Yotam Ottolenghi & Sami Tamimi's Basic Hummus

By • July 9, 2013 • 122 Comments

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Author Notes: This recipe is simple and the results are perfect, but here's the real coup: Most from-scratch hummus recipes involve simmering the chickpeas for 1 1/2 to 2 hours. Ottolenghi and Tamimi's are done in 20 to 40 minutes. How? See step 2. Briefly cooking the soaked chickpeas directly with baking soda scruffs up the skins and allows them to cook much faster and puree smoother. (Without having to peel the chickpeas by hand.) Recipe adapted slightly from Jerusalem (Ten Speed Press, 2013)Genius Recipes

Makes 6 servings

  • 1 1/4 cups dried chickpeas
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 6 1/2 cups water
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons tahini (light roast)
  • 4 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 4 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 6 1/2 tablespoons ice cold water
  • Salt
  • Good quality olive oil, to serve (optional)
  1. The night before, put the chickpeas in a large bowl and cover them with cold water at least twice their volume. Leave to soak overnight.
  2. The next day, drain the chickpeas. Place a medium saucepan over high heat and add the drained chickpeas and baking soda. Cook for about three minutes, stirring constantly. Add the water and bring to a boil. Cook, skimming off any foam and any skins that float to the surface. The chickpeas will need to cook for 20 to 40 minutes, depending on the type and freshness, sometimes even longer. Once done, they should be very tender, breaking up easily when pressed between your thumb and finger, almost but not quite mushy.
  3. Drain the chickpeas. You should have roughly 3 2/3 cups now. Place the chickpeas in a food processor and process until you get a stiff paste. Then, with the machine sill running, add the tahini paste, lemon juice, garlic, and 1 1/2 teaspoons salt. Finally, slowly drizzle in the ice water and allow it to mix for about five minutes, until you get a very smooth and creamy paste.
  4. Transfer the hummus to a bowl, cover the surface with plastic wrap, and let it rest for at least 30 minutes. If not using straightaway, refrigerate until needed. Make sure to take it out of the fridge at least 30 minutes before serving. Optionally, to serve, top with a layer of good quality olive oil. This hummus will keep in the refrigerator for up to three days.
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Comments (122) Questions (5)


about 1 month ago Kara

After spending time in the Middle East, I love a good hummus and this was so much better than any store bought hummus! Delicious and so light, everyone liked it. I made my own tahini and added roasted garlic to soften the bite of raw garlic. Will make again.


about 1 month ago Gourmel

My hummus was so dense it burned out my food processor! I switched to my immersion blender until I was concerned it was overheating. The only thing I did differently is that my chickpeas soaked for a few days, not just one. Could that have caused it to be so heavy?


about 1 month ago Sharon

Oh dear. You are not the first person who has burned out a blender or food processor making hummus! That's why you have to start adding a bit of the cooking liquid from the beans and olive oil to allow the motor to begin blending the stiff bean paste. Restaurants have very heavy duty, professional equipment to do this with, primarily a Robot Coupe, which costs several hundred dollars. Home cooks routinely tax the living daylights out of their consumer model blenders & processors trying to achieve the same results. With consumer equipment, the trick is to add enough liquid and olive oil to facilitate smooth & rapid movement of the blades without watering down and diluting the hummus. A lot of trial and error is required here, and I speak from experience. As a professional chef, I've made hummus on the job, in a professional kitchen, and at home. Home is DEFINITELY more difficult. Each time it's a crap shoot. Just recently, I was foiled by a very stiff garbanzo bean paste and, regrettably, over compensated by adding too much liquid, . Drat! However, you CAN find your "happy spot" and devise a fairly reliable method of your own. It just takes time and tweaking. Fear not, you'll get it right! Good luck and don't give up.


about 1 month ago Sharon

Way too much tahini, better to add it to taste. I never add baking soda to beans. It's just not necessary and it affects the taste. Hummus is something that each person has to tweak to their liking. I love the taste of olive oil in mine and I've often subbed out a small amount of almond or cashew butter for the tahini. Absolutely hauntingly delicious! It takes a while to get it where you want it, so keep experimenting and trying out & comparing recipes. Have fun along the way because luckily, chickpeas are not expensive!


3 months ago Tina Miller

I wish I had paid more attention to the comments first! Dried chickpeas are definitely the way to go and this hummus was certainly smooth - but like some other comments noted it was way too much tahini for me. Next time maybe 1/3 cup (or less) tahini to 1lb chickpeas. But I did appreciate the reminder that home made hummus is SOO much better than store bought!


7 months ago Amy

I just made this...did not have 1.125 cups of tahani, but it was SMOOTH...I even had a tub of store-bought hummus, and it was as smooth. And, best of all, mine's cheaper, made by me, and not processed in a store. Just very good


7 months ago alexia schmidt

I made this recipe exactly as written, (with an 18-hour soak) and it is the lightest, smoothest, airiest, tastiest hummus I have ever had. I am completely obsessed and will now have to purchase bulk dried chickpeas to keep up with the addiction.


8 months ago Elan Yannis

look on this link


8 months ago Ann-Marie D. Nguyen-Shavurova

I have to second Alton Brown´s recipe - 1/3 cup is more than sufficient! Too much tahini in this recipe! I also learned from a Lebanese woman to soak the (dried) garbanzos for two days - her hummus is made in a blender and super aerated! Try that too!


about 1 month ago beejay45

If she soaked them that long, they would be starting to sprout, which does improve the flavor and, I have heard, makes them more digestible. So, I may give this a try once my current batch is gone.

I have to say, I've been making hummus for so many years that it's all by instinct. You have the tahini for richenss, lemon juice for tang, olive oil/sesame oil for creaminess, water/bean liquid for thinning and, of course, garlic for punch. Rather than follow a recipe, just line all these up and add them as needed to adjust flavor and texture. After a few times, you will have a feel for what will result in the version you and your family prefer.

So, that may seem like an awful lot of tahini, but that's the way Ottolenghi likes it. ;)


8 months ago Danny

First time ever making hummus and used this recipe because it came so highly recommended on these comments. I followed the recipe exactly, and while the texture is gorgeous, all I taste is tahini and baking soda - so much so that I've been guzzling water in the hours since I ate it.
Any suggestions of what might have gone wrong, or is the amount of tahini too much, as other posters have suggested?


8 months ago Julie Droescher

My (well, Alton Brown's) recipe calls for 1 lb of chickpeas, and only 1/3 cup of tahini.

Why so much tahini in this recipe above?


9 months ago Terry Malouf

The classic recipe, in our Lebanese family anyway:
1 can Garbanzo beans (however, I cook my own chick peas, time permitting)
3 T Tahini
lemon juice to taste (lots, at least 1 lg lemon)
salt to taste, 1 t or more
1 bud garlic
some water (from bean pot if you cook your own)

No oil needed! My grandmother would drizzle some on top when she served a dish of hummus. Also, she'd sprinkle on some paprika or finely minced parsley.

About the baking soda discussion, I always presoak the chick peas (and all other beans) with a pinch of baking soda, then rinse, then cook in new water. It degasses the beans for sure.

I was surprised at the Food 52 recipe, in that there was so much tahini. Lots of calories. I loved the creaminess, though. Still, I prefer the classic hummus recipe above, and like it best when it's made with the warm chick peas out of the pot and served while still warm and fragrant.


9 months ago Ann-Marie D. Nguyen-Shavurova

Why no olive oil in the making of it? Just curious? I put in a ton also in addition to the water. What is the classic recipe?


9 months ago L Kaylor

I used to put in my recipe too. But love this way better. Drizzle your fresh fruity oil over the hummus each time
you serve it! A dusting of paprika, garnish o
f slivered red onion, cucumber slices... So good, this is the best recipe.


9 months ago Ann-Marie D. Nguyen-Shavurova

I think it doesn´t have enough moisture without it, and I was reading other comments below and I have to agree that it has too much tahini. I think I even only put in 3/4 cup (maybe where some of the moisture would have been). In any case, love hummus and great to try this recipe!


10 months ago Tbonius

The skins float right off and can be rinsed away through a salad spinner or any strainer with large holes. Comes out amazingly creamy.


10 months ago marymary

I followed this recipe exactly and LOVE it plain or with avocado and spices (https://food52.com/recipes...). The tahini was not overpowering at all, as others have suggested. In the future, I will use the liquid from the chickpeas instead of or in addition to ice water. I removed a lot of the skins, but not all - I don't find it necessary. I prefer the thicker smooth consistency myself. My chickpeas cooked in just under 20 minutes - awesome. I will never use canned again. Thank you for sharing!


over 1 year ago Rose Levy Beranbaum

woops--forgot to check the new comments box!


over 1 year ago Rose Levy Beranbaum

the great thing about this recipe is that the baking soda makes it really easy to remove the skins. i found i needed a lot more liquid to achieve a good texture to the purée but made a marvelous discovery. while skinning the cooked chick peas i left the liquid in which they cooked in the pot. after cooling i saw that it had thickened like a demi-glace! of course this was from the starch in the chick peas. i used some of this liquid to thin out the purée. it was absolutely delicious. i still have some left over in the fridge and plan to add it to amanda's "dan barber short ribs" this weekend!


over 1 year ago smlorenzetti

If you remove the skins from the chickpeas before you grind them you get a much better creamy texture. It takes a few extra minutes, but it is so worth it.


over 1 year ago julie

Hello, Removing the skin makes the hummus texture almost like whip-cream. what is your trick to remove the skin. It takes me so much more time than a few minutes to remove the skin.


over 1 year ago julie

Hello, I'm Julie from Montreal. My boyfriend is lebanese and I'm on a mission to make the perfect hummus (hoummous)lol . I make huge batches of chick peas the equivalent of 4 cups of dry chick peas at a time which will give you about triple amount so about plus or minus 10-12 cups.
I cook my dry chick peas after they have soaked over night for about 45 minutes. I ad only 1/4 spoon of baking soda. I noticed that adding more makes the chickpeas bland.
I suggest playing with the quantities of tahini and lemon. Also try lime instead of lemon. Also I ad the zest of lemon or lime at the end to give the hummus a little spark. Trial and errors is fun. cheers and happy hummus cooking.


about 1 year ago Stephanie Nejame-Cintron

hi Julie! By removing the skins and adding 1/4 cup of Labne (thick middle eastern yogurt)to the food processor for every cup or so of dried chickpeas you used --you will get the best hummus ever!


over 1 year ago L Kaylor

I have made hummus for years, many different variations. Followed this recipe pretty much to a tee proportionately, the only difference is I used one full bag which is tad more than 1 1/4 cups. Oh my, Genius is the right word! A light roast tahini is not overpowering, this comes out very smooth & for the effort there is a enough for a batch to freeze. It is a perfect classic hummus, doctor to your taste if you like spice, pesto, red peppers etc.


over 1 year ago Jessie Zapffe

I also, just cook the dried beans. You can make same day hummus, it is just a time consuming effort. You need to make sure the water does not boil out.


over 1 year ago julie

Hello Jessie, I got caught on my first tries and now what I do is I heat up some water in a ketle and add when needed, usually at the 30 minutes mark.