Good, old-fashioned, classic hummus. Whether it’s for your falafel sandwiches, the dip for your bread, or simply for eating straight from a spoon, it’s bound to make everything better. Any time. Any day.
My quest to find the perfect hummus is never-ending. I am always looking for ways to make hummus creamier, richer, smoother, and more flavorful. This particular recipe for classic hummus is inspired by those that I’ve enjoyed in some of the best hummus joints across the Levant. I find that the most important factors to getting that restaurant-like consistency is how the chickpeas are prepared. Soaking them in water with baking soda the day before and cooking them until extra tender is key. I am also not shy on tahini, the element that makes for rich, sharp, and velvety hummus.
Many eateries will also take the extra step of removing all of the chickpea skins after cooking, as they can make the consistency grainier. However, I am quite happy with simply skimming any loose skins that have floated to the surface of the pot. And as usual, freshly cooked chickpeas make for a better texture and flavor in comparison to canned chickpeas. But when it comes to last minute meals, the latter will do.
If you give this recipe a try, I would love to know how you liked it. Share your photo with me on Instagram (wanderingkitchen) or comment below. I would also love to learn about any tips and tricks that you’ve picked up during your culinary explorations.
INGREDIENTS / SERVES 4
1 cup dried chickpeas (smaller variety)
3 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice (juice of 2 large lemons)
4 cloves garlic, to your taste, finely crushed
1 3/4 teaspoons salt, or to your taste
1 cup tahini*
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 cup to 2/3 cups water, as needed
olive oil, for topping
paprika, for topping
chili flakes, for topping
chopped parsley, for topping
1. Place the dried chickpeas in a bowl covered with at least 3 inches of water. Add 3 teaspoons baking soda and leave to soak overnight.
2. The following day, drain the chickpeas, and place them in a medium pot filled with boiling water. Cook over a high heat for about 60-80 minutes or until very tender (overcooked is good for hummus). Skim off any foam and loose skins that have floated to the top. Drain the chickpeas and leave to cool.
3. In a food processor or very high-powered blender, combine the lemon juice, crushed garlic, salt, tahini, cumin, and 1/2 cup of water. Blend until completely smooth. Add the chickpeas and continue to blend for a couple of minutes or until you get a smoother than smooth and creamy consistency, adding water along the way. Scrape the sides and bottom of food processor or blender. Check for seasoning and add liquid if the hummus is too thick. Blend well.
4. Serve and top with good quality extra-virgin olive oil, paprika, and fresh parsley. Additional topping ideas include tahini-lemon sauce, chili flakes, zaa’tar, sumac, pomegranate seeds, finely chopped lamb, toasted pine nuts, toasted almonds, chickpeas, and green chili sauce. Leftover hummus keeps well refrigerated for up to 2 days.
5. Enjoy with good company.
* While 1 cup of tahini may sound excessive, it makes for the texture and flavor that characterizes traditional Levantine hummus. If you prefer to reduce the amount, use 2/3 cups of tahini and stream in water until you get a creamy consistency.
** 1 cup dried chickpeas equates to about 3 cups cooked chickpeas.