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HummusPre-made hummus has become a supermarket standard and, not to put too fine a point on it, it stinks compared to the homemade version of this Middle Eastern classic, which combines the distinctive flavor of chickpeas with the nuttiness of tahini. Make it as nutty, garlicky, lemony, or spiced as you like — I love it with lots of lemon juice. It’s also great with a good sprinkling of za’atar (to make your own, see page 652).
If you’re serving this as a dip, you may need to add extra chickpea-cooking liquid or water to thin it adequately so that items can be dipped in it. Keep it thick to use as a spread.

  • Yield: 4 to 6 Servings
  • Total Time: 158 Minutes


  • 2 cups cooked or canned chickpeas, drained but still moist,
  • liquid reserved
  • ½ cup tahini, or more to taste (to make your own, see page 305)
  • ¼ cup olive oil, plus more for garnish
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled, or to taste
  • Juice of 1 lemon, plus more as needed
  • Salt and pepper
  • tablespoon ground cumin or paprika, or to taste, plus more for
  • garnish
  • Chopped fresh parsley for garnish
How to Make It
  1. Put the chickpeas, tahini, oil, garlic, and lemon juice in a food processor, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and begin to process; add chickpea-cooking liquid or water as needed to allow the machine to produce a smooth purée.
  2. Taste and adjust the seasoning, adding more salt, pepper, tahini, garlic, or lemon juice as desired. Serve, drizzled with oil and sprinkled with the cumin and some parsley.
  3. EDAMAME HUMMUS Beautiful green and full of flavor: Substitute cooked edamame for the chickpeas. Omit the cumin or paprika. Substitute cilantro for the parsley if you like.
  4. LIMA HUMMUS Use fresh lima beans if you have them, but frozen are good too: Substitute cooked lima beans for the chickpeas; lime juice for the lemon; and cilantro for the parsley.
  5. BEET HUMMUS Stunningly beautiful: Wrap a small beet in foil and roast in a 400°F oven until very tender, 45 to 50 minutes. When cool enough to handle, rub the skin off with a paper towel. Cut into a couple of pieces and purée with the chickpeas in Step 1.
  6. SRIRACHA CARROT HUMMUS Sweet and hot: Add 1 medium carrot, grated, to the purée. Process just to combine or reduce it to a smooth purée if you prefer. Omit the cumin or paprika and stir in 1 tablespoon sriracha (or to taste) in Step 2.
  7. ROASTED RED PEPPER HUMMUS Roast 1 or 2 red bell peppers (see page 228) and remove the skin, stems, and seeds. Add to the chickpeas in Step 1.
  8. BLACK BEAN HUMMUS Substitute black beans for the chickpeas and lime juice for the lemon juice. Reduce the tahini to ¼ cup. Add ½ cup lightly packed fresh cilantro leaves before puréeing in Step 1. Garnish with chopped cilantro.

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