Saturday, May 8, 2010

You Can Make This Yourself!: Hummus

hello happy cookers!

something that I make pretty frequently and is everyone's favorite ethnic dip (no not me) is Hummus!

there is rarely a time when I don't have the ingredients on hand, because they really are standard pantry/fridge items that keep, as well as being (in total) much less expensive than buying hummus in the store.

I know there are a fair number of brands of hummus out there that people enjoy, Sabra (left) being one of them. But as you can see, you're paying $4.29 for some hummus that you could make at home, tailored to your own tastes and preferences, and spend a lot less.

What you're going to need:
A can of chickpeas (I usually use Goya, but have heard good things about the Trader Joe's brand as well) about $0.66
Tahini (I buy my tahini from Sahadi's in Brooklyn) 16 ounces for $4.35. 16 ounces of tahini will last you a long time, and tahini keeps well in the fridge.
Lemon juice- what, $0.50 for a lemon?
Salt- i can't remember the last time i bought salt, how much is it?
Garlic- ah garlic, i buy so much of it, and yet never think about the price. maybe $0.50 a head?

Open the can of chickpeas, and drain out the liquid, reserving it for later.
Empty the can of chickpeas into the food processor
Add about a tablespoon of Tahini
Add a couple of tablespoons of the chick pea liquid
Add the juice of half a lemon
Add a teaspoon of salt
Add a clove of garlic - crushed

Turn on the food processor, and run until all ingredients are combined and smooth.

Now comes the fun part- how do YOU want it to taste? Do you like it lemon-y? add more lemon juice. Do you want it garlic-y? I do! and will usually add at least 2 cloves of garlic. Maybe it needs a little salt, maybe it needs a little more tahini, or some of the chickpea liquid to smooth it out? The more often you make it, the more you will enjoy tailoring it to your own tastes.

If I am serving hummus at any type of get together, I usually spread it in a pie plate, throw some whole chickpeas on top, drizzle with olive oil, and sprinkle some paprika over it for a little color

Isn't that beautiful? Thanks to my friend Jen for photographing the hummus at a rooftop bbq!


  1. Alyce, you rock! Love the blog. This blog post in particular seems like you were reading my mind today. As I was in the supermarket, I was thinking... I really need to ask my friend who makes hummus how they do it, because I want to try making my own! And then I saw your blog from FB. Timing could not have been more perfect, my hummus savior!

    But now I have a question for you... You may know that I'm now living in Nicaragua. Tahini is not an ingredient I've seen in the supermarket here. Any suggestions for me? Can I make tahini? Can I substitute it with anything else?? Thank you for your tips.

  2. hi abby!
    so glad you are enjoying the blog!
    So I literally just had a conversation this past week about making tahini, and if you can find sesame seeds, you can definitely make yourself some tahini.
    The recipe I got from recipezaar calls for 4 cups of sesame seeds and 1/4-1/2 cups of vegetable oil.
    You need to toast the seeds, and some recipes call for doing so in the oven, but as you don't really want to brown the seeds too much, I find that toasting them in a skillet while stirring pretty constantly (about 5-10 minutes, they will get fragrant) helps to keep them from burning.
    Let the seeds cool, and then put them in a food processor. Add about three quarters of the oil and blend, adding oil as needed to get to the right consistency, thick and smooth.

    Give it a try- if you have trouble, i looked up hummus recipes without tahini, and it seems like they all use olive oil in place of tahini, which I'm sure would work, but i personally like the texture and flavor tahini adds to hummus

    how is nicaragua? would love to hear about how everything is going!

  3. I think garlic usually is less than 50¢ a head, lemons are like 4/$1, and salt is free if you grab a handful of packets from McDonald's. Not that you would do that, of course. ;)

    What about ordering tahini online? I checked and it doesn't look like Sahadi's site offers it, but other specialty stores might.

  4. Awesome, thanks! I bought the garbanzos today! I will try olive oil first, b/c I'll have to look for sesame seeds (plus I only have a blender which is another limitation here so that prob wouldn't even work... maybe a mortar & pestle?). Am thinking I might be able to find some tahini in Managua when I'm next there. I'll let you know!