paula wolfert’s hummus

In the introduction to The Man Who Ate Everything, Jeffrey Steingarten admits that from deserts in Indian restaurants, kimchi and dill to seas urchins, chutney and falafel, his list of foods that he wouldn’t eat even if starving on a desert island was so vast, he had considered himself wholly unfit to be appointed the Vogue food critic in 1989. (His list of foods he might eat if he were starving on a desert island but only if the refrigerator were filled with nothing but chutney, sea urchins, and falafel, including Greek food, clams, yogurt and any food that is blue, as it is not a color found in nature, makes me laugh equally hard.)

soaking the chickpeas

While less nobly or eloquently worded, the truth is that when I trimmed my list of food dramatics down to six bullet points last week, I had wished for nothing more than to be liberated from them. I mean, chicken cutlets? Tuna fish? French’s mustard? Oh, grow up, Deb! Yet, I just don’t think I’m going to become a beet-lover in this lifetime, though believe me, my Russian in-laws have tried, cilantro simply tastes like dirt to some people and not to others and I eagerly await the frivolous medical study that will prove this, and a lot of California wines are loud, heavy and sweet, most especially those in my price range.

But from two days ago forward, I will soak my beans with glee and ebullience as I have been converted, dear reader, and it is because of you. I have to blame my early experiences soaking beans for my aversion to it; the first time, the skins flecked off and floated about, making for a muddled, unattractive dish (I have since learned that this means they’d been on the shelf for way too long, thank you, health food store), the second time, they never softened (possibly for the same reason) and there hadn’t been a third time until Monday, when they began their 36-hour soak, Tuesday, when they simmered for an hour forty-five and Wednesday, when they were finally whirled into what has got to be their highest calling: Paula Wolfert’s hummus. (Luisa first brought this recipe to our attention in December, and like dozens and dozens her entries, I bookmarked it immediately.)

dried chickpeas

This is the only hummus recipe you will ever need; one taste may cause you to never buy store-bought again. The soaking and simmering process may seem tiresome, but the truth is, you’re not really doing anything except reaping the rewards. The hummus comes together in 3 minutes flat in a food processor and if you have a day to let it sit, it’s just what it needs to allow the flavors to full develop. Which is not to say that we did not dash it with fresh parsley, a dribble of olive oil and a sprinkling of za’atar, a Middle Eastern spice blend we adore, and dive into it with carrot sticks, right from the food processor bowl, because I think that goes without saying. We are happy, happy hummus-ers, indeed.

hummus, complete

Updated: Six years later, I updated this recipe with a new technique for even better hummus texture. See: Ethereally Smooth Hummus.

Paula Wolfert’s Hummus

Makes 4 cups

1 1/2 cups dried chickpeas, soaked overnight
1 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
3 garlic cloves, peeled
3/4 cup sesame seed paste
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice, and more to taste
Cayenne, hot Hungarian paprika or za’atar
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
2 teaspoons olive oil

1. Rinse the soaked chickpeas well and drain them before putting them in a saucepan and covering them with plenty of fresh water. Bring to a boil; skim, add one-half teaspoon salt, cover and cook over medium heat, about 1 1/2 hours, until the chickpeas are very soft (you might need to add more water).

2. Meanwhile, crush the garlic and one-half teaspoon salt in a mortar until pureed. Transfer the puree to the work bowl of a food processor, add the sesame seed paste and lemon juice and process until white and contracted. Add one-half cup water and process until completely smooth.

3. Drain the chickpeas, reserving their cooking liquid. Add the chickpeas to the sesame paste mixture and process until well-blended. For a smoother texture, press the mixture through the fine blade of a food mill. Thin to desired consistency with reserved chickpea liquid. Adjust the seasoning with salt and lemon juice. The hummus can be kept in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week.) Serve, sprinkled with paprika (or za’atar) and parsley and drizzled with oil.

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94 comments on paula wolfert’s hummus

  1. Oooooooooooo……thanks for sharing! My hubby will thank you – hummus is a staple for us.

    Congrats on the nomination – this is a great blog – I love your writing style and pics, and am very intrigued by many of your recipes. Actually, the first time I read your musings, it was almost like looking in a mirror….as in, you write the way I ramble in my head, but I think I’m less successful at actually getting it down on paper….er….electrons.

    Keep up the great work! :)

    And uh….if you got this comment, I guess you’re not having troubles with them.

  2. Cupcakes

    ok i admit i cheated and had peeked at the flikr set and concluded you were going to make hummus…i did a search on za’atar and came up with several variations of it… mind narrowing it or telling me where you purchased yours? Penzys maybe? Blah

    Oh, did you get the article on chow about cast iron pans? I got a cast iron grill/griddle pan that goes over 2 of my burners… i freaking love it.

  3. Yay, hummus! I love it and I love to put roasted red pepper puree right on top…one of the few times I will allow that food (the peppers) into my mouth. It just seems so right. Also, do you make your own pita chips? So easy. Just bake or fry in a light canola oil. Ahhhhh heaven.

    Okay, now I have to go fight with boxes…the boxes are winning!

  4. seelife3d

    Mmmmmm, hummus. I think my 8th grade cooking students may need to try this one…..
    Deb, I also wanted to let you know how great and easy your pizza dough recipe was. My boyfriend and I made it last night with provolone cheese, grilled chicken and fresh spinich. The only thing new spin I put with it was the sause. Normal tomato base, with fresh garlic olive oil mix.


  5. we always make our own hummus, with kalamatas. although i have heard that using dried garbanzos are better, it’s not enough to get me to do it. I am a spur of the moment kinda gal, and dried don’t cut it for that. When i gotta have my hummus, i gotta have it

    congrats….tons of congrats on your nom. i voted for you because i just love reading your blog everyday. i am sure the others are great too. best of luck, you’ve had a great year!

  6. M

    Because I live an hour from northern California wine country, maybe I’m being a tad defensive, however I must say I think you’re not giving our wine a fair shake. I’m guessing you haven’t tried very many ‘good’ California wines. Last time I was in NY a bottle of Blackstone Cab was on the menu for $38 a bottle. That’s known around here as a really crappy wine and sells for about $6. If you ever visit Napa, I guarantee you would change your mind. GUARANTEE! (And hey, you might run into Michael Chiarello. Ha!)

  7. YUMMM. Hummus is one of my favorite things ever. I really love to vary it with different things though. One of my favorites is to add to it some mashed avocado. It makes the hummus creamy and buttery. Utter food porn.

  8. Cupcakes

    Ya, i gotta agree with “M” on this 1 about the wine…. I live about 30 mins north-east(?) of napa.. I think you need to Visit and “M” and I will take you on a wine tasting tour of Napa.. You’ll change your mind in a heartbeat.

    In all fairness to Deb tho i have to say, the cost of a California wine, In New York, is INSANE. I think we forget how lucky we are to live as close and have the variety and options we do. Perhaps that has something to do with her issues about California wines.

    I think some of the people from California fit the “loud, heavy, and sweet” thing better than our Vino. (Me, im sweet!!)

  9. deb

    mrbunsrocks, Anita, Krissa, Tammi — Thank you.

    Cupcakes — I did see that! Thank you. I need to reseason the new/old one this weekend, as well as my 12″ one. I love it when Chow offers something helpful. Oh, and the za’atar is from Kalustans and while I can’t remember exactly what’s in it, I do remember that it includes marjoram, which is not listed on the link above.

    Jenifer — Love making my own pita chips. (I briefly considered making my own pitas, too, which I have done before but not in a while. Going to bed at a decent hour won.) I usually just bake them in the oven, though I will sometimes brush them with olive oil, garlic powder, salt or pepper. Good luck with the boxes! (And the newer, Deb-sized kitchen, snicker.)

    seelife3d — Glad you liked it. You pizza sounds wonderful.

    Kate — Yes, there is truly nothing spur-of-the-moment about this process. But, it was worth it. I didn’t mention this above, but what I also liked about Wolfert’s recipe (which, no doubt can be made with canned, too) was that the olive oil is drizzled over, not included inside, which I think maximizes its impact. I love tahini and the flavor really comes through this way, too.

    M — I have visited Napa and will soon do a post about California wines I’ve liked to adjust my bad karma. But personally, I just prefer more delicate reds and whites, something easier for me to find from the French part of the wine menu than Napa. And yes, they’re tremendously overpriced here. I can get a surprisingly solid French red for $10-12, but usually have to scoot up to $16-$18 to find the equivalent in a California Cab. God, can you all tell what a wino I am?

  10. So glad you made hummus (and boiled the chickpeas, most of my Arab friends are even too lazy for that). But really, can I come over and fix you some proper middle eastern food? Like hummus that looks like this. Just kidding, but congrats on the nomination, you totally deserve it.

  11. Oooo! The last time I tried to make hummus with “fresh” chickpeas it was a disaster. personally, I think it was because I didn’t have any of the paste. Maybe I’ll try again.

  12. Yay, we converted you :) It´s just way better, and a 6-8 hour soaking works for me, no need to wait that long. The recipe does sound wonderful, but I have some other suggestions: try it with pesto on top instead of pasley, you´ll love it. What I do to avoid using that much oil is to use a bit of the boiled water when processing the chickpeas and just a bit of olive oil. Then I cover the top with some home-made pesto and let it rest for a few hours, it´s simply delicious…I´ve never had a better humus outside my own kitchen.
    Oh, and this recipe doesn´t have cumin!, that´s quite unusual.
    And by the way, congratulations on the nomination, definetely well-deserved :)

  13. Cupcakes

    What French Red would you recommend… maybe I need to try something different.. i started thinking about New Years .. we had a 70’s themed wine and fondu party.. all things retro. We had a pretty decent selection of reds and whites and In thinking back all the reds kinda blurred into each other.. 1 in particular did have what you could summarize as “loud heavy and sweet”.. so now im curious.

    In Vino Veritas…


  14. ann

    you can love beets, I have faith! I’ve converted the boy to them AND eggplant… two tasks of Herculean proportions! Or maybe I’ll invite you guys over and feed you beets and not tell you and then laugh like Dr. Evil… no, I won’t do that, that’s waaaay too juvenile for me ;-)
    Congrats on the bloggies nod, couldn’t have happened to a nicer blog!

  15. Stephanie

    Yum! I have chickpeas soaking right now. Can’t wait to taste this later! Have you ever tried making white bean hummus with cannellini beans? It’s amazing, and I’ve only ever used canned but I bet dried would be phenomenal. Oh how I love soaking beans.
    Congrats on your nomination. :)

  16. deb

    Jenifer — My mother says the same thing. Three whispered hints: patience, planning and also, the bed/sofa/floor/nightstand (shh) make excellent extra counters in a jam. I wish I could tell you how many times friends have come over, and I’ve told them to throw their jackets on the bed.. “Wait! The cake! The croutons are cooling! Watch the salad bowl! Uhh, can you hold them?”

    Mercedes — Hells yeah! What do you suggest we start with? Should I make baba ganoush? I’m itching to make falafel, too but are these just American stereotypes of Middle Eastern food or actual frequent snacks? I’d love to learn more. And thank you.

    Cupcakes — I suspect I have delved into a topic I should have just shut my yap about with this whole Cali wine thing, though I’ll argue it’s really just personal tastes. I’m buoyantly proud to live in country that takes wine-making as seriously as they do and will continue to search for the $10-$14 weekday wine that is both delicate and dreamy. It’s a tough job, I know. ;)

    Janssen — Thank you.

    Ann — So, one time my mother-in-law made a borscht that was more cabbage than beets, in a very very faint pink tone and I ate it. And liked it. (Mmm…. cabbage soup.) But mostly because I couldn’t taste the beets. I’m pathetic, “I know, but I do try! And thank you.

    Stephanie — I used to make a white bean dip with garlic, olive oil and a smidgen of whatever soft white cheese I had around and it’s been too long. As cannellini are my absolute favorite, they will clearly have to be the next to be soaked. Thanks for the wonderful suggestion. Q: Do you use tahini and all the other hummus ingredients or go in a different direction with your white bean dip?

  17. katie

    CONGRATS on the award nod!!! Make sure to let us know what happens!! All your food looks amazing, I’ve always wished i could cook better. I’m a college student so I try when I’m home to cook healthy dinners that look as pretty as your pictures do, but I’m still learning…not much potential for practice living in a dorm…with no kitchen beyong a sink and a microwave. It’s sad, yes.

  18. stacy

    a note on cilantro…
    that bad/bitter/dirt flavor that some people taste while consuming this tasty green food (it is obvious that i can’t taste what all the fuss is about?!)… well, that is genetics. same with brussel sprouts and to a lesser extent kale and turnips.
    there are naturally occurring chemicals in these foods that helps to suppress activity of the thyroid gland. some people can taste the different chemicals and others can’t, all based on your genetic make up – just like un/attached ear lobes and the ever-important tongue rolling ability.
    this trait is inherited as a dominant. and, just because cilantro tastes fine doesn’t mean that brussel sprouts will be a bitter-free experience.
    i know that the synthetic version of the chemical in brussel sprouts is phenyl-thio-carbamide. i’m sure if you google it you can find current research.

  19. Glen

    About that beet problem…
    Try taking some beets about the size of your fist, scrub and trim them, toss in olive oil with S&P and maybe some seasoned salt. Put them on the BBQ, hot side first to get some grill marks, then indirect heat side until they are done.
    I suppose you could roast them in the oven as well, but I’ve never tried that.

  20. Stephanie

    Deb, I skip the tahini because I don’t really think it needs it (and I usually don’t have it around anyway). Just 2 cans of rinsed cannellini beans, 2 garlic cloves (or more!), lemon juice, a big handful of parsley, and a fair bit of olive oil until it reaches a nice creamy consistency. For some reason it works really well with sliced red bell peppers to dip in. Cannellini beans are my favorite too!

  21. Deb,
    Wow. What to say? I’ve read you with a watering mouth for weeks now, half dreading the rumbling stomach and re-directed cravings that follow. While my tastes may run a little more southern than most, (being a Texas gal), I dreamed for days about that glorious quiche you turned out last week. So today, I made it, although I added a little sauted baby spinach. Delish! (See my humble version at:

    Thought you might want to know that a few of your posts have decidedly earned the spot on my fridge next to my picture with Rachael Ray…


  22. Billie

    On soaking beans, if it takes a day and a half to soak them, they are really, really old, or your water is hard. Here in West Texas, most water is hard, so I soak mine in bottled water. Usually, soaking them over night is all it takes, that is for cooking them the next morning. If you forget to soak your beans, or decide suddenly you want to have dried beans in a few hours, here is a tip:
    Cover the beans with twice the water, by volume, bring to a quick boil, then cover and take off the heat for 1 hour. Turn on the heat again at the end of the hour, bring them to a boil, then turn them down to a gentle simmer. BTW you may need to add more water after the hour soaking.

    This is how you can have freshly cooked dried beans in 2-3 hours.

    Another tip when you are cooking dried beans, do not salt them until they are tender. Salting the beans before they are cooked will toughen them.

    Red beans (pintos) and cornbread are staples in this neck of the woods, and are one of my favorite comfort foods. I season mine with 4 or 5 whole cloves of fresh garlic and butter, while cooking, then add salt and pepper once they are tender. Garnish with chopped raw onions. Yum.

    Always remember the old wives cure for bean flatulence…keep a wooden spoon in the pot, leaning against the rim, so the li’l farts can climb out.

  23. Congratulations on the Bloggie Award Nomination! Your site is fantastic! (I am in awe of your photographs.) As one of your fellow *nominees* it may sound odd wishing you luck, but hey, like you, I’m jumping with joy just to have been nominated! Cheers!

  24. I make homemade hummus all the time and will definitely be trying yours. Also, I first had za’atar at a local Mediterrean restaurant and have become utterly addicted to it.
    And any blogger who uses the word ebullience is worthy of a nomination in my book. And that’s not even counting your consistenly beautiful photos and mouth-watering recipes.
    I love your site so much, I’ve added it to my “wicked good blogs.” Congratulations.

  25. I’m an instant gratification kind of gal, so soaking beans and I have never had an experience together. I may….may give it a try.

    A huge dose of congratulations to you! Its well deserved… your blog is fantastic!

  26. Babelfish

    Congrats on the nomination – well deserved; ever since I started reading your blog I’ve been cooking much more and with greater success – so thanks for that, too.

    Nigella Lawson recommends adding a paste of 2Tbsp flour, 2Tbsp salt and 2tsp baking soda to the water you soak your chick peas in (that’s for 3 cups of chick peas). It was for a different recipe, but I have to say, the chick peas that came out had a really wonderful, nutty flavor – I’d want to try it for this hummus as well.

  27. Yum…I don’t think I’d care if the man wouldn’t eat it…more for me! Can’t wait to soak some chickpeas.

    Now as for cilantro – I totally agree. My friend and I have determined that cilantro tastes like “what the frig is wrong w/my taco?” and therefore isn’t EVER invited to the party…margheritas or not

  28. gretchen

    Oh my……I soaked those garbanzos (no canned for me, thanks)….whirled up that hummus and served it with homemade pitas fresh out of the grill pan. (Heretic that I am I added fresh herbs from my garden to the dough for a little zip).

    There’s dinner!!!! (All my food groups on one plate!).

  29. Dancer who eats

    Made these with canned beans for an emergency. It was good but I am really picky so I will need to try this again.

    I was scared to make hummus but it was easy.

  30. Marianne

    I find I get a much creamier hummus if I take the skin off of each chick pea. If you hold them between your thumb and forefinger, apply a little pressure, the pea shoots right out of the shell. Yes it is a bit pf a pain–but well worth the effort.

  31. BentSpork

    Great recipe! One thing which the recipe gets perfect that other miss is you emulsify the lemon juice and the tahini paste _before_ adding the chickpeas. I was doing this wrong for a few months before I realized that. The recipe does not say when to add the olive oil, but on the same theory I’d add it sooner than later. Marianne- I agree with you that taking some of the skins off also helps for a creamier texture.

  32. Ruby

    Does hummus freeze well? I was thinking to make a huge batch, as the recipe seems to take a while, and then be able to pull out servings as required.

  33. Jill

    I love all the delicious things that can be made with chickpeas! I live in Turkey and cook with them all the time. This is a great recipe but I want to tell you about a couple things you can add (suggested by my Turkish boyfriend). He always adds a generous amount of cumin…it is a chickpea’s best friend. Also, a sprinkling of sumak (you could find it at Middle-Eastern stores) on top not only adds a tart zing, but a beautiful reddish-purple color. I strongly suggest you try it! Once, in Antakya, we had hummus served with melted butter an pinenuts on top…decadent and delicious. Thanks for all the great recipes.

  34. Krissy

    I’ve made this recipe a couple of times and really enjoy it. I have often made two adjustments. When the garlic is too strong, I will add 1/2 up to 1 tsp of sugar to help balance it out. I also love to add a jar of roasted red peppers (12 oz) to make a roasted red pepper version. And sometimes a roasted jalapeno, when I’m looking for a real zingy hummus.

  35. annie

    Could I use sesame oil for the sesame paste? & if so, how much. It’s just that I don’t know what I could use the sesame paste for again.
    Will this recipe freeze well?
    Thanks for including how to prepare & cook DRIED garbanzo beans!

  36. Nicole

    I have a soaking bean question that I have always wondered? If beans are to ‘soak overnight’ does that mean 8-10 hours, or no time limit? If I want to make hummus once I get home from work, should I soak starting the night before, thus leaving them for somewhere between 16-20 hours? Or before I leave for work, so 8-10 hours? And should I leave them sitting out on the counter or in the fridge? And what confused me the most was that I think you soaked them and cooked them days before blending, if the steps take several days- do you leave them in their liquid inbetween? Is there such a thing as oversoaking beans? Is that enough questions for you? :)

  37. Carol

    Instead of tahini, can I make this with sesame seeds and grind them up in the vitamix? If so, should I combine everything in the vitamix?

    1. deb

      Hi Judy — Thank you. I use a Canon 40D these days but I’m pretty sure I was using a Canon Rebel (original model) when I took these. You can read more about our approach to food photography in this post.

  38. I learned a cool trick for cooking chickpeas from when I lived in Kyrgyzstan.

    Add a teaspoon of baking soda to the soaking water. Rinse well before cooking, or you will have serious soda foam! The soda-soaking process shortens the overall cooking time considerably. You can put them in a bowl with warm water and soda in the morning, come back in the evening, and cook the peas in about an hour.

  39. Allie

    I’m cooking up a big pot of chickpeas right now, but I forgot to measure how many cups I dumped in the pot.

    About how much cooked chickpeas does the 1 1/2 cups dried yield?

  40. I am making this RIGHT NOW ;) and can’t wait to try it out. I have a feeling it won’t last long. I’m absolutely inspired by your recipes…the photos help of course! But, this site is helping me to eat fresh and eat local and keep it new and interesting. ;) Oh, and yummy. I also have greatly enjoyed reading everyones comments…and have learned some useful tips. A little late to the party, but so glad I found it!

  41. Anne

    Made this today with the leftover chickpeas from your chickpea and red pepper salad. Used a blender instead of a food processor because my processor was too small. It turned out great! The hubby thought it was a little bland but that’s the great thing about a good basic hummous is you can add whatever spices you want on top of your serving :)

  42. Sugar Ashley J

    Made this today and it turned out awesome.. I had a few pieces of sun-dried tomatoes in the fridge so decided to throw them in and they added a rather yummy twist to the hummus! It was such a hit with my family, I’m sure i’ll be making another batch very soon! =) Thanks for the fabulous recipe!!

  43. kcsnedah

    I agree with Rebekah. I roasted my garlic and put in 6 cloves and cut back the tahini to 1/2 cup and it was still the dominant flavor. Even after adding pureed roasted red peppers and cayanne and paprika, I still taste too much tahini. I’m trying to figure out what to do with this tahini hummus, if I should make another batch without it and then mix them. But since my food processor is kind of crappy and small, I’m having to sieve the hummus and it’s taking forever.

    Not sure about this recipe. That’s kind of disappointing. I really REALLY love hummus.

  44. Yum. I like the lemon flavor that comes right through. I did use much less tahini.
    Not only is it better tasting than store-bought, but hummus here in New Zealand is just way too expesnive as well!

  45. Lee Anne

    I love a nice, straight-forward hummus. I was wondering, however, did you find the hummus a bit bitter with all the sesame paste? Living in rural Kenya, I actually ended up making my own sesame paste/tahini. I toasted the seeds in a pan and then pulsed them into a paste with my food processor. A little sesame oil made a smooth paste. It occurred to me that the bitterness could be due to toasting the seeds first??? Do you have any thoughts on this? Otherwise, a delicious hummus! Thanks so much for sharing the recipe–your blog has become my go-to whenever I’m thinking of whipping up something delicious!

  46. Alexandra

    Question: I soaked my garbanzo beans for about 8 hours and when i drained them they smelled really sweet. I put them in a ziplock bag for a day until I could get some tahini, and now they smell weirdly sour. Are they bad? They are sort of old.. but I thought dry beans lasted for a really long time.

    I bought new dried bean and am soaking those currently, but should I toss the others?

    1. deb

      Alexandra — I’ve never heard of them smelling sweet, or really sour so I’m sorry I cannot be more help. I haven’t heard of dried beans going bad either (usually, the old ones just take forever to cook/soften). If they taste good to you, I’d use them.

  47. anna

    I realize this post is a few years old but just wanted to add for those who are concerned of the long process of cooking dry beans – you can always cook a ton of them and then freeze them in usable batches. Just freeze them in a little of the cooking liquid and thaw them out as needed.

  48. Jackie

    This turned out as quite possibly the worst hummus I’ve ever made, so much tahini I tried adding an entire extra can of garbanzo to no avail. Huge waste of ingredients.

  49. Laila

    This looks like a great recipe. I’m Syrian so I know all about what makes a good hummus. Some recipes I’ve seen use peanut butter instead of tahini :( but this looks delicious, just how original hummus was supposed to taste.

  50. Shannon

    I’ve never made homemade hummus before and figured this recipe would be a good place to start since it has gotten such good reviews. The method used here was very good, but as written, I think the recipe is heavy on the tahini – which I suppose is okay if that’s what you’re going for, but I wanted the chickpea flavor to come through more. I started with a 1/2 cup tahini and then tasted and thought the tahini was too strong, so I added more chickpeas and some water to get the right consistency. I also roasted my garlic first and added a good pinch of cumin.

  51. I made hummus for years according to an old recipe I cut from the Times…last night I tried your recipe. Well, I found out it’s time to retire the old recipe and yours just made the fridge this morning!

  52. Sequoia Neff

    I don’t know if anyone else said this in the comments… but it actually has been proven that some people just can’t stand cilantro because their taste buds are more sensitive to one chemical in them that makes it taste like soap and/or dirt. If you don’t have that taste bud thing, then it would taste just fine to you. Weird!

  53. Heather

    I have been substituting my own roasted sesame seeds with a tiny bit of sesame oil when I put the ingredients in the blender – I have to be careful to process it long enough, but I can’t say that it affects the flavor when some of those tiny sesame seeds are left whole (it hurts my pocketbook a LOT less, come grocery day!). Also, I roast half a red pepper and some garlic cloves and add them in when I’m blending. After sitting overnight the flavors are heavenly – this and my homemade pita chips are my favorite snack food!

  54. Karen

    Does anyone take the time to slip the skins off the chickpeas before making hummus. I have recently heard from a couple of people (one a trained chef) that it makes infinitely better hummus doing this. I spent an hour tonight doing that, and I’m not convinced it’s worth the time. Just wondering…Thanks for any input!

    1. deb

      Karen — Actually, I think it’s totally worth it. Or, worth it to do as much as you have patience for. Even some is better than none. I didn’t get into it here because I thought people would laugh me out of the room — though 5 years later, I do read this tip a lot. But if you like velvety smooth hummus, that’s the best way.

  55. Morgan

    there was a moment, when i was standing over a bowl of chickpeas, de-skinning every one individually whilst watching sons of anarchy on my laptop, that i wondered if the effort was worth it. now, still watching sons of anarchy, but with a bowl of vegetables, dill triscuts, and a healthy scoop of the product, I can say that this is the best hummus experience of my life.

  56. Svetlana

    You are right, I will never go back to store bought hummus, at least not willingly! I didn’t thin it out very much because I liked the chunky texture. And I rather enjoy soaking and cooking my own garbanzo. It requires only a little more time than opening a can. I make a big batch (like 2 or 3 cups dried chickpeas) and the two of us eat them throughout the week in various recipes. The rest I freeze to keep on hand.

  57. Ken McCormick

    Just Curious… Why mash the garlic before putting it into a food processor. Isn’t that redundant? …and just dirtying one more thing?

  58. Cristina Sánchez

    Instead of hot hungarian paprika, try “Pimentón de la Vera” from Spain. There are two kinds: sweet and hot. Just the smell is wonderful.

  59. abby

    This hummus turned out delicious! The only changes I made was to cut the recipe in half and I used za’atar. Next time, I would maybe kick it up a bit with some cayenne pepper. I had my niece and her family for a visit and her kids gobbled this up pretty quick. Kudos on a great recipe

  60. Katy

    Oh. My. God. This is the nicest hummus I have ever tasted. I just furtively ate everything left in the processor jug after boxing up with a spatula, which normally only happens with cake.

    Three tweaks. First, I cooked the chickpeas with 1.5 tsp salt and 6 cups of water in the Instant Pot without pre-soaking: 60 mins on high and 20 mins natural release. Left them to cool completely in the cooking water. When I came to make the hummus, I drained the chickpeas first and added half a cup of the cooking water to the tahini with the lemon juice instead of plain water. I also added just a half teaspoon of cumin to balance out the garlic. Absolutely amazing, and I found that it whizzed up as smooth as I want a hummus to be. (I do like an ethereally smooth chickpea dip, but to me hummus has to be slightly lumpy and that means chickpea skins.)