Zahav's Hummus Tehina

March 23, 2016

Test Kitchen-Approved

Author Notes: Chef Solomonov writes, "The secret to great Israeli-style hummus is an obscene amount of tehina, as much as half of the recipe by weight, so it's especially important to use the best quality you can find. Unlike Greek-style hummus, which is heavy on garlic and lemon, Israeli hummus is about the marriage of chickpeas and tehina." Note: The original recipe makes a much larger quantity of Tehina Sauce (the garlic, lemon, tahini, and salt mixture in steps 3 and 4), which is wonderful to have on hand if you want to scale up—it will keep for a week refrigerated, or it can be frozen for up to a month. Here we're using the single batch of Tehina Sauce developed by Bon Appétit. Recipe adapted slightly from Zahav: A World of Israeli Cooking, by Michael Solomonov and Steven Cook (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2015) and Bon Appétit (September 2015).Genius Recipes

Makes: about 4 cups
Prep time: 9 hrs
Cook time: 20 min


  • 1 cup dried chickpeas
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda, divided
  • 4 garlic cloves, unpeeled
  • 1/3 cup (or more) fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more
  • 2/3 cup excellent quality tahini (a.k.a. tehina—Chef Michael Solomonov loves Soom Foods, available on Amazon)
  • 1/4 teaspoon (or more) ground cumin
  • 1 splash Olive oil, for serving
  • 1 handful Chopped parsley and paprika, for serving (optional)
In This Recipe


  1. Place the chickpeas in a large bowl with 1 teaspoon of the baking soda and cover with plenty of water. (The chickpeas will double in volume, so use more water than you think you need.) Soak the chickpeas overnight at room temperature. The next day, drain the chickpeas and rinse under cold water.
  2. Place the chickpeas in a large pot with the remaining 1 teaspoon baking soda and add cold water to cover by at least 4 inches. Bring the chickpeas to a boil over high heat, skimming off any scum that rises to the surface. Lower the heat to medium, cover the pot, and continue to simmer for about 1 hour, until the chickpeas are completely tender. Then simmer them a little more. (The secret to creamy hummus is overcooked chickpeas; don't worry if they are mushy and falling apart a little.) Drain.
  3. Meanwhile, process garlic, lemon juice, and 1 teaspoon salt in a food processor until coarsely puréed; let sit 10 minutes to allow garlic to mellow. 

  4. Strain garlic mixture through a fine-mesh sieve into a small bowl, pressing on solids to release as much liquid as possible. Return liquid to food processor; discard solids. Add tahini and pulse to combine. With motor running, add 1/4 cup ice water by the tablespoonful and process (it may seize up at first) until mixture is very smooth, pale, and thick. Add chickpeas and cumin and puree for several minutes, until the hummus is smooth and uber-creamy. Then purée it some more! Taste and adjust the seasoning with salt, lemon juice, and cumin if you like. 

  5. To serve, spread the hummus in a shallow bowl, dust with paprika, top with parsley and more tehina sauce if you have any left, and drizzle generously with oil.

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Reviews (80) Questions (4)

80 Reviews

cyndilurks October 5, 2018
I made this for the second time today & it is definitely worth the effort. I had a horrible time with my chickpeas overflowing the 4 quart pot I used to cook them, so I was wondering if they will still overflow an 8 quart pot? They were like a loose paste all over the lid & sides of the pot, and I was very glad that my burner pan has a very easy-to-clean surface from all the overflow. Nevertheless, the hummus turned out very smooth, creamy and delicious.
Pkkell August 9, 2018
My office is close to Zahav, so I feel blessed beyond compare.
Michelle A. June 2, 2018
I just made this with Goya canned chickpeas and Ziyad brand Tahini. I thought it was delicious! I used canned for convenience this time. Peel the skins off the chickpeas for a smoother consistency.
Richard N. May 22, 2018
I have made this recipe about a half dozen times over the past year... and I just love it. Everytime i serve this it gets great reviews. Thank you so much for sharing this recipe.
Roger B. April 29, 2018
Ive made this twice with mixed results. I even used Soon Tahini as recommended, but to no avail. I’ve been making “Lebanese” Hummus for 40+ years with rave reviews but I can’t get any raves for this one. To make a smooth hummus is not difficult. To switch recipes (I even bought the book) didn’t result in a miracle for me.
Farah July 28, 2018
Can you please share your Lebanese hummus recipe and how to make hummus smooth? I have really been struggling with this. Would be very grateful. Thanks!
Hmmm April 3, 2018
Could you use iced chicken/vegetable stock instead? What would an equal amount of miso paste instead of salt do?
Syl April 1, 2018
Tempest in a teapot over origin of hummus🕉🔯✝️
Beth March 21, 2018
First full day of spring and we're having a snow storm, so I decided to make this hummus (I happened to have a jar of Soom tehina I bought on a recent visit to Philadelphia where I went to Solomonov's falafel place, Goldie's). And you can't just make hummus, so I made pita, too. Best snow day!! The hummus, well, it's heavenly. My next door neighbor is Lebanese, and when I was all done, I invited her and her kids over. She said this recipe nails it. And it does. Thank you!! <br />This is the pita recipe I followed (to the letter) and it was perfect. And great that it is cooked in a cast iron skillet (and not a 700 F wood burning oven).<br />
draya3 March 21, 2018
I couldn't agree more with your comment! I especially love it when it's still warm, right out of the food processor. And thank you for the pita recipe. I think I have some new priorities for tomorrow!
Edna O. March 3, 2018
Hummus is a healthy comfort food. I respect its Arab or Jewish outstanding culinary origin. I am looking forward to try this lemon juice garlicky recipe. Afterall, it is definitely a very healthy, free and simple recipe. Thanks to Chef Solomonov for his kindness to share his "Hummus Garlic-Infused. Lemon Juice recipe. Please, kindly keep sharing your healthy recipe. <br />Thanks in advance!<br />Very respectfully, <br />E. Ocasio-Medina <br />Puerto Rico, USA <br /><br /><br />
M S. February 9, 2018
M S. February 9, 2018
j N. February 1, 2018
Strange how Israel style hummus is exactly the same as the Arabs have been making hummus have been making hummus for way longer than Israel has existed. Enough with the cultural appropriation already.. go ahead an make hummus to your heart's content, just leave Israel out of it.
jerri February 1, 2018
Pennywhistler February 1, 2018
What is so strange about Israelis making ... and enjoying ... hummus?<br /><br />Why EXACTLY do we need to "leave Israel out of" a discussion of Middle Eastern hummus recipes?<br /><br />Do you think Israelis got their favorite hummus recipe from the the millions of Mizrachi Jews who fled to Israel from the ... now Judenrein ... Arab countries?
M S. February 1, 2018
I completely agree. Why do we need to "leave Israel out of " a discussion of Midlle Eastern hummus recipes. Why is Zahav an Isreali food restaurant, why did Solomonov write a cookbook about Jewish/Isreali cooking, why does the recipe differ from other top Middle Eastern cookbooks.
j N. February 2, 2018
I was saying that his "israeli-style" hummus is actually just hummus.. there's nothing different about it. So calling it "Israeli-style" is cultural appropriation, esp by an occupying entity. I don't actually care if he got the recipe from Jewish Arabs or if he's israeli.. I think it's great that Israelis love the food of the place that they have taken over and occupied. Calling it "Israeli-style hummus" is a form of cultural occupation. Just ask Native Americans in the US about this.
Pennywhistler February 2, 2018
Their hummus is lousy.
jerri February 3, 2018
M S. February 4, 2018
You are not correct. The Isreali hummus made by micheal solomonov is very different. Much more sesame paste etc. His technique is mind-boggling and everybody across all strata rave about it. They make pilgrimages to Zahav. This video shows the whole thing:
icharmeat February 8, 2018
I think that you are missing j n's point. One chef (who happens to be Israeli?) tweaks an age old arab dish and suddenly this is "Isreali style"? To my thinking, it takes more than one famous guy changing things up a bit in a traditional recipe to make it a national "style" of preparation. A style named for a region/country needs to be practiced widespread throughout the area of acclaimation and for some time to be valid. If everyone in Isreal generally followed the large proportion of tahini that Mr. Solomonov uses over a significant amount of time, then it would be fair to call this "israeli style hummus". I don't believe that this recipe meets the criteria. <br /><br />It sounds delicious and I intend to make it this way tomorrow (beans are soaking now) but j n has a valid point that some here are missing- leave the "israeli style" out of it and attribute it to Zahov's or to Mr. Solomonov.
Pennywhistler February 9, 2018
Cute, icharmeat. jn's REAL point was "cultural appropriation, esp by an occupying entity" and "calling it "Israeli-style hummus" is a form of cultural occupation. Just ask Native Americans in the US about this".<br /><br />Meanwhile Chef Solomonov's real point was "The secret to great Israeli-style hummus is an obscene amount of tehina, as much as half of the recipe by weight ... Unlike Greek-style hummus, which is heavy on garlic and lemon, Israeli hummus is about the marriage of chickpeas and tehina."<br /><br />In the meantime, pretending that I never mentioned the judenrein character of the Moslem countries many Israelis come from is ludicrous. <br /><br />Israeli food? Here is Mr. Solomonov: "Solomonov has long been a champion of the diverse food of Israel — a country the size of New Jersey whose residents represent many different countries of origin. “Every single one of those cultures or cuisines, they all brought it from somewhere else. That’s what Israeli food is,” Solomonov says." "Israeli food takes influence from arguably 160 different places." <br /><br />"Written by Zahav owners, Mike Solomonov and Steven Cook, the 2016 James Beard Award Winner for "International Cooking" and "Book of the Year," Zahav: A World of Israeli Cooking showcases the melting-pot cooking of Israel, especially the influences of the Middle East, North Africa, the Mediterranean, and Eastern Europe."
icharmeat February 9, 2018
Pennywhistler, I'm not sure what you found "cute" about my reply but my guess is that you are being sarcastic. Mostly we try and avoid that here on Food52. My reply to M Stuart Itter's post was that i didn't think it appropriate to say that j n was "not correct" for the reason I mention in my post. I should have just cut to the chase and asked why is Zahov's hummus "Israeli style"? I haven't seen this very heavy use of tahini in other books about Israeli cooking so it is surprising to me that this recipe would be considered the Israeli style of making hummus.<br />BTW, I made the hummus this morning. I've personally never had a problem with the texture of the hummus I've made using more traditional methods but my wife really prefers the smooth texture (and probably the extra richness from the tahini) She generally eschews chickpeas becasue of their texture. I did add more lemon and some of the garlic that had been squeezed to bring those flavors to where I like them. Whirling the unpeeled cloves of garlic in my small, prep processor didn't work well-pushed the lemon juice up and out through the join of the lid and the bowl. Peeling garlic that will be pulverized is no big deal anyway.<br />
Pennywhistler February 11, 2018
Cute in that you elided over jn's point AND my point.<br /><br />Great - just what the world needed: instructions on how to comment on a friggin' FOOD AND RECIPE site from someone who cannot even spell the restaurant's name right.<br /><br />Since I have already answered your deeply felt query "why is Zahov's hummus "Israeli style"?" with two links, I shan't go over it again.<br /><br />
M S. February 11, 2018
Interesting discussion. Should lead to enhanced hummus for all of us. As for me, I am taking all of Solomonov's tips, the prep of the paste, a touch of the garlic, the overcooked chick peas, but keeping the sesame paste closer to the middle eastern levels I always used. Two reasons: I did invest in Soom which is expensive and worth it and why would I want to give up legume protein for a large amount of oil/fat for enhanced smoothness. Very happy with the result.
karen January 23, 2018
this is the best hummus i've ever eaten, or made come to that!. Totally delish.
M S. December 31, 2017
Carney certainly on the right track. So many interpretations of Zahav's hummus. Differences, whatever. But, Solomonov has done a video on how to make his Zahav hummus. Whole other world. Just discovered it. Now, its reputation makes sense.
Carney December 30, 2017
Weird - this certainly is not the same recipe that Zahav posts on Food and Wine or on their own site. That recipe is sooooooooo much better than this one. It has more flavor, is simpler to prepare and, oh my, so much more authentic. Not sure where this one came from, but it is very ordinary and not at all flavorful. Oh well...whatever.
Pennywhistler December 30, 2017
How is this different from the one on Wine & Cheese? How is that one better than this?
Patricia M. November 29, 2017
The baking soda lowers the pH, which help soften the chickpeas skin.
Karen M. November 29, 2017
Cool to know. Thanks for the chemistry lesson! :) Helpful for all pureed bean dishes.<br />I also add bay leaf to the cooking water of beans to reduce their "gassy" influence on some folks digestion.
Karen M. November 29, 2017
I meant to say ... what is the purpose of adding baking soda to the soaking water?
Karen M. November 29, 2017
Very curious about the adding of baking soda to the chickpea cooking water. What is its purpose?
Patricia M. November 29, 2017
I just read the Zahav's Hummus recipe in Food and Wine, and it is COMPLETELY different than this one. It calls for 7 cloves of garlic, unpeeled, that you cook in the same water as the chickpeas. You then peel and puree 6 of the cloves with the chickpeas, and use the one remaining to puree with the lemon etc. which then gets spooned on top of the hummus.....why is this recipe so completely different? Seems like the food and wine version would rectify the blandness issue a lot of commenters have here. I haven't tried the recipe yet, but plan to make the one on Food and Wine. Looks tastier than this one.
shelagh November 29, 2017
Only one small grocery store where I am. No tahini there, but a product called <br />" Alwadi Tahina". It is still sesame seed paste, but I cannot find an explanation of the different between tahini and tahina.
Gail S. November 29, 2017
Tahini and Tahina are the same thing. Tahina is the way it is called in Hebrew and Arabic, Tahini - English
shelagh November 29, 2017
Thankyou so much!<br />
Chris H. October 25, 2017
Delicious. Made some mods. Used 2 cups canned chick peas. Increased cumin to a 1/2 tsp along with 1/2 tsp of both sumac and zahtar. Teaspoon olive oil in the mix.