix on the top is swirling to the bottom. If it's too thick add the saved juice a little bit at a time until the mixture flows to the bottom. Not too much beause you don't want it watery.
                                  Pour it out and garnish with paprika, olive oil and parsley. If you want it to look fancy schmancy for a party platter sprinkle some toaster pine nuts on top.
                                  Everyone loves my hummus!!!

                                  1. Sounds like something went wrong with the prep of the dried chickpeas. Imo canned are just fine and nothing much is really gained trying to hydrate them yourself. Just use canned.

                                    1. I was going to ask you how you processed it/type food processor used. If dried berms used did they soak long enough & was enough water used?