Ultimate Hummus

Ultimate Hummus

Despite the arrogance of the name, it is a damn fine recipe. I double this typically, which works well.


  • 1/2 cup dried chickpeas picked through and rinsed
  • 1/8 tsp baking soda
  • 1 qt. water
  • 3 Tbsp lime juice
  • 6 Tbsp tahini stirred well
  • 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 pinch cayenne pepper
  • 1 Tbsp cilantro or parsley minced


  • Cover the beans with 1 quart of water and soak overnight. (Not included in prep time.)
  • The next day, drain the beans. In a saucepan, bring the beans, baking soda and a fresh quart of water to a boil. Reduce to a gentle simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until the beans are tender, 1.5-2 hours. Reserving 1/4 cup of the bean cooking water, drain the beans and let cool.
  • Combine the lemon juice and reserved cooking water in a small bowl or measuring cup. Whisk together the tahini and 2 T of oil in a second bowl or measuring cup. Set aside 2 T of chickpeas for garnish.
  • Process the remaining chickpeas, garlic, salt, cumin and cayenne in a food processor until almost fully ground, about 15 seconds. Scrape down the bowl with a rubber spatula. With the machine running, add the lemon juice/water mixture in a steady stream through the feed tube. Scrape down the bowl and continue to process for another minute. With the machine running, add the oil/tahini mixture in a steady stream through the feed tube; continue to process until the hummus is smooth and creamy, about 15 seconds, scraping down the bowl as needed.
  • Transfer the hummus to a serving bowl, sprinkle the reserved chickpeas and cilantro/parsley over the surface, cover with plastic wrap, and chill until flavors meld, about 30 minutes. Drizzle with olive oil; serve cold or at room temperature.


Most varieties of canned chickpeas aren't so good.  They can impart a metallic taste, or be very bland and dull if a low-sodium type.  Supposedly there's a brand called Pastene that is an acceptable alternative to soaking your own beans.