The Ancient Art of making Hummus

Kick everything modern out of the kitchen, remove wife too, and phones, computers and everything electronic or electric too. Why? Everybody makes Hummus in Israel, and there is little doubt that the Arabs make the best. That is because they don’t cut comers or make changes to the basic recipe, nor do they use modem food processors and other so-called improvements to prepare recipes that have been passed down to them through the ages.

Hummus
Hummus

Hummus should be made by hand, using a mortar or grinder to mash the cooked chickpeas. Grinding them in a food processor or blender swells the chickpeas and gives them an unnatural consistency. Chickpeas for Hummus should be cooked until they are very soft. Adding baking soda will soften them faster, but it will affect the final flavor. They can, however, be cooked in a pressure cooker with no loss of flavor.


  • 1 lb (500 g) raw chickpeas
  • 2 medium onions, peeled
  • 1-3 whole cloves garlic, peeled
  • Salt
  • ½ cup (60-125 ml) tahina paste
  • 1-3 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 3-4 tablespoons lemon juice

Gamish:

  • 2-3 cloves garlic, chopped fine
  • 2 hot green peppers, chopped
  • ½ cup parsley leaves, chopped
  • Olive oil
  • Zhoug (optional)

Hummus YOUR style
Hummus YOUR style
  1. Place the chickpeas in a large bowl, cover with plenty of water, and allow to stand for 8 to 10 hours.
  2. If possible, change the water a number of times during the process.
  3. Rinse the chickpeas.
  4. Place in a large pot with the onions and peeled garlic. Do not add salt.
  5. Cover with water and cook over a medium heat until very soft and falling apart (for at least 4 hours, unless using a pressure cooker).
  6. As the chickpeas cook, skim off the foam and additional skins that float to the surface of the water.
  7. When the chickpeas are cooked, remove the onions and garlic.
  8. Add salt and cook for another few minutes.
  9. Remove from the heat.
  10. Drain about three-quarters of the chickpeas, reserving some of the cooking liquid.
  11. Place the chickpeas in a bowl and mash with a mortar, masher, or grinder-but do not use a food processor!
  12. Mix in the tahina paste, crushed garlic, and 2 or 3 tablespoons of the lemon juice.
  13. Add some of the liquid in which the chickpeas were cooked, a little at a time, to arrive at a somewhat creamy consistency.
  14. Add more salt and lemon juice to taste.
  15. Just prior to serving, spread some of the mixture onto individual small plates and top each with a few warm whole chickpeas.
  16. Add more chopped garlic, chopped green pepper, and a teaspoon of chopped parsley.
  17. Pour a generous amount of olive oil over all and serve with fresh pita.
  18. Add salt and Zhoug for those who like it even spicier.
  19. Serve with sliced onions, hot peppers, chopped tomatoes, or pickles.
  20. Don’t listen to wife, children or telephone. Focus.

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