Authentic Middle Eastern Hummus Recipe

Hummus is one of the most popular Middle Eastern spreads. Part of any good breakfast table in countries like Jordan, Lebanon or Egypt, hummus has become an absolute crowd pleaser across the globe. Authentic hummus is very easy to make as long as you pay attention to a few details.

Let me show you how to make traditional Middle Eastern Hummus at home that you’ll make on repeat. You’ll also get plenty of tips on how to serve and store it.

Hummus

What is Hummus?

Hummus (also spelled humus or houmous) is a Middle Eastern chickpea dip. In fact, hummus is the Arabic word for chickpea. The creamy chickpea dip originated in the 13th century and has become a popular dish even far beyond the Middle East.

But why is hummus so popular? First of all, it’s extremely delicious. Secondly, hummus is really easy to prepare. All you need are a few pantry staples, and basic equipment. Last but not least, hummus is naturally vegan and gluten free, and therefore a popular alternative to dairy based spreads.

Hummus Ingredients

Many Middle Eastern recipes are based on centuries-old traditional methods. Authentic hummus only needs a few basic ingredients and is easy to prepare.

There are plenty of modern variations of this Arabic classic. I’ll show you the authentic hummus recipe that you’ll find in Jordan, Lebanon or Egypt.

  • Chickpeas: Chickpeas are the main ingredient to Hummus (Hummus is the Arabic word for chickpeas). You can use dried chickpeas or canned chickpeas. I’ll show you both methods below.
  • Tahini: The second key ingredient to Middle Eastern hummus is tahini. Tahini is a creamy paste made from ground sesame. Make sure to use a high-quality tahini.
  • Water: Use ice-cold tap water to make your hummus creamy.
  • Garlic: Use garlic cloves instead of powdered garlic. Simply peel, cut off the ends and add to the food processor. Your hummus will have a subtle garlic taste, but you can add more garlic according to your liking. Hummus also works without garlic, in case you don’t like it.
  • Lemon: Lemon adds the perfect flavor to your hummus. You can use freshly squeezed lemons or bottled lemon juice.
  • Salt: Salt enhances the flavor of all ingredients.
  • Baking Soda (only if using dried chickpeas): Baking soda is a bit of a secret ingredient to hummus. It will bring your hummus to the next level. The science behind baking soda is that it increases the pH level of the water which results in softer chickpeas. Ultimately, soft chickpeas will make your hummus much creamier, and therefore much tastier. Add it only when making hummus with dried chickpeas, not when using canned chickpeas (as these are already cooked).

Last but not least, you might want to garnish your hummus. Hummus is traditionally topped with a generous amount of olive oil when serving. You can also sprinkle some sumac or some leftover chickpeas for an authentic Middle Eastern presentation.

Note: The amounts can be found in the recipe card at the end of this page for you to save or print out.

Hummus

How to Make Hummus (Step-by-Step)

The exact steps mainly depend on whether you’re using canned chickpeas or dried chickpeas. In my recipe below, we’ll be using canned chickpeas, which is very quick, easy and convenient to make. I’ll also be sharing tips for hummus with dried chickpeas down the page.

Step 1: Prepare the chickpeas

Drain the canned chickpeas in a colander and rinse with fresh cold water. Be sure to rinse and drain them really well to get rid of the brine. While canned chickpeas are essentially ready to use, for Hummus it is better to cook them for a few minutes. In fact, the softer the chickpeas, the better your hummus will be.

Transfer the drained chickpeas into a saucepan and add hot water from the tap. Bring the water to a boil and cook for about 7-8 minutes. Drain the cooked chickpeas in the colander and briefly rinse with cold water.

Drain soaked chickpeas

Step 2: Prepare garlic and lemon

Peel a garlic clove and cut off the ends. Quarter the garlic clove and add it to a food processor. Squeeze a lemon and set aside the juice.

Cut garlic into quarters

Step 3: Blend garlic andd chickpeas

Add the cooled chickpeas to the food processor. Blend garlic and chickpeas briefly. You won’t get a perfectly creamy mixture at this point. The idea is to blend garlic and chickpeas prior to adding the liquid ingredients to avoid any large bits in the mixture.

Step 4: Add tahini, lemon juice and salt

Next, add tahini paste, lemon juice and salt to the food processor. Blend for another 2 minutes until all the ingredients are well mixed.

Houmous Step 7

Step 5: Add water and blend

Now add the water to wrap up your Hummus. If you have a modern food processor with an opening (through which you can add ingredients into the running food processor), add the water bit by bit as you’re blending the ingredients. If not, just add it all in one go. Blend your hummus for another 4-5 minutes. You’ll get a uniformly creamy and smooth mixture.

If it’s your first time making hummus, have a quick taste. You can add more salt or lemon according to your taste.

Houmous Step 8

Step 6: Serve

Scrape into a flat bowl or small plate. You can eat the hummus right away or cool it before serving (the consistency will improve when it’s cooled for 1 hour before serving). To serve hummus the Middle Eastern way, add plenty of olive oil on top and sprinkle with sumac or paprika powder and if you like some leftover (cooked) chickpeas.

Hummus

Hummus with Dried Chickpeas

Dried chickpeas need to be soaked beforehand. For hummus, they should be cooked until very soft (almost mushy). If making hummus from dried chickpeas, place the dried chickpeas in a bowl and add at least triple the quantity in cold water. Soak overnight (at least 12 hours, better 20-24 hours). The chickpeas will double in size by the next day. Drain them in a colander and rinse well. Place the chickpeas into a large saucepan and add plenty of water. Boil on high for 30 minutes. Then reduce to medium heat and add baking soda to the saucepan. The baking soda will foam, so make sure the saucepan is large enough. Boil for another 60 minutes.

The chickpeas will become very soft to mushy which is key to a perfectly creamy hummus. Remove from the stove. Drain the cooked chickpeas in a colander and rinse with cold water.

Check out my cookbook Mezze for Beginners where I’ll explain to you the full recipe and useful tips for hummus from dried chickpeas, along with some delicious variations, too.

Soak chickpeas

What to Eat with Hummus

In Jordan as well as most countries in the Middle East, hummus is part of any good breakfast. As a mezze (appetizer), you will often find it served for lunch and dinner too.

Below are some Middle Eastern dishes that pair perfectly with hummus:

In Western countries, hummus is popular as a vegan alternative to traditional spreads. Admittedly, it pairs really well with crackers, vegetables (grilled or raw) and even as a spread on sandwiches and toast.

Hummus Recipe

Make Ahead & Storage

Your effort to make hummus from scratch is definitely worth it, as hummus is a great candidate for meal prep. I usually make a large bowl of hummus every weekend to eat during the week (sometimes even for my lovely neighbors).

Hummus can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 4-5 days.

Any Questions or Feedback?

If you liked this recipe, I’d appreciate it if you could leave a star rating ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ below. In case you’ve any questions or feedback, please leave me a comment (down the page). I’m happy to help you make delicious Middle Eastern food at home.

Mezze for Beginners Welcome2Jordan

Learn Middle Eastern Cooking

Are you a new to Middle Eastern cuisine? Then this Middle Eastern cookbook is what you need! In addition to a varied choice of recipes, the cookbook offers plenty of insights on ingredients, cooking techniques and Middle Eastern food culture.

Hummus

Hummus (Middle Eastern)

Kitty Ramasamy
Easy step-by-step recipe for Middle Eastern hummus. Irresistibly creamy, based on the authentic hummus recipe you'll find in countries like Jordan, Palestine and Lebanon.
5 from 12 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Course Breakfast, Side Dish
Cuisine Mediterranean, Middle Eastern
Servings 8 portions
Calories 132 kcal

Ingredients
 

  • 400 g (2.5 cups) canned chickpeas net drained weight. Equivalent dried chickpeas see below.
  • 100 g (1/2 cup) tahini sesame paste
  • 175 ml (3/4 cups) ice cold water or ice cubes
  • 1 lemon 1 lemon = 4 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda only if using dried chickpeas!
  • 2 tsp olive oil for garnish
  • 1 pinch sumac for garnish

Instructions
 

  • Drain the canned chickpeas in a colander and rinse with fresh cold water. Be sure to rinse and drain them really well to get rid of the brine.
  • Transfer the drained chickpeas into a saucepan and add hot water from the tap. Bring the water to a boil and cook for about 7-8 minutes.
  • Drain the cooked chickpeas in the colander and briefly rinse with cold water.
  • Remove any chickpea peels that came off (optionally).
  • Squeeze the lemon, set aside the juice.
  • Peel a garlic clove. Add to the food processor.
  • Add chickpeas to the food processor. Blend garlic and chickpeas for about a minute (this is to avoid lumps later on).
  • Add tahini, salt and lemon (freshly squeezed or bottled) to the food processor. Blend for another 1-2 minutes.
  • Add water through the opening of the running food processor bit by bit. If your blender doesn’t have an opening, add it in one go. Blend for another 4-5 minutes until you get a uniformly creamy and smooth mixture.
  • Serve right away or cool for an hour before serving (the consistency will thicken when cooled). To serve, transfer into a flat bowl or plate. Garnish with olive oil, sumac and some leftover cooked chickpeas.

Video

Notes

  • The amount of water is a rough indication and can vary from time to time. It mainly depends on the brand and quality of the tahini used, how much lemon you add, how well you drained your chickpeas etc. The default amount indicated in the recipe card is on the low end to ensure your hummus won’t turn out too watery. If you feel your hummus is not creamy, add more water.
  • Canned chickpeas vs. dried chickpeas ratio:  2 small cans of chickpeas (about 400g or 2.5 US cups) is roughly equivalent to 200g dried chickpeas (1 US cup). In other words, 1 cup of dried beans = two small cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed.
  • While canned chickpeas are essentially ready to use, for Hummus it is better to cook them for a few minutes. In fact, the softer the chickpeas, the better your hummus will be.
  • If using dried chickpeas: Soak the chickpeas in water (1:3) for at least 20-24 hours. Drain the soaked chickpeas in a colander and rinse with cold water. Transfer the chickpeas to a saucepan, add water. Boil on high for 30 minutes. Reduce to medium. Add baking soda. Boil for another 60 minutes. Drain the chickpeas in a colander. Let cool for 1 hour.

Nutrition

Calories: 132kcalCarbohydrates: 11gProtein: 5gFat: 9gSaturated Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 3gMonounsaturated Fat: 3gSodium: 504mgPotassium: 151mgFiber: 3gSugar: 0.3gVitamin A: 19IUVitamin C: 8mgCalcium: 41mgIron: 1mg

Nutrition information is only a rough estimate and may vary depending on factors such as the cooking method, exact weight, type, and brand of ingredients used.

Keyword Mezze, Houmous, Hummus
Did you enjoy this recipe?Let me know how it was in the comments below or tag welcome2jordan.blog on Instagram.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating




5 Comments

  1. Anna Collins says:

    5 stars
    My friend invited me to lunch the other day and I fell in love with the Middle Eastern cuisine she served me, so I wanted to try cooking some on my own at home. I found it interesting when you mentioned that hummus is quite popular in the Middle East since they’re filling and nutritious while being naturally vegan and gluten-free, so it’s the perfect alternative to dairy-based spreads. I’ll be sure to take note of this while I look for a nearby Middle Eastern market to buy food ingredients from this weekend.

  2. 5 stars
    Simple recipe. Very clear, detailed information in the video and the related text. The self-made hummus tastes much better than the one that can be bought in the supermarkets.