Friday, May 15, 2015

Classic Hummus

You won't believe how easy it is to make your own hummus. It's also much more delicious than your favorite store-bought brand. Oh... don't even think about all those jalapeno pepper hummus, roasted garlic hummus, etc. I will tell you a secret how you can do better than that ;)

Blog's Category: Hors D'oeuvre, International, My Staple Food, Perfect Breakfast, Snacks, Vegetarian


I make this hummus for years. I hope, a lot of said by this statement. Through many tries, experimentation, variations, etc., I have come to this very simple recipe of this popular middle eastern staple. Here are some rules I stick to whipping my 10-minute hummus.

Rule # 1
Use canned chick peas.

Does canned sound bad to you? Think again, pls. I figured out that canned chick peas produce the most creamy and smooth hummus. If fine texture is critical to you - stick to canned garbanzo beans. For various other middle Eastern, Indian or Mediterranean dishes I  use dry, bought in bulk, chick peas, but for a hummus I always prefer canned. Also hummus is supposed to be quick fix, so, canned, it is!

Rule # 2
As acid element I use plain white vinegar, not lemon.

Ouch! I literally hear your objections! Then try yourself. It may be a matter of personal preference, but I come to a conclusion - I like with vinegar better. It's all about those most delicate taste nuances which are unspeakable but so real.

Rule # 3
Be generous on olive oil.

...and don't count calories here, after all it's olive oil, not some processed hydrogenated chemicals. Too little olive oil will yield into flat, paper-like paste. Also I like to use mildly flavored olive oil but if you are accustomed to bold extra virgin one, then go for it.

What is it?

So, this basic, [classic], [simple], [plain], and so on, hummus has just a few ingredients but all of them are those golden irreplaceable components that makes the best hummus: garbanzo beans, tahini paste (it is sesame seeds, finely ground into a paste), vinegar, cumin, clove of garlic, olive oil, salt.

Taste Description

It's so delicious and so creamy. Incredible but it's hard to find colorful and true taste definitions for such a lovely thing as hummus.
If you will follow the recipe precisely, you will get hummus with an awesome smoothness, mild satisfying taste with a softly lingering flavors of cumin, garlic and sesame seeds. This mild and rich, at the same time, hummus is perfect carrier for all those flavored toppings you will garnish your hummus (see below my suggestions for toppings).

How to Serve/Store

Here is where my secret comes. I'm not fan of making hummus of different flavors but what I'm fan of it's serving a hummus with a various toppings. It is the most exciting way to eat hummus. Yes, there is no need to make flavored hummus if you can change flavor every time you change your topping!

Some of our favorite variations for a topping:

- salsa, any kind. Just spread hummus over your favorite bread, top with salsa, and voila. For added fun, try thin slice of Parmesan on top!

- some stir-fried or roasted vegetables (on a picture below, I topped my hummus with zucchini ratatouille)

- Korean carrot salad (recipe) (see picture below) or any other finely chopped raw vegetables

- top with your favorite herb or spice mix (on a picture above, I topped my hummus with middle eastern Zaatar spice mix and some more olive oil)

- a few drops of spicy chili oil, or your favorite sauce from a bottle will do too!

Classic Hummus 

  • 2 cans of garbanzo beans (aka chick peas), drained. Save a liquid. Do not rinse the beans.
  • 4 tbs tahini paste
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 tbs white vinegar
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1/2 cup olive oil (light or mildly flavored) 

- In a processor, place all ingredients, except olive oil and saved liquid from a can.

- Run processor for approximately 1/2 minute until mix will look too thick to run nicely. Then, continuing running a motor, first, start to pour olive oil, slowly, then add a few spoons of liquid from a can just, about 4-6 tablespoons. 

- Depending how soft your chick peas, processing make take 1 to 4-5 minutes. Last night I've made my hummus in 1 minute. But previous one, it took about 5 minutes to run a motor until I've got a level of smoothness I wanted.

- Check your hummus, be careful not over-seasoning it. As my experience tells - less is more here.  

- Now, stop tasting, you need to have some hummus left to transfer it to a container - it will keep in a fridge for up to a week ;) 

- Enjoy!


- If you are planning to serve it in a bowl, as dip, use a spoon to make a swirl or grooves in any pattern you like. Then top with sprinkle and drizzle with olive oil or chili oil. Here is your choices for sprinkling: zaatar or other herb mix, smoked paprika or other ground pepper, sesame seeds, pine nuts or other chopped nuts, finely chopped green or red onion, finely chopped dried tomatoes, fried onion.



On this picture, I'm making small batch of hummus. For some reason I needed to run processor longer that usual.

This picture from yesterday, I fit two cans of garbanzo beans in my processor, plus all additions.. and, surprise-surprise, it's whipped perfectly in 1 minute.

Hummus on a toasted bagel, topped with zucchini ratatouille. Very delicious. 

Other half of bagel, toasted, with a generous amount of hummus and quick express-Korean carrot salad (grated carrots, salt, chili pepper, sesame seeds, tiny splash of rice vinegar).