My most favorite thing to make with dried chickpeas is hummus. So creamy, so dreamy, so many feels for a humble little bean. Do you love hummus? I can (and have) eaten it by the spoonful, no edible vehicle needed. Most recipes on the internet used canned chickpeas but after tasting this hummus made from chickpeas you’ve cooked yourself, you may never go back! When you make hummus from scratch, from dried chickpeas, you get to use hot-n-freshly cooked peas meaning your hummus is warm. If you’ve never had warm hummus before, stop everything and make this recipe because it is a game changer.
What is hummus?
In case you aren’t familiar with it, hummus is a delicious vegan dip/spread made from chickpeas, tahini (more on this later), lemon, garlic, and spices. It’s originally from the Middle East and is popular around the world thanks to the fact that it’s both delicious and nutritious. It has a rich and long history and you’ve probably seen it at the grocery store in little tubs but you can make it at home easily – better than store-bought.
Usually it’s eaten as a dip/appetizer, drizzled with olive oil and herbs, served up with fresh pita. You’ll also find it garnished with cilantro, tomatoes, onions, and cucumbers and served up with falafel or as part of a mezze platter with a bunch of different prepared small dishes, such as tzatziki, muhammara, or baba ganoush.
You can also use it as a spread in sandwiches or wraps, serve it with a bunch of fresh vegetables for scooping, dollop it on salads, eat it with eggs, or just scoop it up with a spoon (my favorite method!)
What goes in hummus/hummus ingredients
Chickpeas (garbanzo beans)
Chickpeas (or garbanzo beans) are the bulk of hummus. They’re super nutritious: both high in protein and low in fat with a bunch of vitamins and fiber. You can buy them dried or in cans but we prefer dried chickpeas.
Why use dried chickpeas?
I get it, it’s super convenient to pop open a can of chickpeas and make hummus. It’s fast and easy and it tastes pretty darn good too. BUT, soaking and cooking your own chickpeas is so much more flavorful and cost effective. You can add extra aromatics to the water you cook them in and they take up less space in your pantry. Win, win, win!
We have a giant container of dried chickpeas in the pantry just for the express purpose of adding to coconut curry chickpea and other soups, making falafels, making Taiwanese chick-pea nuggets, and crispy cacio e pepe chickpeas.
Tahini is a paste made from toasted ground hulled sesame. It has the consistency of a nut butter and is toasty, fragrant, and super delicious. It adds a nutty creaminess to hummus and can’t be skipped. You can make it at home (recipe coming soon!) or simply buy it at the store. A jar should make several batches of hummus.
You absolutely need a bit of freshly squeezed lemon juice to make your hummus sing. It adds a welcome bit of acid and freshness to contrast the richness of the tahini and chickpeas. You can tweak the lemon juice amount you add just to your liking. If you’re a lemon-head, squeeze a bit extra on!
A garlic clove (or two) adds a tiny bit of heat – because it’s added in raw – and bite. If you’re not a fan of fresh garlic, you can go with roasted which will be more sweet and mellow, but the raw garlic in hummus is what gives it an addictiveness that will make you want to eat more.
Salt and Spices
Don’t forget to salt your hummus because under-salted hummus is just sad. Cumin adds a warm earthiness. You can sprinkle on a bit of smoked paprika, sumac, or a bit of aleppo at the end for a bit of jazz too if you like!
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
I don’t put any olive oil in the actual hummus, but we ALWAYS finish with a nice drizzle of fruity extra virgin olive oil.
How to make super creamy smooth hummus
Now that we know what we need, here’s how to do it:
1. Soak your dried chickpeas overnight. I like to add a little bit of baking soda which helps soften the chickpeas, but it’s completely optional.
2. Cook the chickpeas. Pop the rinsed off soaked chickpeas into a pot with a LOT of water and simmer for about an hour or until the chickpeas are very soft. At this point you can add some aromatics in if you’re feeling adventurous – I kept it simple here but you can add any alliums (onions, shallots, green onions, leeks, etc). Keep them big so you can pick them out before blending.
3. Blend! Well, wait, you can also peel your chickpeas if you’re crazy about super-smooth hummus. It taste a little extra time and some people swear that that’s what makes their hummus super smooth but if you use baking soda and cook you chickpeas enough I don’t personally think it’s necessary. But if you need a little meditative time, this is when you would peel your chickpeas!
Back to blending. We use a mini food processor to blend everything up. You want to start by blending the tahini, lemon juice, garlic, and a bit of ice cold water until smooth and fluffy. The ice water is what helps the tahini whip up into a smooth emulsion. Start with the tahini and lemon because it’s a lot easier to smooth out the tahini when there’s nothing else in the food processor.
After your tahini lemon mix is smooth and fluffy, add your drained chickpeas and blend until completely smooth. Give it an extra minute after you think it looks done to make sure everything is super creamy.
The best time to eat hummus is right after you’ve made it and it’s still warm. SO DREAMY. Pile some on a plate, make swoosh in the middle, fill it up with a puddle of extra virgin olive oil, sprinkle on some herbs or some chopped up tomatoes, cucumbers, and onions and go to town.
PS – Once you master the classic hummus, try this miso hummus with crispy onion furikake, it’s TO DIE FOR.
1/2 cup dried chickpeas
1 tsp baking soda divided
2 garlic cloves unpeeled
3 tbsp fresh lemon juice or to taste
1/3 cup tahini
2 tbsp ice water
1/8 tsp ground cumin
Place chickpeas and 1/2 teaspoon baking soda in a medium bowl and add cold water to cover by 2 inches. Cover and let sit, at room temperature overnight, until chickpeas have doubled in size. Drain and rinse.
In a large saucepan, combine the soaked chickpeas and remaining 1/2 teaspoon baking soda and add cold water to cover by at least 2 inches. Bring to a boil, skimming if needed. Reduce the heat to medium-low, partially cover, and simmer until chickpeas are tender and squish easily between your fingers, about 45–60 minutes. Drain and set aside.
While the chickpeas are cooking, place the garlic, 2 tablespoons + 2 teaspoons of the lemon juice, and tahini in a blender or food processor and pulse until smooth. With the motor running, Add the ice water, 1 tablespoon at a time (it may seize up at first) until mixture is very smooth, pale, and thick.
Add the drained chickpeas and cumin and process, scraping down the sides as needed, until very smooth, about 4 minutes. Thin with water if a looser consistency is needed. Taste and season with lemon juice, and cumin, as desired.