Warning: This is a bit of a silly post. We’ve all been there. The place where you just want the savory tastes of hummus playing across your tongue like so many angel fingers strumming a harp. The marriage of chickpeas with lemon and garlic and tahini calls to you with its siren song. The spell is broken only by the cold reality of your hummus-less state.

Hummus is an Arabic dish with a long history and a heavy present: in May 2010, Lebanon saw the creation of the largest bowl of hummus ever, according to the Guinness Book of World records. It was 11.5 TONS of hummus in one place. If only I could have been there, armed with pita bread and other dippers. It’s unlikely anyone’s going to find 11.5 tons of hummus in one place, but at least in the US, the growing popularity of hummus means that it’s in many grocery stores.

However, if you don’t see hummus at your store, or you’re just so f-ing hip you can’t see over your pelvis (RIP Douglas Adams) and want to DIY everything, hummus is relatively easy to make at home. I speak from experience: one time, I was running a retreat for my graduate program and we decided that hummus would make an excellent snack or sandwich spread for the retreaters, so being the extremely clever person that I am, I volunteered to make enough hummus for 50 people for three and a half days. Yeah, I know I’m bright. On the one hand, I got good at making hummus in bulk. On the other hand, I ran my food processor nonstop for about 12 hours. That’s behind us now and here’s what you need to make a more normal amount of hummus:

2 16 oz cans of garbanzo beans (Also called chickpeas, but “garbanzo” is more fun to say. Oh and while we’re hanging out in the parenthetical, you can just soak some dried beans and be cool, but cans are faster so here I am.)

2/3 cup tahini (stir this stuff ““ it separates like whoa)

4 or 5 cloves of garlic

¼- ½ cup water

¼ cup olive oil

¼- cup lemon juice (fresh squeezed or not, whatever you have, and you can add more to taste)

½-1 teaspoon salt

Throw all of that into a food processor and just let it run. Seriously, just let that concoction get as smashed up or chunky as you like. I like chunky sometimes, sometimes I want to be smooth as butt-ah. Either way, it’s pretty great. Oh and I know that tahini might be hard to find. If you can’t find it, it’s probably best just to omit it, but uh, you could try peanut butter? That’s what I’ve heard, but word of caution ““ I’ve never tried it and it could be a disastah.

If you’re feeling fancy, you can throw some roasted pine nuts as garnish, or make a little well to pour some more olive oil into or dust the sides with paprika. You can also add things like roasted red bell peppers or nacho cheese in at the food processor stage and voila! Fancy pants flavored hummus. I’m a fan of plain myself, but to each their own.

How do you eat your hummus? Have you made it? What do you like to throw in? Where’s the garbanzo in your life?


24 replies on “Hummina-hummina-hummus!”

Mmm hummus. I started making my own a few weeks ago, it’s heavenly. I tried to make my own tahini by toasting sesame seeds and mixing them with olive oil to blend, but then my hummus just tasted like burnt popcorn. So yeah, if you don’t have it just skip it.

Oh also: add sun dried tomatoes and top with pine nuts. YUM.

for heaven sake woman! peanut butter in humus?!! I don’t even. the situation in the middle east is troublesome as is now, don’t make us come after you.
anyway, humus is good given. I prefer to eat mine made by specialist (perks of living in the middle east..) but my mom make from time to time, and she add on top olive oil, parsley,paprika and pine cone. it’s pretty delicious. she also boil the dry chickpeas for hour or so, but really I never bothered making it.
yes, i do have a passion for humus…

Let us not forget baba ghanoush! It is more or less the same idea as hummous but instead of chickpeas you use a roasted eggplant or two. I have also used roasted zucchini and even roasted butternut squash, which make very different but still delicious dips. I also always add lemon zest as well as juice and smoked paprika. Oh boy. Now I am going to go eat baba and crackers for breakfast.

I am only superficially acquainted with the culture behind the creation of hummus, so I cannot speak to things like authenticity or “real” hummus. If anyone could speak to those things, I’d love to hear about it.

But, if the tahini is killing your hummus appreciation, just leave it out. You’ll still be keeping most of the ingredients the same and you’re going to have a very tasty spread.

I’m angry at you because now I want hummus, I have all the ingredients, but I’ve had enough to drink tonight that I probably should not run the food processor or work with anything sharp.

Frankly, I’m amazed that I can type (although there was liberal use of the backspace key) (I am celebrating because I got a job offer today that I will accept on Monday and probably start on Tuesday).


I believe I will be joining you in the drinking, but I am only celebrating this hectic week being over. And I hear you on the food processor-danger thing. Maybe when I’ve had something to drink I can tell you about the time I tried to use a very sharp knife to dislodge something stuck in the food processor while the food processor was still on…actually, that’s basically the whole story. Bad move on my part.

I have found that cumin adds an extra layer (level?) of depth to the flavor of hummus. And I cannot advocate enough for lots of lemon juice, but I tend to love citrus in anything!

Sub white beans for garbanzo beans if you’re feeling fancy. Then you can call it “Tuscan bean spread.”

I used to make pesto in my blender, before I had a food processor. As long as I chopped up any firmer ingredients myself, before adding them in, I could get it to a pretty smooth consistency.
For hummus, if you pre-chopped the garlic and remembered to stop and stir it frequently, you could probably get a decent consistency. Not butt-ah smooth, but spreadable and tasty all the same.

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