The 7 Hummus Commandments

Hummus, the pillar of Middle Eastern food. The most loved dish in the eastern and western world. It seems that hummus as became a Symbol of Multi-Cultural cooking, with each place having a slightly different twist on this classic dish. Things like miso, almonds, pestos…you name it people put it in this dip.

Actually, come to think about it, I haven’t come across many modern cook books or blogs that don’t have a hummus recipe or a puree recipe that they like to call hummus (which is enough to give any purist a heart attack!) pureed lentils ” lentil hummus”….pureed sweet potatoes “sweet potato hummus”….nope that’s mutabbal or baby food. Sorry!

I love a good twist on the classic dishes just as much as anyone else, but in order to call a recipe hummus, it has to mainly consist of well….hummus a.k.a chickpeas. Hummus is the Arabic word for chickpeas, and traditionally Arabs name recipes by the main ingredient or sometimes the technique used to make the dish.

You could say I’m a purist when it comes to hummus, I only like to add to the flavourful ingredients or recipes on top of the hummus, not in the actual puree. And I don’t use canned chickpeas for a hummus recipe ever! I know it’s a time saver but it doesn’t do it any favours and if you’ve met someone who doesn’t love hummus it’s probably because someone fed them acidic store bought or made it with canned chickpeas and it’s liquid from the can (OMG – I just, I just can’t).

So here are the commandments on making real and great tasting hummus every time.


The 7 Hummus Commandments:

  1. Must use dried chickpea soak overnight with 1 Tsp of baking soda
  2. Parboil the chickpeas then rinse the chickpeas and start the long cooking process.
  3. Must be really well boiled and add salt near the end of cooking time – super soft before add to the food processor
  4. If you’re crazy enough remove then the skin before adding to the food processor, it will result in really, I mean really smooth hummus. But this step is for crazy peeps.
  5.  Hummus consists of chickpeas and some of their liquid, lemon, tahini, salt and sometimes garlic, cumin & ground coriander seeds. for the 100% puritan, it’s only the first four ingredients.
  6. Tahini quality MATTERS. This will make or break your hummus recipe. The best is tahini is from Turkey, Lebanon tahini 50/50 try different brands…if you see Egyptian tahini….slowly back away and run, for the love God of run and don’t look back (I’m sorry if I offended anyone who is Egyptian with this comment, but your tahini..(fist in mouth, head shaking back and forth)…I’m so sorry, your tahini is really, really bad.)
  7. Add flavour to the top of your hummus, not inside the hummus. (olive oil, tahini sauce, meats, chermoula type toppings, spices, even Arab salad or my personal fav shashouka.


Sarah’s Hummus 

1 cup of dried chickpeas
1 tsp of baking soda
1/4 -1/3 cup tahini
1-2 lemons, juiced
1-2 cloves of whole peeled garlic
1 tsp cumin
1/2 fresh ground coriander seeds

1. sort through the chickpea remove any black, brown, or green chickpea Also keep an eye out for stones and other debris.

2. Add the chickpea to a large bowl filled with enough water to cover the chickpeas with 2 inches of height. Add your baking soda stir and soak for at least 8-12 hours

3. Strain and rinse the chickpeas, then add to a large pot and bring to a boil. Once the water is boiling remove the chickpeas and rinse. This step removes the white foam caused from the gas in the legumes and helps to make the chickpea even more digestible.

4. Refill the pot with enough water to cover the chickpea with 4″ of height. bring to a simmer and cook for about 11/2 to 2 hours. If don’t the time for that just add them to a slow cooker and cook on high for 4 hours.

5. 15 minutes before you’re ready to remove the chickpea from the water add 1 Tsp of salt.

6. Remove 1 cup of cooking liquid and set aside. Drain the chickpea and add to a food processor. I like to puree it well it’s really hot, I never wait for it to cool it helps with making the hummus really smooth. Add in the garlic and puree. It should be thick and chunky the first process. Scrape down the sides and add the tahini and lemon. I start with 1/3 of a cup of tahini and the juice of 1 lemon. Mix again.

Again scrape down the sides at this point add in a little of the reserved water. pulse and taste your hummus. You may want to add more lemon or tahini at this point to achieve your desired taste & constancy. just add a bit at a time. Pulse and taste is the name of the game. (some people like really thick hummus other like it thin. Some people like more tahini others like more lemon – find your happy place!)

7. At this point, you can serve your warm hummus or you can add the cumin and coriander seeds. I always add these to spices in my hummus, the cumin help with preventing gas and gives it the most an amazing earthy taste. That even the most puritan can appreciate.

I always add these to spices in my hummus, the cumin help with preventing gas and gives it the most an amazing earthy taste. That even the most puritan can appreciate.

Arabs can be the harshest critic when it comes to their food this recipe usually wins them over and a recipe request is made.






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