Hummus is one of the dips we're always eager to order at our favored Middle Eastern or Mediterranean restaurants. It's so delectably flavorful and creamy with a hint of tahini, garlic, olive oil, lemon and warm spices. Served as a zesty appetizer or even a scrumptious spread on fresh pita bread, we just can't get enough of it!
Hummus, a Flavorful Favorite Dip or Spread
The flavors found in Middle Eastern and Mediterranean cuisine are truly some of my absolute favorites.
These cuisines rely heavily upon lemon, garlic, olive oil and spices—those bright, earthy and flavorful ingredients loaded with aroma and lots of health benefits—all of which I opt to use quite often in my own cooking.
So it was only natural that I fell head over heels utterly in love with hummus when I first tasted it many years ago. With its light and creamy texture and wonderfully warm, spicy notes, it was an absolute dream discovery for my young palate to enjoy as a tasty snack with warm pita wedges!
And even though I love the addition of savory flavors, hummus made in the traditional way has always been my favorite.
I find it's kind of tough to beat the “original”, filled to the brim with chickpeas, a hint of tahini, garlic, and lemon, plus a healthy drizzle of good quality olive oil and lemon.
And those finishing warm spices that get dusted over top, the fragrant cumin and paprika? Well, let me just say that those tie the whole hummus experience together in a bundle of perfect appetizer coziness!
Ingredients for Delicious, Homemade Hummus
Living in an area of Los Angeles where Middle Eastern and Mediterranean cuisine is very readily available (a major plus for me!), I've tasted my fair share of hummus. What I've found is that while there are basic ingredients that are typically included in a hummus recipe, the quantities seem to vary depending on taste.
Some hummus recipes are a bit heavier on the garlic, which I personally really enjoy, some have more tahini, maybe a bit more lemon, while others not so much of anything but the chickpeas.
But the basics are always going to be chickpeas (or garbanzo beans), tahini, garlic, lemon, olive oil and salt; and with the specific flavor profile pretty much guided by the palate of the one preparing it.
Then, as as finisher, there are almost always some fragrant spices such as cumin and paprika sprinkled over top, along with an extra drizzle of the silky olive oil, and perhaps even a few extra chickpeas for texture.
So delicious, the beauty of hummus is that it can easily be made to suit one's taste!
How to Make Hummus
Hummus only requires a handful of ingredients added into a food processor and whirled together until rich and creamy—it's super easy!
Here's a glance at my hummus recipe:
- First thing I do is drain and rinse the chickpeas, reserving some of their liquid (and for an extra creamy and smooth hummus, remove their skins by gently rubbing them)
- Once the chickpeas are prepped, I add them to the food processor along with their liquid and all the other ingredients.
- Next, I give things a whirl, slowly drizzling in the olive oil along the way. I continue to process until everything is smooth and creamy, about 5 minutes.
- When done, I spoon the hummus out into a serving bowl and keep it chilled
- Once I'm ready to serve, I drizzle some extra olive oil over top and sprinkle on a generous pinch of spices and parsley.
(My full recipe is below...)
Tips & Tidbits for Hummus:
- For extra creamy hummus, remove chickpea skins: While this step is certainly not a mandatory step to making hummus, gently rubbing the skins off of the canned chickpeas makes for an extra light, fluffy and creamy hummus texture.
- Flavorful olive oil: Because you won't be cooking this recipe, choose an olive oil that is good for use as a flavorful finisher, or even in dressings. You want to avoid an oil that is too “grassy” or “green” tasting, as that may end up imparting some bitter flavor into your hummus.
- Tasty spices: The flavor of ground cumin and paprika offer hummus some warm, zesty notes; so sprinkling those over the finished hummus before serving is super tasty. The spices also offer some warm color!
- Dip-able goodies to serve: Simple pita bread gently warmed and cut into wedges is an option to serve with hummus, or even pita chips. Other tasty goodies are lavash cut or torn into sections, or even crackers, or cut veggies.
- What's tahini and where to find it: Tahini is similar in consistency to peanut butter, and is made from sesame seeds. It's pretty readily available these days and typically found near the nut butters in the market, or perhaps in the international foods section.
Feast your eyes on these, or just jump to the recipe:
by Ingrid Beer
Cuisine: Middle Eastern
Yield: Serves 12
Nutrition Info: 162 calories (¼ cup portion)
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 0 minutes
Total time: 15 minutes
• 2 (15 ounce) cans chickpeas, ¼ cup of their liquid reserved, then drained and rinsed (skins removed, optional), a few reserved for garnish
• ¼ cup tahini
• 1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons lemon juice
• ¾ teaspoon sea salt
• 3 cloves garlic
• ⅓ cup olive oil, plus extra to drizzle over top as finishing touch
• ¼ teaspoon ground cumin
• ¼ teaspoon paprika
• Chopped parsley, as garnish
• Pita bread wedges or pita chips (or combo of both), to serve alongside
-To the bowl of a food processor, add the chickpeas, the ¼ cup reserved liquid from chickpeas, the tahini, the lemon juice, the sea salt and the garlic cloves, and process for a couple of minutes to combine well, scraping down the sides as needed.
-Then, with the processor running, slowly drizzle in the ⅓ cup of olive oil and continue to process until the dip is creamy and completely smooth, about 4-5 minutes (you may need to stop the processor and scrape down the sides a couple of times with a spatula to get all of the ingredients well processed).
-Once the hummus is smooth and creamy, spoon it out into a serving dish and keep either at room temp or chilled.
-When ready to serve, use a spoon to make pretty swirls, sprinkle over the cumin and the paprika, and drizzle over some additional olive oil; drop in a few chickpeas as garnish, then sprinkle over chopped parsley, and serve with your choice of accompaniments.
Cook's Note: This recipe was originally published in 2012, and has been updated with even more love!