Hummus Revisited

Hummus 2

Yes, this is the second hummus recipe I’ve posted. The last one was an everyday version for when you have a tin of chickpeas lying around and you need something to dunk some carrots in. This recipe is for a perfectly smooth hummus for showing off to dinner guests.  This is the kind of hummus I didn’t know you could make without some very labour-intensive work like individually peeling chickpeas. It is properly smooth and silky like it is in proper Middle Eastern restaurants, rather than out of a supermarket pack.

Predictably, the recipe is taken from ‘Jerusalem’. After nine months, I still love leafing through this book time and again. As well as providing this amazing recipe, it has an excellent discussion on the political debate on the origins of hummus, along with the battle to be named the best hummus, and the divisive issue of what kind of hummus is the best. I side with Ottolenghi and Tamimi in feeling the best kind has lots of tahini and is very smooth. I like a bit more lemon than is included here, and I added a little less tahini then the original recipe out of deference for my less tahini mad boyfriend. Basically this is just a template and you can scale it up or down, with less or more lemon, garlic and tahini, once you stick to the method. Frying the chickpeas in bicarbonate of soda seemed unorthodox, but it really did the trick to remove the skins. I was skeptical about the water and lack of olive oil in the hummus itself, but trust me, it works.

This makes a lot of hummus, enough for six as a starter, since the chickpeas swell up to more than half a kilo in weight. It keeps pretty well in the fridge for a day or two if you have a thin layer of olive oil on top to stop it drying out.


  • 250g dried chickpeas
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 4 heaped tablespoons Tahini paste
  • Juice of 1 lemon (approximately 4 tablespoons)
  • 4 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • 70-100ml ice cold water
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons roasted and ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 1 tablespoon toasted pinenuts (optional)
  • Olive oil, to taste


  • The night before you want to make the hummus, leave the chickpeas to soak in a pan of water, with at least twice as much water as chickpeas.
  • The next day, drain the swollen chickpeas
  • Heat a saucepan large enough to accommodate the chickpeas and 1.5 litres of water over a high heat.
  • Add the chickpeas and the bicabornate of soda and cook for 3 minutes, stirring constantly.
  • Add 1.5 litres of water and bring to the boil.
  • Simmer the chickpeas for 20-40 minutes until soft but not mushy.
  • Skim off the foam and chickpea skins every few minutes while they are cooking.
  • Drain the chickpeas once they are soft.
  • You’ll probably still have chickpea skins mixed in, so fill the pot with cold water and tip the chickpeas in.
  • The remaining skins should float to the top and you can either pour them out or remove them with a slotted spoon.
  • Blend the chickpeas and garlic in a processor or with a stickblender (which worked fine for me) until smooth.
  • Add the tahini, salt and lemon juice and blend.
  • Finally, add the iced water bit by bit (I didn’t need the entire 100 mls) and blend until you get a smooth paste.
  • Leave to rest for 30 minutes for the flavours to come together.
  • Serve sprinkled with the cumin, paprika and pinenuts, and drizzled with olive oil.



18 thoughts on “Hummus Revisited

    • I did see a ridiculous statistic that something like 40% of people in Britain have a pot of hummus in the fridge at any given time, and I’d say its the same in Ireland.

  1. I make a LOT of hummus- but always with canned beans. Is that terrible? This is so interesting with the baking soda… I have found that the texture is super creamy when the beans are pureed while warm. It makes a huge difference!

    • I’m a big fan of tinned chickpeas too. Mainly because I am pretty impulsive about cooking and rarely plan too far in advance. You could try the baking soda trick with tinned chickpeas too. I’d seen recipes boiling them with it, just not frying them together.

  2. For someone that enjoys hummus as much as I do, there really is no reason why I’ve not made it for myself yet. I really do need to do something about that and this recipe sounds delicious. Thanks for the inspiration.

  3. Great recipe! I love hummus. Jerusalem is on my wish list at amazon 😉 a fellow blogger (chica andaluza) suggested a few months back and the sample was so great.
    I think that this hummus will put in my next shopping list 😉
    Thanks for sharing!

  4. I’ve never been much bothered by the skins, but I like hummus basically any way. My husband once followed a recipe exactly, though, and spent a whole afternoon peeling the darned things. I’m not sure he’s ever recovered from it as he brings it up every few months! I have got to start cooking more from Jerusalem, and this may be just the place to start.

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