5 September 2007


{HUMMUS} Is the Arabic word for chickpea, however the name has become synonymous with the dip generally made with 5 basic ingredients – chickpeas, tahini, oil, garlic and lemon juice. Tahini is a thick sesame seed paste, hence the full name of the dish being ‘hummus bi tahina’ = ‘chickpea with tahini’. The true origin of hummus is unknown, but claimed by many in the Middle East and the Mediterranean – hence the variety of spellings …. hoummos, hommos, hommus etc. For further information see

As I am a ‘do it yourself kinda gal’ I have gotten into the habit of making my own hummus from scratch – it is simple to do (ingredients, measure, blend, mix till smooth) plus the store bought varieties in my opinion are over priced and don’t taste nearly as good – no surprise there! 

Please read the comments for this recipe as there are some helpful hints!  I have just learned from another blogger ‘Shooky’ that America chickpeas known as Garbanzo beans (Spanish word for chickpea) are better used in soups, and that the best humus is made using small dried chickpeas. Hummus can be made in a variety of ways, to your own personal taste. If the texture of the hummus is not as smooth as you like it, add a little extra olive oil or water. 


  • 100g dried chickpeas (soaked in water over night & then cooked till soft)
  • 10 tablespoons olive oil
  • 6 to 8 tablespoons water (used the water you cooked the chickpeas in)
  • juice of 1/2 a lemon
  • 3 teaspoons tahini
  • 1 medium size garlic clove
  • pinch of ground cumin 
  • salt and pepper to taste
  1. I generally buy Turkish dried chickpeas which I keep in the pantry, and then soak in a bowl of water over night in the fridge (12 – 24 hrs) and cook till soft just before making this recipe. Save the cooking water to make the hummus!
  2. To keep life simple I then put all the ingredients into a blender at once and mix until I have a very smooth paste. I use 8 tablespoons of warm water for this recipe, but you can always substitute olive oil if you prefer.
  3. I then garnish the hummus with sumac and ground cumin and served with toasted flatbread (ie pita bread)


17 Responses to “HUMMUS”

  1. Olivier Says:

    A classic …. so good when it is has the right consistency! It never last long and is always gone almost before it is served on the table!

  2. shooky Says:

    I got a few tips for better hummus:

    1. First of all, always use dried chickpeas – it’s not only healthier but also tastes better.
    2. Second – try soaking the chickpeas for 12, or even 24 hours, in the fridge. This will shorten the cooking process and will prevent the chickpeas from splitting and loosing taste.
    3. Use the water in which you cooked the chickpeas.
    4. Use a larger amount of tahini – about 1/3-1/3 a cup. Make shure you are using the best tahini you can get!
    5. Use small chickpeas – not the garbanzo Spanish variety (which is great if you’re making chickpea soup, but aint so good if you’re making hummus).
    Check out my blog for more hummus tips and feel free to ask questions – hummus is my expertise.

  3. Erika Says:

    OLIVIER : I have also started using the hummus in sandwiches, the options are endless!

    SHOOKY: thanks for your comment, this is great and so informative! I am a beginner when it comes to making hummus so all advice is welcome. So far I have only used dried Turkish chickpeas, and funnily enough put them in a covered bowl of water in the fridge overnight to hydrate them & keep them fresh – I was doing this correctly and didn’t even know!
    I will try your suggestion and use the cooking water in the future to make the hummus, and plan to start making my own tahina, but for now have been using the Lebanese brand ‘al wadi al akhdar’ which is made with 100% ground sesame seeds. I will check you blog for other brands. Please keep in touch 🙂

  4. happygrub Says:

    Hi there, my hubby H loves Hummus. And I agree that the store bought kind isn’t as good . Especially bad are the ones in the can, I’m sure u know what I mean!! Looking forward to your homemade tahina, wonder how that’s done though. Do u just grind the sesame seeds and it works? Like peanut butter?

  5. Erika (SWEET PEA) Says:

    Happygrub – sorry I don’t know your 1st name yet 🙂 Thanks for the comment. Ohh canned varieties… and store bought brands in general always have this funny aftertaste…. I think the only way to get around this is to make your own fresh hummus. As for the tahina, as far as I can see it is generally made with white sesame seeds and oil (ie olive oil) blended together. Some recipes add water others don’t. A little along the lines of making peanut butter as you say. I will post my results once I have made it!

  6. happygrub Says:

    Dear Erika,
    Yup, so that was what was wrong with the store bought type! It had this strange earthy after taste. Not that I’ve tasted earth before, even f I did, its not in part of a fond childhood food memory 🙂 Looking forward to the tahina post!
    Love, Farhan

  7. Jenn Says:

    I add paprika to my finished hummus as well as some good virgin olive oil. But I have been having trouble getting the right consistency – any tips?

  8. Erika (SWEET PEA) Says:

    Hi Jenn,
    1st love the pictures on your blog, look forward to reading in depth what you have been up to in the Kitchen. By the way, where are you in Canada -I lived in Oakville Ontario for many years!

    As for the hummus, paprika sounds nice I will try this. I too had a little trouble getting the right consistency at first. I found that the following helps :
    -us a powerful blender not a hand mixer
    -poured the liquid (oil, water, lemon juice) it into the mixer 1st
    -then gradually add the well cooked chickpeas
    -keep blending until smooth. Add a little more liquid based on your desired texture.
    If you have a chance to try my recipe above I would love to hear how it turned out.
    Speak soon 🙂

  9. Jenn Says:

    Hey Erika,
    I am defintely trying your hummus soon, so I will let you know how it goes.. and do let me know how the cheesecake turns out!
    I live in Montreal – but I know quite some people from Oakville!
    Good cooking…!

  10. Erika (SWEET PEA) Says:

    Hi Michelle (sognatrice) : as you say, if it is difficult to find tahini where you live then why not try making it, and that is how they used to do it in the good old days 🙂 It is funny how certain things are hard to get hold of depending on where you live – I had a really hard time finding currents to make my garibaldi biscuits! Let me know how the tahini turns out

  11. sognatrice Says:

    Yum! And now you have me thinking about making my own tahini since I have a hard time getting it–I’m pretty sure we have sesame seeds around here someplace as the Calabrians make a kind of candy with them at Christmas time. Hmm…..

  12. happygrub Says:

    Dear Erika,
    I bought the chickpeas, the sumac at a gourmet food store and I am frustratingly looking for the tahini.. grrr.. I went to about 3 different places. I think I’ll have better luck at another store which is a little out of the way. I wish I had bought it when I saw it before.. Any luck with making ur own??

  13. Erika (SWEET PEA) Says:

    Hi Farhan (happygrub),
    glad to hear you found the sumac – as for the tahini, it is hiding out there somewhere. I often have this experience where I should have bought the ingredient when I 1st saw it, as afterwards it is no where to be found!! Pls let me know how the hunt goes. I hopefully try making the tahini myself this weekend and will let you know how it turns out 🙂

  14. […] by Erika’s hummus post, I worked hard to make this. It was the ingredients that was hard to come by. I finally found the […]

  15. Mercedes Says:

    Traditionally hummus is made with either tahine or oil, but not with both, hence there dips are known as “hummus bi tahine” or “hummus bi zeit.” Just fyi. It looks delicious!

  16. Erika (SWEET PEA) Says:

    FARHAN: This is great news – so pleased that the hummus turned out well!!! I too found that a little extra liquid ie oil makes all the difference regarding the consistency.

    : hi, thanks for leaving a comment – it is great to hear new insider info re traditional hummus! I made this recipe purely on personal taste, as I prefer the tahine to compliment the other ingredients but not overpower, and used oil for the texture. Please keep in touch 🙂

  17. […] Sweet pea. Fuente: Impostores. Hummus […]

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