Hummus basically translates to 'chickpeas' in Arabic. My aunty Souad makes the best hummus in the world no contest. She also makes the best sour cherry jam but that's another story 😆
Learning to make the perfect hummus is a matter of trial and error. There are little shops all over Lebanon and the Levant that specialise in just hummus and foul (fava beans), which I especially love visiting for breakfast.
That said, hummus can be eaten any time of day and goes wonderfully with meat sandwiches.
To make the hummus of dreams you need to focus on getting the few basic elements exactly right.
You need to consider how old are the chickpeas are - good chickpeas shouldn't take more than an hour or so to cook, once I bought chickpeas from a wholesale shop that still didn't cook properly even after three hours!
I then realised later that they were probably quite old even though the best before date was still in tact. These days I get a packet of good supermarket own brand chickpeas, which seem to do the job nicely.
You need to consider: how lemony are your lemons? Try and get lemons which are fat and juicy from a green grocer as sometimes supermarket lemons are a bit sad.
Once I ate hummus from a place that had 'Hummus' in the title and it lacked half the amount of lemon required. You need to balance the lemoniness out with salt and obviously not drown out the hummus; adding everything incrementally is the only way forward.
Tahini is made from sesame seeds. If possible you need to source some good tahini from your local middle eastern shop. You know the ones that sell them in big containers and not tiny fancy jars.
The olive oil
Try to use the best olive oil you can afford to drizzle on top (I smuggle a bottle from Lebanon 😂) You will need extra virgin olive oil and not the regular cooking olive oil which is lighter in colour.
Although hummus should have some garlic, I don't put it in with the food processor so it will keep for a few days in the fridge.
If you really like it garlicky, you can mix in a bit of crushed garlic when you plate up. When you finish whizzing everything up in the food processor, aim for a slightly looser texture as it will firm up when it cools.
Finally we come to the secret tip restaurant chefs use; add a few ice cubes to the mix which for scientific reasons I don't know makes the hummus extra smooth and creamy.
Best Hummus Recipe
Authentic lebanese hummus recipe
- 1 cup dried chickpeas
- 1 tablespoon bicarbonate of soda + 1 tsp
- ½ cup tahini
- 2 large lemons approx half a cup.
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ¼ cup hummus water
- 1-2 cloves of garlic
- 2-3 ice cubes
Soak the chickpeas in a large bowl full of water. Add 1 tablespoon of bicarbonate of soda, stir and soak overnight. The chickpeas should double in size the next day.
Rinse the chickpeas and place in a pot with double the amount of cold water. Add 1 teaspoon of bicarb and stir well
Bring to the boil, then lower the heat and cook for an hour. Skim off any scum from the surface and top up the boiling water if it runs low.
Test one chickpea by squishing it between your fingers, the skin should come away easily.
Drain the chickpeas into a colander but reserve one cup of the water aside.
Now you have to work quickly and remove as many of the skins as you can before they cool. You don't have to remove every single one but aim for ¾ at least.
Put the chickpeas in the food processor along with half of the tahini, lemon juice, garlic salt and 2 tablespoons of the cooking juices.
Whizz the chickpeas for a few minutes. Add 2-3 ice cubes and whizz again until smooth.
Keep adding a bit more lemon and tahini in stages until you get it right.
Drizzle with good olive oil upon serving.
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My husband and I have been making hummus for a while now, and honestly we’ve gotten a little lack lustre in the amount of effort we make. I ACTUALLY followed this recipe (instead of just, you know, following the rough idea of what the recipe says like I do normally), and let me tell you. I have learned my lesson about deferring to the masters. We gave some to my mother (Italian, best cook I’ve ever known) to try, and she actually licked the pot clean. I’ve never seen her do that with anything other than Nutella. And if you can trust anyone’s judgment, it’s my mum’s. If you’re making hummus and you’re not making this hummus, you’re not really making hummus.
I made this today, and it's the best hummus I've ever had. Thank you for the recipe.
You are most welcome! xx
Hi there. I am a bit confused about your garlic instructions.
You say "Although hummus should have some garlic, I don't put it in with the food processor so it will keep for a few days in the fridge."
But further down you say the following:
"Put the chickpeas in the food processor along with half of the tahini, lemon juice, garlic..."
Could you please clarify what to do with the garlic?
If you want the hummus to keep for more than 3 days, keep the garlic out, and if you are likely to finish it all put the garlic in!
I never buy hummus anymore thank you for the smoothest recipe
Today I made the hummus from this recipe for the first time, to my amazement it turned out well, but next time I need to add more lemon. Thanks for sharing this recipe. , Liz
This is the best hummus I have ever made - thank you so much for sharing!
Can we use canned chickpeas and boil them for 20 minutes?
Yes you can do that!
I just made this recipe and I genuinely cannot believe I made hummus this good. I am a white lady from the South. My people eat Sabra, you know? The fact that your recipe empowered me to create such an incredible hummus in my own home is a miracle. 10/10 will be having a Tupperware of this in my home from now until I die
I've loved hummus in the UAE, especially made by Lebanese chefs. Couldn't find a good one even in Arabic food restaurants in India. Then I came across this recipe. I've made it twice and it's the best hummus I've had after Chef Hussains' in Sharjah.
I finally made hummus which compares to the real deal! Thank you.
This is the first time I've made hummus, and it really is so much better than any shop bought. I soaked the garlic in the lemon juice for a few minutes before adding it to the rest of the ingredients, to make it less aggressive, but otherwise followed the recipe exactly. If I'd know how straightforward it is to make I'd have done it before, so thank you for the recipe.
This tastes soo good!