Hummus and the secret.

Ever try to make your own hummus at home and it comes out like a garbanzo bean mash, yellow and grainy. Not that same rich and creamy dip you get at the fancy Mediterranean restaurant down the street. I’ve been searching for a recipe to this style of hummus for years trying just about everything. Yogurt, nope, add some of the juice from the can of beans, nah, more olive oil, that’s a negative. I’ve actually come very close to getting a part time job at Paymon’s Cafe just long enough to figure out this whole hummus mystery. What I’ve been trying to accomplish is that whiter creamy “restaurant style” hummus. Well friends, I’m happy to tell you I’ve found it and there truly is a secret. It’s not an ingredient as I previously thought, it’s a process. It’s the order in which you blend the ingredients. You first blend the equal parts tahini and lemon juice into a tahini cream. Once you blend these two ingredients the tan tahini becomes a smooth and fluffy white cream. This alone tastes great and is served in restaurants alongside falafel. The secret is the tahini cream! Now you just add the garbanzo beans a little at a time starting off with a nice handful then smaller amounts until its the perfect consistency. You many need to add some water which I did ( about 4 T.) to thin it out if it’s a bit to thick still. While I was researching this, one blogger mentioned that his mother told him removing the skins from outside the beans made it taste better. I believe her as now I can taste them in the hummus since they don’t seem to blend as well. I try to take them off but it’s really time consuming to get that detailed with it. Anyone know if they sell them without the skin? That would make my day. Either way I feel rather accomplished today. This was a long time coming and I hope you enjoy it as much as we do.

Mine looks almost perfect here. I think it could be a bit more blended but both my food processor and blender are cheap so they don’t do that great and I’m thinking the garbanzo bean skins could also have something to do with this.


Make enough for about 2 -4 people. Trisa, I’m forever indebted to you for posting this hummus recipe at VegWeb.

1 can (15 oz.) chickpeas (garbanzo beans)
1/2 c. tahini
1/4 c. fresh lemon juice
1/4 c. spring water
4 or 5 cloves of garlic, I used about 1 t. of garlic powder instead
couple pinches of sea salt
extra virgin olive oil, to top

First blend the tahini and lemon juice and water in a food processor or blender until it becomes creamy, fluffy and white (this is the secret). Then add in the garlic and salt and blend some more. Finally add in a handful of washed garbanzo beans and blend again until smooth. Continue adding in garbanzos until you get a nice smooth hummus but not to many as to turn it into a more yellow garbanzo mash. Don’t go to far, I used up almost the whole can after reserving a few for garnishing. If its still thick add water in T. increments until it’s perfect for you. I probably added about 4 extra T. of water. DO NOT try and put all ingredients in at once and blend or you will get the more yellowish garbanzo mash. THE SECRET is CREMING the tahini and lemon juice/water first. Serve topped with EVOO, fresh cracked pepper, paprika, whatever you wish.

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  1. Allison
    Posted July 8, 2010 at 1:13 pm | Permalink

    my hummus used to be too rough and i found that the “secret” is just to add more water and keep pureeing. that’s it. creamy and delicious.

  2. Posted July 8, 2010 at 3:07 pm | Permalink

    I’m so excited to try this!!!

  3. Posted July 8, 2010 at 3:20 pm | Permalink

    The next time I make hummus, I will try your technique. Thank you.

  4. Posted July 8, 2010 at 3:26 pm | Permalink

    Allison – That works well but let me tell you, you should give this a shot. It’s really no more work and the tahini cream is amazing even on its own. This hummus will taste different believe you me. Try it!

  5. Posted July 8, 2010 at 3:27 pm | Permalink

    Ashlie – Do it! I’ve already made it again, ha!

  6. Posted July 8, 2010 at 3:36 pm | Permalink

    Lori – You better! (wink). Looks like you have some great dishes on your blog too, I’ll be checking them out for sure.

  7. Erin
    Posted July 15, 2010 at 11:34 am | Permalink

    White bean hummus also comes out smooth and creamy without any effort!

  8. Posted July 15, 2010 at 12:22 pm | Permalink

    Erin – I kind of made that by accident once and it was very tasty. Though, this his “secret” actually requires no more effort than any other recipe for the most part. Even if i were to make white bean hummus I would still cream the tahini first. Now I’m craving white bean hummus, thanks!

  9. Posted July 15, 2010 at 12:44 pm | Permalink

    If you want a misterious flavor try to add a little cumin 😛

  10. Sisi
    Posted July 15, 2010 at 1:26 pm | Permalink

    I’ve never actually tried this before, but I heard you can get the skins off chickpeas by boiling (or maybe simmering) them for a while.

  11. Posted July 20, 2010 at 7:07 am | Permalink

    Sisi – Thanks for the info! I’ll try it next time.

  12. Ingrid
    Posted July 29, 2010 at 5:26 pm | Permalink

    Love the recipe..I bet a little cumin would be yummy!

  13. Posted July 30, 2010 at 5:14 am | Permalink

    Ingrid – Someone else mentioned that before too. I was going to add it but I couldn’t find my cumin for the life of me that day. As well as (call me what you will) I’m not a huge fan of cumin. For some reason it changes whatever I’m eating into Mexican food (in my mind) so I like to keep it out of my hummus. I will probably add a pinch next time as I have finally located the elusive jar of cumin.

  14. Posted July 30, 2010 at 5:18 am | Permalink

    Daily Archives – Thanks for the link. Technique baby, technique.

  15. Posted August 7, 2010 at 3:45 pm | Permalink

    Hey! Just wanted to say I tried your recipe out and did a short write up about it here. I liked your technique and used it with fresh chickpeas :)

  16. Posted August 11, 2010 at 9:29 am | Permalink

    L.n. – Thanks for trying it out. I hope you enjoyed, sounds like it worked out. I’m gonna try the boiling the skins off the beans next time too. Well done.

  17. Posted August 20, 2010 at 4:22 am | Permalink

    I really like your subtle analysis of this dish. I am going to try this right now. Thank you.

  18. Posted August 20, 2010 at 4:34 am | Permalink

    Susan – Thanks so much! You’re most welcome. Hope you love it as much as I do!

  19. Posted August 21, 2010 at 4:59 pm | Permalink

    Looks like I’m going to have to add “hummus and falafel” to this week’s menu.

  20. Posted August 22, 2010 at 6:35 am | Permalink

    Ari – I love falafel! You should try just using the tahini cream first. It’s what they serve falafel with in the restaurants I frequent. You may not even need the garbanzo beans? The cream tastes great on its own but its perfect with falafel.

  21. Nancy
    Posted September 23, 2010 at 12:21 pm | Permalink

    Um. I’m not sure where I went wrong, but ALL I taste is lemon juice. I followed your recipe exactly, but 1/2 cup of lemon juice?? Is this a typo? I should have tasted it along the way. So disappointing.

  22. Posted September 23, 2010 at 1:02 pm | Permalink

    Nancy – That sucks! Sorry you’re disappointed, it hurts to hear but that’s no typo. Now, I usually don’t have enough lemon juice to make a full half cup so I just fill the rest with water. Maybe try that next time? (If you can even muster up the courage to try again) Although the original recipe I used calls for that much lemon juice. Also, if by mixing the equal parts tahini and lemon juice didn’t produce a cream like substance add some water at that point too, a little at at time until you achieve a thick/smooth cream that is more white-ish than yellow-ish. I swear by this recipe and it works every time for me. I agree with you though, I don’t like too much lemon in my hummus so I feel for ya.

  23. Nancy
    Posted September 23, 2010 at 1:46 pm | Permalink

    Ryan – Sorry to have hurt you : (. I’ll try it again. I did make the creamy substance with the tahini and lemon juice, and that was cool. I’ll give it a go with less lemon juice next time. I love creamy hummus! Thanks again…

  24. Posted September 24, 2010 at 5:09 am | Permalink

    Nancy – it’s OK, it just stung a for a minute. do try again, things usually get better on the second attempt and hey, the third time’s charm so they say.

  25. Karen
    Posted November 27, 2010 at 3:54 am | Permalink

    Your hummus looks exactly like the fantastic hummus served at Gaetanos restaurant in Forest Park,IL (suburb of Chicago). Do you make it in a blender? Where can I buy tahini? Or more imporantly what does it look like? So glad I found your blog! Great posts!

  26. Posted November 27, 2010 at 4:09 am | Permalink

    Karen – Its like peanut butter except with sesame seeds and you can find it anywhere like whole foods, albertsons or walfarts. It would be in the ethnic area with other middle eastern foods. You can make it yourself too if you’ve got the seeds but I’ve never tried it. Good luck!

  27. Posted November 28, 2010 at 7:52 pm | Permalink

    Finally someone who gets it! I’ve been on a humus making streak trying to figure out how to really make this stuff. I made a similar discovery when I first started making my own tahini. (Bulk sesame seeds at my local Asian market are much cheaper than I thought!) However, until I read your secret, I never was able to pinpoint the exact magic. Thanks!

    As far as the recipe goes, I too believe that he 1/4 cup lemon juice and the 4 cloves of garlic is too much. I like my humus to be more subtle, so I back off on both; but if you’re going to be aggressive on the garlic I think you have to be aggressive in the acid department too. Without the brightness of the lemon the garlic can overpower the whole mess.

    Additionally, as mentioned above, cumin gives the humus a rounder, earthier taste. As for the pepper, I usually go red or white, although black isn’t necessarily taboo for the dish.

    And the skins? I don’t feel it makes much of difference in terms of flavor. For texture I can see the potential hang ups, but that’s where a Vitamix blender comes in.

    Lastly, if I’m making huge batches I don’t always 100% chickpeas, I’ve thrown in 20-40% white norther beans or other such legumes. I kinda dug it that way, but I’d like to hear what other people think of it.

    Again, thanks for sharing the wisdom!

  28. Posted December 1, 2010 at 7:05 am | Permalink

    MMA Bart – You rule man! Great/informative comment here. I have had someone complain about the amount of lemon juice (with good reason and I actually went in and adjusted the recipe since then). I used to feel the same about too much lemon in my hummus but now it doesn’t bother me. I also at the time wasn’t to fond of cumin but have grown to love it over the past couple months. I’ve done a white bean hummus and love love loved it, which reminds me that I should make that again. When I did, I used cumin and it came out more like something that should be in a burrito so that’s exactly what I did, wrapped it up with some diced tomatoes and it was the bombski. I only wish I could drop the $450 for a Vitamix. I know I will sometime but it’s just not in the budget as of now. I don’t know how everyone I know has one but… Maybe I need to put some ads on this site. Oh and I will be checking out the Asian market for bulk sesame seed. Thanks again man!

  29. Laura
    Posted February 10, 2011 at 3:01 am | Permalink

    Thanks for the tip, I have been trying soooo long to perfect my hummus; today I boiled canned chickpeas which made the skin-removal slightly easier but no less tedious. Will try the tahini/lemon juice technique next :)

    Here’s something I love doing: drizzle some olive oil over the hummus before you serve it, and sprinkle a bit of sumac if you’re the type of person who likes a bit of tang 😀

  30. Posted February 10, 2011 at 6:59 am | Permalink

    Laura – I always drizzle olive oil over my hummus, it’s so good that way. Another awesome thing to do is add a squirt of Sriracha sauce for some heat and flavor. I can’t wait to try it with some sumac, thanks for the tip! Oh and most definitely cream the tahini, it’s a must.

  31. Posted February 18, 2011 at 3:45 am | Permalink

    FINALLY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! A thousand thank you’s for your amazing recipe!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! This is it!!!!!!!!!!

  32. Posted March 3, 2011 at 6:19 am | Permalink

    Marea – That’s exactly what I said, FINALLY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  33. Posted March 7, 2011 at 10:34 am | Permalink

    I can’t believe I found this! Thanks a million!

  34. Posted March 24, 2011 at 5:17 am | Permalink

    Faberuna – You’re welcome a million!

  35. Fran
    Posted April 19, 2011 at 6:01 pm | Permalink

    instead of using the chickpeas, you could use the flour!! I buy it at local health food store–saves a lot of time and no skins!!!!

  36. Posted April 22, 2011 at 6:44 pm | Permalink

    Fran – Chickpea flour? Hmmmmm, very very interesting. Although I like less refined/processed foods so I’d personally rather go for the actual beans. Though I am intrigued.

  37. Posted November 2, 2011 at 4:56 am | Permalink

    Great tips thanks. I can’t wait to try this out. I love it with raw garlic but some of my friends prfer it with cooked garlic. I’ve also tried adding flax seed which adds a health boost without changing the flavor much.

  38. Marti
    Posted March 19, 2012 at 3:00 pm | Permalink

    I have also been told to (1) blend the tahini with liquid first until it is fluffy (I am supposing that water, bean juice, or lemon would all qualify as liquid);
    (2) peel the beans and, very importantly (3) do not use canned beans…they cook in a couple of hours. I have not tried all 3 suggestions, but I plan to do so.

  39. Marti
    Posted March 19, 2012 at 3:00 pm | Permalink

    I also prefer to roast the garlic cloves before adding them.

  40. Posted March 21, 2012 at 6:23 pm | Permalink

    Marti – Yep, that’t the key. Blend the liquid and tahini first so it becomes a fluffy cream. It’s good by itself like that if you ask me.

  41. Amanda
    Posted March 30, 2012 at 1:55 pm | Permalink

    Just made this and it taste just like the middle eastern restaurants we go to here in Portland, OR. I actually bought some Tahini sauce from Trader Joe’s , it already has the garlic and lemon juice in it. I did add one clove of garlic and about 2 tbsp of lemon juice to Tahini in food processor, just so I had some fresh ingredients in there. Also needed to add some water after adding the whole can of garbanzos. I also peeled the garbanzo beans which I found to be kind of meditative and not as much work as I thought. Run some warm water over them before peeling and they come right off. Also added cumin, sea salt and white pepper. Delicious and creamy!

  42. Posted March 30, 2012 at 5:56 pm | Permalink

    Amanda – That’s what I’m saying, taste like the restaurants. I’ll try the warm water to remove the skins of the beans. I actually only use half a can of beans myself. You should try the water in the food processor with tahini lemon juice and garlic first. Then add the beans. Now that you know you’re going to need that H2O anyway, get it in there first! Thanks for the tips!

  43. Stephen
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 9:51 pm | Permalink

    Thanks a lot for posting this, I knew there had to be a secret somewhere!
    Going to try it the next time I make hummus.

    One other tip I read about removing the chickpea skins was just to place them in a bowl with water and rub the skins until they float to the top, where you can just skim them off. ( )

    I’ve also tried using flour instead of the whole beans, but it didn’t work out so well…!

  44. Posted April 4, 2012 at 5:12 am | Permalink

    Stephen – It’s all in the technique/”secret”. Like I said I usually only use half a can of beans since the tahini cream is pretty much awesome by itself. You’re the second person to mention using water to remove skins, gonna try. Flour instead of beans! Man, I think you’ve tried and experimented as much as I have, that’s great. Seems kinda logical.

  45. m.c.
    Posted September 28, 2012 at 12:58 pm | Permalink

    The Real Secret for super smooth Hummus is ……..
    Drum Roll………..
    ‘Garbanzo Flour! :)

  46. Rob
    Posted October 2, 2012 at 4:06 pm | Permalink

    Skins come off easily if you soak the beans overnight in water PLUS a half teaspoon of baking soda. Makes the skins soft. Then you boil the beans for about 5-10 minutes in fresh water with baking soda in again. Taste the beans to get just about smash-tender. Not too soft or they’re bland. Not too hard or they’re crunchy and never blend smooth.

    Anyway, you take them out and add cold water (mostly so you can put your hands in without burning them on the boiling water.) Stir the beans with your hand vigorously, grabbing the beans as you do it. The skins come right off and float to the top. Beans sink.

    Pour off the skins and repeat until you get few to no skins. It’s very little effort. I generally have to only repeat the rinse about 3-4 times. No hassle.

    Then mix in food processor.

    I’ve been getting glorious results ever since I started removing the skins. I knew that was it because I did them one by one just to see if it made the difference. Then it was just the matter of figuring out the way to get them off easy. Softening them was the key…

  47. Posted October 5, 2012 at 9:56 am | Permalink

    m.c. – Hmmmm, interesting. I’ll give it a shot. Although I’m super happy with my current results I’ll try anything once.

  48. Posted October 5, 2012 at 9:59 am | Permalink

    Rob – Thanks for that! Seems easy enough. “Glorious results” I like that.

  49. Posted November 3, 2013 at 11:04 am | Permalink

    2 large organic cans garbanzos. Dump 1 can into bowl with water from the beans a rub&rub…skins slip off with ease. skim skins off,they float to the top. Reserve water from second can. Repeat process with second can Use water from the first can. Make double batch hummus Rinse beans use clean bean water from second can to thin using your fav hummus recipe EASY PEASY :>

  50. Posted January 20, 2014 at 11:32 am | Permalink

    Dude, you nailed it! It’s ALL about this approach. The results are night and day.

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