Yotam Ottolenghi & Sami Tamimi's Basic Hummus

Test Kitchen-Approved

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
Prep time: 24 hrs
Cook time: 2 hrs


  • 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
  • 1 pinch salt, to taste
  • 1 dash good-quality olive oil, to serve (optional)
In This Recipe


  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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Reviews (174) Questions (6)

174 Reviews

Linzudu December 26, 2018
Thank you for the recipe! The texture of this hummus is fabulous and it was not too onerous to strain out the chickpea skins.<br />This is a good base recipe to add the flavor you want - I agree with other reviewers that it's a bit bland, but that's not a bad thing if you like to customize, which I do.<br />Also, I made the recipe as stated and I do agree that it calls for too much tahini - it made the hummus a shade bitter but if your tahini is not so bitter perhaps you can go the full amount. I had to make do with the one and only tahini to be found in a local supermarket (after looking in two others that didn't have it at all in my rural section of the country), so perhaps it wasn't "light" roasted as called for, the jar didn't specify. <br />Thanks again, now I know how to make my own hummus, I'm freezing some with olive oil on top so hope it defrosts well!
Robert December 26, 2018
Chris Kimball has a much better recipe on Milk Street that he calls Israeli hummus. Uses soda too but easier and takes great advantage of the aquafaba.
Stephanie November 13, 2018
Just made this today. Deeelicious! What a difference from using canned chickpeas. It's a bit fiddly with skimming the chickpeas, but nothing a glass of wine in hand won't soothe. This will be a regular treat.
Dennie R. November 13, 2018
That makes a lot of humus and it only keeps 1-2 days. You can prepare (and use a pressure cooker or instapot) a large amount of Chickpeas and then freeze them. For those of you who think that techinni is expensive, this is so much more inexpensive than buying prepared humus. A great recipe.
Mastura August 8, 2018
Tahini is too pricey for me. So i'll just roast some sesame seeds and blast it in the mixer with olive oil, lemon juice and little water. Cant wait to try this recipe! Will add cumin and/or zataar because I'm about that spice life :)
Paula C. August 6, 2018
This makes a delicious, smooth hummus, among the best I've had. It's a bit thick, but it can be thinned to your preference with a bit of water saved from the cooking, or lemon juice for a bit more tang.
Leli S. July 7, 2018
I love this recipe. I never paid attention to proportions before, just made it to taste. Now I think the proportions are important. The first time I made it I used my blender, and had the problem of an over-heated motor and having to scrape down the sides and add liquid to loosen it up. Now I use a food processor. I have it adapted it my taste - a bit more lemon juice, no more than ½ cup of tahini. Also, I cook chickpeas in an InstaPot and don't worry about pealing off the skins, which makes the full 5 minutes of mixing critical to get the silky consistency. At the end I scoop out ½ of the hummus, and to the remaining process in canned chipotle peppers and juices, adjusting the amount for whatever level of heat I want that day. I used to crave a version of chipotle hummus that I bought at Whole Foods. Now I make my own.
Ecuacan December 13, 2017
I will never again make hummus with canned chick peas! This hummus is simply creamy yummy perfection.
Michelle April 13, 2017
I just made this exactly per recipe in my trusty old food processor and I'm currently eating it warm, straight out of the bowl (I already licked the spatula clean). This is such a treat, thank you!<br /><br />I was a bit nervous when I finished cooking the chickpeas, since there were still quite a few bits of skin left among the cooked beans that I couldn't quite separate despite my best skimming and sifting efforts. I need not have worried, it turned out incredibly smooth even with those bits still left in there.<br /><br />Thanks again for the recipe, this will definitely become a new staple in our house!
Tom February 26, 2017
I used my Vitamix to make this, and even though it's a powerful machine that can take on most things, the thickness of the mix proved quite a challenge and it the motor started to make some unhealthy sounds and give off a burning smell. It heated up and would have cooked the hummus if I'd left it mixing for the recommended 5 minutes, so I had to stop it early. It tasted pretty good, but next time I'll add more water as it turned out too thick for my taste, and it definitely needs serving with some good olive oil - it's a bit bland without that.
Eileen February 23, 2017
This makes a lot. I discovered I can fill two glass refrigerator dishes and freeze one. The hummus is perfect after being frozen and then thawed in the refrigerator.
Eileen February 23, 2017
This is a great recipe, if heavy on the tahini (which is expensive, and you can use less). I love red pepper hummus, and it was always a chore to roast and peel the peppers. Then I realized I could simply cut up a red pepper and saute it in olive oil, and process it into the finished hummus I can't tell the difference. Add 1 or 2 sauteed red (or orange or yellow) peppers to this recipe, and maybe some paprika.
kingsley November 2, 2017
Easy roast Peppers. Over a BBQ or open flame or hot oven, char the peppers skins till black all over, place the peppers while still really hot into a sealed plastic bag or seal able plastic container, 15 minutes later the peppers skins will fall off, I sometimes run them under a running tap to get every last piece off.
Justin July 22, 2016
Plastic wrap is completely unnecessary: I won't rehearse the numerous reasons why using less plastic is best for your environment, health and bank balance.
Robert June 10, 2016
I halved the recipe and used 1 can of chickpeas. My only problem was the sharpness of the raw garlic. I'll maybe use a bit less or roast it next time. Adding ice water to the thick mixture really works and brings it to the perfect consistency. This was the first time I'd used tahini. I used a brand that was organic, had only sesame seeds as the ingredient, and was imported from Israel. Not bad for a first try.
Burchie April 20, 2016
Delicious! went a little light on the tahini but still fabulous!
csegher March 30, 2016
Re peeling chickpeas: I think middle eastern women didn't sit there peeling chick peas. There was other stuff to do, it will not break your dish.<br />Re the food processor on for 5 minutes: do it. It is not overkill. <br />Hummus should not be gloppy and tight, it should have a little movement. Add a little of the chick pea cooking water if you need to loosen it. Other add ins: lemon zest and a bit of cumin. Keep it simple.
csegher March 30, 2016
And add the tahini as written. It is correct. Decadent, but correct.
Bob December 14, 2015
What a fantastic recipe this hummus. And so healthy. I can't wait to make this.
simone October 3, 2015
I attempted this recipe and failed dismally. I used organic unhulled tahini which had a brown colour so felt I was a little off track from the beginning. Re reading the recipe I wanted to know do you really leave your food processor motor running for 5 minutes as stated in the recipe ? Maybe this was something critical that I omitted but I fear for the heart beat of my magimix - 5 mins sounds terminal.
Penny H. October 3, 2015
I found that tahini gave my hummus a slightly bitter taste - I'll use up what I have but not add it in the future. I use a wand processor and leave my hummus just a little chunky because that's how my son-in-law likes it. Five minutes does sound a little like overkill. <br />
Sherri J. August 12, 2017
All tahini is not created equal. Bitter tahini will make bitter hummus and I once purchased an organic brand of hummus from Whole Foods that made nasty hummus because I assumed it would be good. It was not, and I returned the tahini for a full refund. There are many good brands out there. I like Soom and Whole Foods own 365 brand. My neighbor recently gave me several jars of Baron's Organic and I was skeptical but tasted it, and it is good. I hate to see you give up tahini because of one bad bitter brand of tahini. FYI, all tahini will have a hint of bitterness, but the one I got ahold of was nasty bitter.
alamesa September 7, 2015
No such thing as too much hummus.
Desmond G. September 7, 2015
My favorite especially when you add some candied lemon.
Monica8866 January 24, 2016
Ooooooo candied lemon! I'm trying that next time!