Easy Hummus Recipe + tips

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Making your own hummus is an effortless way to include the sometimes overlooked but highly nutritious chickpeas/garbanzo beans, extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) and fresh garlic into your diet. Store bought hummus uses other vegetable oils that are not as good for the heart/general health as evoo.***
Making your own also means you avoid preservatives especially for young children.
***Evoo has a distinctive flavour which contributes to how your hummus tastes. Your hummus will therefore taste deliciously different to the store bought one. You can also use other good quality (mild flavoured) vegetable oils if you have no access to evoo. Sesame oil is however, not an option.


Time: 50 mins
(30 min. boiling time, 10 min cooling, 10 min processing
(plus overnight soaking time)
Yields: 3 cups thick Hummus


You will need:

  • 1 heaped cup dried chick peas soaked overnight (yields about 3 level cups cooked chickpeas)
    or 3 cups (2 cans) canned chickpeas , also called garbanzo beans
  • 5-6 Tbs  lemon juice (1 ½ -2 lemons)
  • 1 large/2 small cloves garlic chopped or grated (optional)
  • 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil (up to 4 Tbsp if you like)
  • 2 Tablespoons (Tbsp) tahini (sesame seed paste)
  • 1/2 Teaspoon (Tsp) salt
  • 1/4 Tsp or more tsp ground cumin (optional)
  • 2-4 Tbsp reserved boiling liquid for thinning hummus if needed

Canned chickpeas option (yields 1 cup + a bit thick hummus)
Time: 15 minutes

1 can chick peas (= 1 &1/2 cups) (skip salt if chickpeas contain salt, or make hummus first, taste then adjust salt if more is needed)
3 Tbsp fresh lemon juice (4 Tbsp bottled**)
2 Tbsp Extra virgin olive oil
1/2 Tsp salt
1/4 Tsp cumin powder (optional)
1 medium clove of garlic (optional)
1 Tablespoon Tahini

** I found 4 Tbsp gave the right amount of ‘zing’, but it increased the unpleasant aftertaste that is in bottled lemon juice. You may not notice it at all though…my post-pregnancy hormones make for extra-vigilant flavour police at the moment.
Also, bottled lemon juice has preservatives in case you’re trying to avoid them

How to:

  1. Place your pre-soaked chickpeas in a saucepan, cover with water (about 2 cups for this amount) and bring to boil. Because they have been soaked, they won’t be absorbing much more water and only need enough to cook them.
  1. Simmer covered on low medium heat for half an hour or so until soft
  2. Drain chickpeas and leave to cool at room temperature (reserve cooking liquid to thin hummus later if needed)
  3. Slightly warm chickpeas are ok. They don’t have to cool to room temperature
  4. In the meantime, prepare garlic and juice the lemons
  5. When the chickpeas have cooled, transfer to a food processor with all ingredients except Tahini
  6. Process on low for 3-5 minutes, scraping the sides.
  1. When the chickpeas are mostly smooth, add the tahini and process for a further minute or so until well combined and smooth.
  1. Check the flavour and consistency and adjust accordingly. (more lemon juice/salt/garlic/liquid etc according to your preference)
  2. To thin your hummus further use water/ reserved cooking liquid with lemon juice a little at a time in a ratio of 3:1. (more lemon-juice and less water if you want more ‘zing’)
  3. Store in the fridge for a week

Recipe tips:
(coloured text is not links, but rather for easier reading/remembering)

  1. Freshly made hummus is sometimes a little bitter. Let stand for about half an hour for the flavours to infuse.
  2. 1 cup = 250 ml measuring cup
  3. If you are in a hurry, spread chickpeas on a large plate to cool down
  4. Cooling the chickpeas in the fridge will dry them out more and take longer to process. So will leaving them in the fridge overnight. But they can still be used and I’ve done so before
  5. If using canned chickpeas, halve the salt or skip it altogether. Canned chickpeas are salty unless the can is labelled otherwise *no added salt*
    One 400gms can of chickpeas equals about 1 & 1/2 cups of chickpeas.
    4 cups canned chickpeas should yield about the same amount of hummus as in this recipe
  6. Canned chickpeas have more moisture and are softer than home boiled ones. Drain properly or use less oil/lemon juice for thick hummus
  7. Bottled lemon juice can be used if you don’t have fresh lemons. But you might need more than in this recipe so adjust as needed. That said, there really is no substitute for fresh lemon juice when making hummus. Bottled lemon juice has an aftertaste that affects hummus flavour so mind that as well
  8. Too much liquid too early and it will take longer to get the hummus smooth/creamy if using a food processor. If using a stick blender ignore this tip
    If using a stick blender, place all ingredients in a bowl and process till smooth.
  9. Stick blender is good a method if you want your hummus thinner than mine/store bought consistency. Making thick hummus with a stick blender will work the motor too hard.
  10. If you want your hummus to be thinner than this here, add water or reserved boiling liquid, a tablespoon at a time until it gets to your desired consistency. You can also use lemon juice if you like it tangier.  Remember to adjust salt if using extra liquid.
  11. If your hummus has a hint of bitterness, you probably used too much tahini/ cumin
  12. If you don’t have tahini, your hummus will still taste good, but it will be grainier/less creamy.
  13. You can also skip the oil altogether, and add more water/reserved liquid/lemon juice. Your hummus will however, be drier.
  14. If you skip the oil, an extra Tbsp of tahini might reduce this dryness, but consider reducing/ leaving out the cumin to balance out bitterness
  15. Extra virgin olive oil has a strong flavour depending on purity/authenticity. Some brands have a hint of bitterness in them (fresh olives are bitter). The quality of oil you use/amount affects the flavour
  16. Freshly boiled chickpeas and fresh lemon juice contribute to hummus flavour incredibly and I cannot recommend them enough
  17. Serve as a dip with veggie sticks/crackers/nuts/dried fruit as a snack/appetiser, use as spread on untoasted bread, make a sandwich with pita bead, pickles and fresh tomatoes, eat with falafel….


    Also, freshly boiled chickpeas are larger than canned ones.But the volume per cup is roughly the same

    Remember a recipe is mostly a guide, just make it to your liking and enjoy!

    Be nourished, be safe:)
Authored by Nini Mappo
More about Nini

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