Yotam Ottolenghi & Sami Tamimi's Basic Hummus

By • July 9, 2013 • 110 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 cup 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 (110) Questions (5)

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Stringio

about 22 hours 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?

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10 days 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.

Stringio

11 days 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?

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11 days 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.

Stringio

11 days 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!

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about 1 month 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.

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2 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!

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8 months ago Rose Levy Beranbaum

woops--forgot to check the new comments box!

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8 months 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!

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8 months 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.

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8 months 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.

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8 months 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.

Stringio

7 months 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!

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8 months 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.

Jesie_new

8 months 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.

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8 months 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.

Jesie_new

8 months ago Jessie Zapffe

I whip this up in about 10 minutes. This is why I like it so much. Sometimes, I want hummus in a hurry, and this is perfect for that.

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8 months ago julie

Have you noticed that the hummus tatse evolves 24 hours later to a even more tasty one?

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8 months ago jellygood

Love love love Ottolenghi restaurant and cookbooks and so hate to be a killjoy BUT I used to cook beans this way and stopped because I learnt that cooking beans with baking soda while speeding up the cooking process also kills vitamins and flavour. I like to cook the chickpeas the slow way and then use the cooking liquid at the end to get the right consistency. This way maximising flavour and putting some of the vitamins back :-)

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8 months ago Michele

If I wanted to make this with dried garbanzo beans and didn't want to soak overnight and didn't have a pressure cooker how long should they soak? i.e.. I would like to make this today and it is 11:30am now. Can I do it???

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8 months ago Wesley

The easiest way is to bring them to a boil, boil for 2 minutes. Turn off heat and let sit for about an hour. Drain and proceed as directed.

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8 months ago jan

Easy to remember and consistently yummy hummus recipe:
2 cans (15 oz.) chickpeas, drained
1/2 cup lemon juice
1/2 cup tahini
1/2 cup EVOO
2-4 minced garlic cloves
salt and powdered cumin to taste
mix all in food processor until creamy
serve in low bowl drizzled with EVOO and small shake of cumin

Stringio

8 months ago Gergana Angelova

I made this recipe with such high anticipations and sooo regret the effort and the time - the insane amount of tahini is overpowering and makes the humus uneatable. Tried to "fix" it with more lemon or EVOO, but still the consistency is too tick and tahini way too much. Such a waste, *:(

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8 months ago jan

Hello, Gergana,
Did you mean you made my recipe and regret it, or do you mean you made the Food 52 recipe? It looks like you were responding to my recipe. Hope not! :, Of course 1/2 C of tahini is not an "insane amount," as I'm sure everyone understands.

Stringio

8 months ago Gergana Angelova

Yes, I made this particular recipe to the T. The recipe calls for 1C + 2 TBs tahini and the taste of tahini is too strong. I've used other Food52 very successful recipes and can't believe how this humus can be a community pick, unless people intentionally substituted the original 1C+2TBs tahini with the reasonable 1/2C tahini. I guess my reply is re:Lu Abuzaid, but accidentally it was attached to your post, Jan, I'm sorry. I'll make your recipe next time, *:)

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8 months ago jan

Hi again, Gergana, and thanks for your kind reply. I agree: the Food 52 recipes are usually good and definitely interesting!

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8 months ago julie

Hi Jan, Is the EVOO for the taste or is it to keep the hummus together in the fridge.

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2 months ago jan

It's for taste I'm sure but it also makes a smoother texture. (I guess I could check with my Lebanese friends as to why they add EVOO, but they would probably think I'm crazy to ask.) I contributed my recipe just because it is easy to remember and easy to throw together on short notice. Just trying to help others who need easy and quick recipes like I do. I am NOT the gourmet cook like most at Food52.

Stringio

9 months ago Lu Abuzaid

1 cup plus two tablespoons of tahini? that is a ridiculous amount..you should be using way less or all you'll taste is the tahini. I've made hummmus my whole life and my recipe is close but with just a few tablespoons of tahini..not that crazy amount.

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8 months ago DragonFly

I agree, that's a huge amount of tahini, I use 2 tablespoons as well and it's perfect, plus I also use lots of dried cumin.

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8 months ago JohnL

Cumin yes! I would miss that ingredient if left out. And sometimes I add a little fresh cilantro.

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8 months ago DragonFly

Fresh cilantro would be lovely, I also make a black bean hummus, it's very good.

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9 months ago tulip549

Agree with other commenters that this is a base for other flavors- on its own, I wasn't impressed, but once I added extra spices and veggies, it became amazing! You can make any type of hummus with this- beet hummus, spinach hummus, yam hummus. It's good in that you can be creative! Throw in whatever you've got! :D

Jesie_new

9 months ago Jessie Zapffe

I used to make hummus this way, and then I finally did it the easy way, with canned, organic chick peas. It is ready in minutes. Another great way is using Great Northern beans, lemon juice, soy sauce, tahini, salt, garlic coriander, cumin and cayenne. This hummus is so smooth. It feels great against the palate. It is addictive. My guests love it.

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8 months ago cookinalong

I usually use canned as well, but made this first time with chick peas cooked in the pressure cooker. It was good, but the slight improvement in texture wasn't enough to justify the extra step. I think good tahini is more critical.

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10 months ago Lena Shaw

Thank you for the recipe! Love it!!! I followed every step to the letter,but on the end added 1/3 cup of lemon juice plus some cayenne and black pepper as I love more spicy version. Also I used 3/4 cup of cold water (12 tbls),the consistency is just perfect with this amount of water.Will make this recipe again for sure :)

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10 months ago monu teena

Lovely Recipe you have shared.. thanks for sharing.. Made the similar recipe of "Hummus" try to visit my place when time permits .. Recipes Passion love to have your feedback; just visiting..
Happy blogging have a good day.. dear :)