The best hummus is perfectly balanced in flavor and texture. When making hummus, the flavor should be subtly garlicky, slightly acidic, and mildly nutty. The texture should be lusciously creamy, light, and fluffy. We could wax poetic about hummus all day long, but we'll spare you and get right to the tips for the best hummus ever!
We've had the pleasure of enjoying some of the most spectacular hummus around the world and we've got some serious hummus superstars right here in the US! (Have you tried Zahav or Sababa yet... drool.) We've learned the tricks of the trade from the pros through cookbooks like Michael Solomonov’s Zahav and Adeena Sussman’s Sababa, and we can't wait to share these tips so you can recreate restaurant-quality hummus at home.
Tip #1: You Need A Lot Of Good Tahini
Not all tahini is created equal, which clearly you know because you're here on the website of the best tahini around! Soom's mildly nutty, tangy tahini is silky-smooth and ready to make killer hummus.
One thing all the experts have in common is they don't skimp on the tahini. The best recipes go big on tahini flavor, so forget those recipes that call for a couple tablespoons of tahini, you're going to need waayyy more than that!
To quote Adeena’s Sababa in her description of Magical Hummus (p. 116), “Use more tahini than you think is socially acceptable.” Adding more tahini to the recipe makes a smoother, fluffier hummus, with a nutty, rich, and ultra-delicious flavor. You heard it here first, folks — the more high quality tahini, the better.
Tip #2: Make The Tahini Sauce Before Making The Hummus
Wait, I can’t just blend everything together at once? According to the Zahav cookbook, you’ll should marinate the garlic in freshly-squeezed lemon juice for 10 minutes with some salt. Garlic tends to have a harsh, pungent sharpness that might make the sauce too sharp and spicy. The acidity of lemon juice prevents the garlic from becoming too spicy. We like to blend everything in a food processor or blender on high for a few seconds and let the mixture stand for 10 minutes to let the garlic mellow.
Afterwards, pour the mixture through a fine-mesh strainer and discard the garlic chunks. We know it's an extra step, but it ensures you'll be left with a smooth sauce and perfectly flavored hummus.
Tip #3: Add Ice Cold Water To Thin The Sauce
Adding ice cold water to a tahini-based sauce is an important step because it makes for a super fluffy end product. Using ice cold water lightens the color of tahini, creating a hummus that is light and fresh looking. We recommend adding the ice water before adding in the cooked chickpeas.
Tip #4: Use Dried Chickpeas If You’re Not Pressed For Time
You can use either canned or dry chickpeas (garbanzo beans) and still get high quality hummus. Canned chickpeas will do if you don’t have extra time to make, however, you do sacrifice a little texture and nutrition. Using soaked (and then cooked), dried chickpeas is the best option for hummus purists.
Tip #5: Cook The Chickpeas Until They Are Mushy
Mmm. Mushy chickpeas. Sounds appetizing, right? In reality, mushy chickpeas elevate your hummus game. Be sure to cook your chickpeas with a little baking soda. According to Bon Appetit, baking soda “raises the pH of the water and helps the little guys break down to a soft, pulpy mass… perfect for an ultra-smooth purée.”
And wait for this one... for the best hummus you should remove the ‘skin' from the beans. (Ugh... more work!) It's really not as daunting as it sounds. While the beans cook, the skins tent to separate, making it easier to peel. But we're not going to lie, it still takes some time. Try removing the skins by hand once the chickpeas have cooled.
Our cheat method is to take a dish towel, pour the semi-cooked beans into the towel, and rub the skins off using the towel. It’s messy, but faster than hand picking. We promise all this hard work is worth it. The end result is the smoothest, fluffiest hummus you'll ever taste!