Homemade hummus


The cast is assembled. The starring ingredients (pictured) in a classic production of hummus are: olive oil, a jar of tahini,  lemons and garlic, and chickpeas soaking in a pan of water.

Thanks to kineseology, I was recently diagnosed as lactose-intolerant. Ah ha! The missing piece of the jigsaw – no wonder I prefer vegan food.

I am sad to ban eating cheese, butter and cream but not when I realise those yummy darlings make my gut sore because I lack the digestive enzymes to process them. Apparently most non-Europeans (including Mediterreanean/Eastern European types like myself) are lactose-intolerant.

This makes me ponder: our dairy-filled western diet may be dominant but is it giving the rest of the world a belly-ache?

So instead of eating cheese, I concoct homemade hummus every week. Although made from plants, hummus is a complete protein because it is combines different groups of plants, in this case, chickpeas and sesame seeds.

You can buy cooked chickpeas in a can in most shops and search out a wholefood shop or Mediterranean/Middle east delicatessen for a jar of tahini (sesame seed paste) and raw chickpeas. This recipe uses raw chickpeas.

The amounts are enough for a party dip, or eight-ten servings. I dollop it on toast, brown rice, grated carrots, lentils, fried eggs…

[Note: Chickpea upped from 100g to 150g following Ingrid Rose’s helpful comments below. So do take note when doing five times the amount, Ingrid Rose!]

150g dried organic chickpeas soaked in over twice the amount of water. Soak overnight (or speed up the process by soaking in boiling-hot water) in a pan. The chickpeas will go from shrunken to plumped-up pellets.

Bring the pan with chickpeas to the boil then simmer for an hour (on a low light with a lid) until they are soft-enough to mash.

Drain the chickpeas (hang on to the cooking water for later) and put them in a large deep bowl ready for mashing (or blending) together with:

3 Tablespoons of organic tahini or sesame seed paste. I use a dessert spoon for measuring because it will fit in the jar – give the tahini a jolly good stir before spooning out.

3 Tablespoons of olive oil

Juice of two lemons – cut in half and rotate a fork vigorously to extract the juice and pulp or use a lemon squeezer. Organic lemons can be smaller than non-organic ones and have more pips but they are more juicy.

2 fat cloves of garlic – crushed with a garlic crusher or the flat of a knife. It’s optional – not everyone loves immune-boosting garlic.

Add salt and black pepper for taste and/or crushed chilli and/or ground cumin.

A word on chickpeas. You can buy them tinned – conveniently and organically – but I prefer dried. Dry, rattly chickpeas which you soak are cheaper, tastier, less watery and have twice the nutrients than canned ones.


I blend half the drained chickpeas with:

garlic, lemon juice, tahini and olive oil

and whizz till smooth. It’s easier to work in small batches.

Then I add the remaining chickpeas – see picture above. If the mixture is too stiff to blend, add a teaspoonful or two of the cooking water. You are aiming for smooth and creamy not runny.

I am addicted to my electric handheld blender but a strong fork or potato masher will mash the chickpeas – just make sure the garlic is well-crushed before adding.

And here’s the mystery, every homemade hummus turns out differently.

Have you made hummus?


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17 responses to “Homemade hummus

  1. I agree it’s worth putting in the extra effort and using ‘real’ chick peas rather than the canned variety!


  2. My daughter is also lactose-intolerant but I discovered the other day that you can actually buy lactase, which is the enzyme you need to break down lactose, in drops. Worth trying if you’re addicted to cheese (as I am . . . )


  3. Yum. I made a jalepeno dill hummus this past week. It’s been ages since I just tried to make plane ‘ol hummus. I’ll have to do that soon.



  4. You know I’ve never used raw chickpeas before, but the nutrition point has got me thinking. Thanks for this recipe by the way – it’ll be super handy for festive season guests.


  5. Yesterday we had our first batch of home-made hummus here in the mountains. Yum. So good for children – with carrot sticks.


  6. Yeap, I’ve tried making my own hummus, and quickly discovered that it really is not worth using canned chickpeas. The difference in taste is incredible when you use dried chickpeas. They are just sooo muuuuch nicer! Having said that, there is one brand out there that’s not too bad – it’s East End. Their chickpeas are rather tasty. I’ve been known to much them from the can. Not sure if that’s a good idea. Anyway, OK in chana masala and the like, but for real hummus, let’s go for the real chickpeas! 🙂


  7. I forgot to add, I know someone who is dairy-intolerant (very), but can have goat milk products. I think this is because goat milk does not contain the same active ingredient. Do look it up.


  8. I tried this recipe again yesterday and after adjusting the amount of tahini to my needs it worked out delicious! Thank you again for this post Elisabeth 🙂


  9. Hi Gosia, did you add more or less tahini? I would love to know!


  10. Hi Elisabeth! I added 2 Tablespoons of Tahini not 3. But probably it is only a matter of opinion.
    I’m so happy I know how to make it now. It will be a must every week.


  11. Although those who know me will of course know how humble I am, and how I seldom question authority, I have to admit that I scoffed rather at your recipe as it said only 100grams of chickpeas. ‘Pah!’ said I, ‘yeah that sounds about right if I’m making mezze for some mice or some anorexics, but I’m a red blooded wo-man with an appetite.’ So I made 5x the amount and ended up with enough hummus for a Lebanese wedding. However, this gives a good opportunity for seeing how well hummus freezes.
    I would still make a bigger batch than your recipe though, seems a shame not to. But perhaps, with hindsight, 5x was a little excessive.
    HOWEVER – taste-wise the recipe is GREAT – perfect hummus. I used organic lemons which are noticeably more juicy (watch out for the extra pips mind) so didn’t need to as many as in the recipe and it still tasted superlemony.


  12. POSTSCRIPT – Hummus freezes really well so is actually worth doing 5x the amount and then one can feel safe in these tubulent times knowing that there is readymade nutritious and tasty hummus in the freezer (until the electricity runs out and the terror begins and the neighbours break in looking for food…)


  13. I’ve not tried freezing hoummous before, but have kept it in the refrigerator for up to five days many a time (I’ve been making hoummous for 25 years).
    Instead of salt & pepper, vegetable bouillon & paprika is nice – especially if you use chick pea sprouts instead of cooked peas. If using sprouts, you can also add a squeeze of orange juice, and reduce the olive oil.
    – Richard (here via http://grofun.org.uk/links.htm)


  14. I like the sound of using chick pea sprouts. And adding orange juice and reducing the olive oil. It’s useful to know hummus is OK for five days in the fridge. Thanks, Richard, and for telling me how you got here!


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  17. Reading all this makes me want to go and make hummus again. I used to make it all the time as I was taught when sojourning in Egypt and home made with proper chickpeas is so delicious, but I haven’t made it for years – shame on me!


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