Today I'm sharing my secrets for easy, authentic Mediterranean-style hummus. With just a couple easy hacks you will have next-level, silky smooth hummus that is wonderfully rich. This is the stuff hummus dreams are made of. Grab a can of chickpeas (yes, you can achieve Israeli-style hummus with a can) and your favorite hummus vehicle (mine are falafel, fresh cucumber slices or bean chips) and let's get started!
Back in college, when traveling in Israel I tasted the hummus there and it is literally on another level. There is nothing like it. It is luxuriously smooth and has the perfect balance of flavors. It isn't gritty or too thick. Recently I was dining at one of my favorite local Mediterranean spots, Tabrizi. I asked the owner to share with me his hummus secrets and he was kind enough to share how to achieve the creamiest hummus ever (their hummus is pretty epic). I then started to research this further. I read articles on it and rolled up my sleeves and started testing, testing, testing. Some of the methods are involved and can take quite a bit of time. So, I continued to modify the methods until I achieved the perfect hummus that wasn't too difficult to make. I wanted this recipe and these methods to be easy and approachable for the everyday cook. No restaurant-training needed here!
Here are my top tips and tricks for the creamiest hummus you will ever meet:
Overcook the chickpeas.
The biggest trick to smooth and creamy hummus is intentionally overcooking the chickpeas. If you only take one thing away from this post it should be this. Most recipes will call for dried chickpeas that are then soaked in water and baking soda overnight and then boiled in a pot of water and intentionally overcooked. This is great if you have the time and forethought to soak in advance. I modified this technique using just a can of chickpeas (already cooked). Using my method you simply recook them and get them super mushy. The longer the better without burning them.
Use baking soda.
This is another must. Since chickpeas have a hard shell (the translucent skin) it is best to remove it. The skin is what makes hummus grainy and also dampens the flavor. To do this, add 1-2 teaspoons of baking soda to the pot as they recook. The baking soda is a leavener and raises the pH level of the water. This makes the chickpeas more soluble and they cook more quickly. It also helps to naturally separate the skin from the chickpea for a ethereally smooth texture. You can discard the separated skins after you drain the chickpeas. Or, if you are in a rush you can leave them in and you will still get a good result because even just separating the skin from the chickpea helps to make it smoother.
Olive oil goes ON the hummus - not in it.
Garnish the hummus with olive oil at the end by making a "well" in the center. Use your best quality extra virgin olive oil here. There is no need to put it in the actual dip - this will weigh it down and interrupt the flavors. The only liquids I use are fresh lemon juice and ice water (will talk about that next). I also use a generous amount of tahini.
Use fresh lemon juice.
Fresh lemon juice is best. I use a lemon squeezer to ensure no pulp or seeds get in.
Use ice water.
While the food processor is blending, slowly drizzle in ice water.
Keep your seasonings simple.
I use a generous amount of salt (kosher if you have it). No pepper is needed. Some recipes call for cumin but I prefer it without. I find the cumin can overpower the dip. I use one clove of fresh garlic in this recipe. Many methods call for four cloves processed with lemon juice and salt first and then strained. This helps to mellow out the garlic. Instead, to keep things simple I just used less garlic. The garlic will continue to mellow out in the dip if you make it and let it sit in the fridge overnight.
Use good quality, fresh tahini that is runny and not hardened.
You do not want to use sludgy tahini that is difficult to stir. Tahini is what makes the hummus rich and I like to use a good amount.
Let the food processor run for 4-5 minutes.
The longer the better.
With these eight tips in mind you can say goodbye to grainy, lackluster hummus. These tricks will result in ultra-smooth hummus with incredible flavor that is remarkably light.
This recipe is vegan, gluten-free, soy-free, nut-free and refined sugar-free. If you give this a try, please snap a pic and tag #eatingbyelaine and @eatingbyelaine on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook so I can see your creations.
This easy recipe will give you fluffy-light, smooth hummus. This hummus can be used as a spread or dip. For a dip, garnish with high-quality extra virgin olive oil, fresh parsley and a sprinkle of paprika.
- 1, 15 ounce can garbanzo beans
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 garlic clove
- 1 lemon, juiced
- ¾ teaspoon fine salt
- ¼ cup runny tahini
- ¼ cup ice water (1 tablespoon at a time)
- For serving: Drizzle of good quality extra virgin olive oil, sprinkle of paprika and freshly chopped Italian flat-leaf parsley
- Open the can of chickpeas and do not drain. Instead, pour the entire can of chickpeas into a pot. Add 2 cups of water to the pot and bring to a rolling boil. Reduce heat to medium and add 1 teaspoon of baking soda. Stir well and allow to bubble. You can skim off the foam if needed but I usually just reduce the heat slightly and stir in order to manage the foam. You want this reaction to happen as this is what removes the skin from the chickpeas and helps to soften them. Once the foam disappears, repeat the process with the other teaspoon of baking soda (meaning bring the mixture back to a boil, add 1 teaspoon of baking soda and stir allowing it to foam). Cook the chickpeas for a total of 10 minutes. The longer you cook the chickpeas the better as you want them overcooked.
- Rinse and drain the cooked chickpeas under cold water and set aside.
- In a food processor, combine the garlic, lemon juice and salt. Process for one minute. Add the tahini and process for another minute. Drizzle in 2 tablespoons of the ice water as it processes the tahini.
- Add in the cooked (and fully rinsed) chickpeas. Process for 4-5 minutes. Check the hummus and if it is too thick drizzle in the remaining ice water.
- Taste and adjust as needed adding more lemon juice for brightness, tahini for richness, salt for saltiness or ice water to thin it out more. You may need to scrape down the sides and process another couple seconds at the end to ensure everything is well incorporated.
- Transfer the hummus to a large flat bowl or deep plate. Using the back of a spoon make a "well" in the center. Drizzle high quality extra virgin olive oil in the center. Sprinkle with paprika and chopped fresh Italian flat leaf parsley. Serve as a dip with falafel, raw veggies, roasted veggies, chips, crackers or pita bread. Or, use as a spread on a sandwich. Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to five days.
- Prep Time: 10 mins
- Cook Time: 10 mins
- Category: Appetizer
- Cuisine: Mediterranean