Make Ahead

Yotam Ottolenghi & Sami Tamimi's Basic Hummus

July  7, 2021
4.7 Stars
Photo by Julia Gartland. Prop Stylist: Veronica Olson. Food Stylist: Anna Billingskog.
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.)

Helpful tools for this recipe:
- Food52 x Dansk Kobenstyle Saucepan & Butter Warmer
- Cuisinart Custom 14-Cup Food Processor
- Feast Serving Platter by Yotam OttolenghiGenius Recipes

Test Kitchen Notes

Recipe adapted slightly from Jerusalem (Ten Speed Press, 2013) —The Editors

Watch This Recipe
Yotam Ottolenghi & Sami Tamimi's Basic Hummus
  • Prep time 24 hours 30 minutes
  • Cook time 1 hour
  • 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
  • 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.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

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    Butterfield Beef & Berry Farm
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    Annalaura Solomon
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    Frank Roberts
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    Joan - Downstairs
Genius Recipes

Recipe by: Genius Recipes

212 Reviews

Cooker April 21, 2022
Excellent recipe. The hummus freezes well. I find that at least twice the lemon juice is needed.
debplusthree March 17, 2022
This is such a luxurious hummus!
judy December 26, 2021
I'm allergic to chickpeas. I made with black beans, lentils or kidney beans. They all worked. Of course, slightly different flavor profile depending on the bean. But they certainly are good alternatives.

Letscook June 9, 2021
Lovely recipe but confusing with salt quantity. Ingredient list says pinch of salt, method instructs to add 1.5 teaspoons. I doubled the batch & unfortunately ended up too salty in taste.
Pamela_in_Tokyo June 9, 2021
The recipe doesn’t say what kind of salt to use but a lot of chefs use kosher salt which has a larger particle size than table salt. And if you use table salt you should use half the amount.

About the saltiness : What I would recommend doing is make another batch of hummus but don’t add any salt and mix it together with your salty version to calm it down salt-wise! :-)
Butterfield B. October 4, 2020
Probably sacrilege to say this but I found this hummus a bit dry. Anyone experience that?? Am on a life long quest to match the deliciousness of the Lebanese Taverna (in DC) hummus.
julie October 5, 2020
When you say dry do you mean thick ? So many factors in making hummus. I'm still on quest to replicate the taste of a hummus without garlic that I once tried in a small restaurant in France. I use the juice of the cooked hummus to add to my hummus if it too thick.
Km September 3, 2021
where in France & what restaurant? :)
Cooker April 21, 2022
I suggest adding lemon juice, I use at least twice. If it’s too tart for you, use a small amount of water
belby0 July 13, 2020
So good. So smooth. Just heaven. Used less tahini (2/3-3/4c) and it was plenty. Thank you!
Carolyn June 30, 2020
What a great recipe! i tried it last week but forgot the baking soda bit. It was amazing just the same. Tried it again today with the soda. Hard to believe that total yumminess gets better with the soda but it does. I love how the chickpeas taste just after cooking this way. Now looking for other ways to serve chickpeas from scratch. Your video and the one i saw on instagram were both very encouraging. Thanks so much!
julie August 12, 2020
Hi, Baking soda does wonders. The first time I cooked chickpeas without baking soda, it took like 4 hours for the chickpeas to get soft. With baking soda, all done it less than an hour.

I love the taste of the chick peas in my hummus. I put less tahini and adjust to taste. I suggest trying the recipe without garlic. I ran out one day and did my hummus that way. It was very good also.
I tried all kind of experiments and also added lemon zest.

By accident as I was finishing boiling chickpeas I discovered a very simple recipe. My son was son hungry, I took cooked chick peas, added cumin and olive oil and he loved it.
NapaCook June 18, 2020
Delicious as written..just make sure to use the amount of salt listed in the steps (1.5tsp) and not the amount in the list of ingredients (a pinch). It had a really balanced flavor, not too bitter or garlic-laden, and the smooth texture is really lovely.
Annalaura S. March 29, 2020
I need a recipe for the pita bread shown in the image! PLEASE! Not greek pita, but chewy stretchy pita I used to get from bakeries in Dearborn, MI. Food 52 is a trusted resource, please help!
Bridget March 29, 2020
Try using a high gluten flour:

Here's another chewy pita bread recipe:
Km September 3, 2021
do you have one for greek pita too?
Yasin July 12, 2019
From the moment I saw it an YouTube this became my favorite and go-to hummus recipe. Now, for the people commenting on the amoun of tahini, please note that the recipe calls for light roast. Unfortunately, it seems that in most places that kind of tahini is not available, as is the case with the place 5I live. However, tahini not only adds to the flavor, but its fat content plays an important role in texture, so cutting down on it will not give you the same rich and decadently smooth mouthfeel. To avoid troubles with too strong tahini, simply dilute it with some neutral-flavor oil. I use sunflower oil. The ratio I found to work best is 2/3 cup of tahini + 1/3 cup of oil for a total of 1 cup. Additionally, I always add a tsp of freshly ground black pepper and additional 1-2 tbsp of lemon juice so I never had any issues with the final product tasting bland. I hope this helps. Cheers!
Frank R. June 8, 2019
Exactly how does this cut hummus making time in half?
julie July 12, 2019
From my experience there's all kind of tahini quality and products that give you different tastes and flavors. I'm still searching for the taste I once tried in a fast food restaurant many moons ago. The amount of tahini was small but the secret the person told me was to boil those chickpeas forever they would more than 15 hours. I dn't have that time and the baking soda trick is miracle. And yet altoough everyone like my hummus I'm still looking to replicate that taste I once had. Hummus taste will evolve and I notice it is the best for me when it has spoent a night in the fridge.
Courtney T. September 1, 2019
Less time simmering the chickpeas. See the first few sentences of the description.
Joan -. May 30, 2019
This is my go-to recipe for hummus and I'm very happy with it, but I am so happy to see so many ideas for flavor additions in the comments.
I'd like to add one more idea. So many people bemoaned the expense of tahini. Over on 101 Cookbooks, Heidi has a recipe for hummus that swaps walnuts for the tahini in traditional hummus. Someone here suggested using peanut b utter for a completely different flavor and it's great. I like the nut swap idea so much I'll be testing out various options. Pistachios come to mind immediately. Can't wait to get back into the kitchen with a bag of chickpeas.
Eileen May 29, 2019
Processing the hummus in a Vitamix makes it incredibly silky-smooth. Yes, you have to blend a little water into the emptied blender container to remove the last bit of hummus that you can't remove any other way, so you lose a few tablespoons of hummus, but then you have made a delicious sauce or mug of soup.

I have frozen hummus with no effect on quality. It's no more work if I double this recipe, so I always do, and freeze the hummus in 2-cup glass containers.
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.
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.
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.
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!
jodyrah May 30, 2019
Try “Soom” brand tahini available on Amazon.
Yasin July 12, 2019
Try diluting your tahini with some neutral oil. See my review for details. Cheers!
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.
Joan -. May 29, 2019
There is a lot of salt in Kimball recipe.
Lynnie May 29, 2019
Soooo.... maybe don't use as much salt but follow the rest of the recipe. It is as Robert posted, a good recipe.
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.
catalinalacruz April 15, 2021
Hummus freezes very well. It's nice to have a carton in the freezer to pull out for a quick lunch. (Or breakfast, if you are in Lebanon. 😀)
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 :)
Niranj April 1, 2019
I like the spice route
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.