Hummus is fully responsible for keeping any meat on my bones when I was a poor and half-starved college student. Back then, a ‘normal’ meal for me was pita chips liberally dipped in hummus with a stack of baby spinach leaves piled on top. I probably ate my weight in hummus, plus some. (Although, if I’m honest, the substance that was actually responsible for keeping me at a healthy weight in college was wine. Cheap boxed wine, to be exact. I met and started dating my husband during my boxed wine phase. You should have seen his face when he realised he was dating a boxed wine drinker. It’s a miracle we survived that first date and are still together today.)
Those were the early days of my culinary adventures and I honestly did not know that you could make hummus at home until one night I was at a sorority hummus party (yes, you read that right. They do exist) and one of my sorority sisters made 6 batches of homemade hummus. That really opened a new world for me, and I haven’t bought a tub of homemade hummus since.
You’ll be shocked by how easy and fast (and cheap!) it is to make hummus at home. Say goodbye to preservatives and unnecessary additives. Never buy store bought hummus ever again!
For a very basic hummus recipe you will need tahini, chickpeas (preferably canned in water, not salt), good extra virgin olive oil, lemon, and garlic. I also add smoked paprika and cayenne pepper but that’s totally up to you.
Smash and peel the garlic cloves.
Add them to a food processor and squeeze in the juice of 1/2 lemon.
Add 1/4 to 1/3 cup tahini. Personally I like my hummus heavy on the tahini but it is up to your personal preference. In Cairo and Luxor the hummus we had seemed to be 50% chickpeas 50% tahini and the consistency was almost runny. In Istanbul the hummus was like a thick paste of mashed chickpeas. So do whatever suits you. You can always start with less tahini and add more later, to taste.
Drizzle in about 1/4 cup of evoo.
Give your food processor a good blitz until the garlic is chopped small and ingredients are blended.
Drain a can of chickpeas, reserving the liquid.
Add the chickpeas to your food processor.
And blitz until smooth, adding some of the reserved canned water, 1 tbs at a time, until you reach your desired consistency. At this point give it a taste and add more lemon, tahini, olive oil, and cayenne, paprika (+salt) to taste. If your chickpeas were canned with salt, I find that you don’t need to add any additional salt.
Serve with a drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkling of paprika. There are endless variations to this basic recipe. You can add sun dried tomatoes, roasted garlic, cilantro and jalepeno or anything you want, really, so long as you can blend it.
Printable recipe below.
Homemade Hummus (Basic Recipe)
Total time: 5 minutes
1 can chickpeas (packed in water, preferably), drained, liquid reserved
1/4-1/3 cup tahini
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
juice of 1/2 a lemon
3-4 garlic cloves, peeled
1/4 tsp cayenne
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
a pinch of salt
- In the bowl of a food processor, add peeled garlic, tahini, olive oil, and lemon juice, and blitz until garlic is chopped small and everything is well blended.
- Drain chickpeas, reserving the liquid, and add to the food processor with 1tbs of liquid. Blitz, adding more liquid, 1 tbs at a time, until you reach your desired consistency.
- Add cayenne, paprika, and salt, and continue processing until well combined.
- Serve with a drizzle of olive oil.