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Ottolenghi's Hummus....oh me, oh my...

I am never using tinned chickpeas again for a hummus recipe.

The holy grail of hummus is that really smooth, creamy texture that just feels so velvety and silky, but without the heaviness of a load of oil. I've tried a number of recipes. Some have worked out very nice, like Nigella Lawson's Peanut Butter Hummus, some have just ended up being a grainy, vaguely edible bean paste. 

However, this is the first recipe that has really delivered on the X factor. No need for a load of oil, or yogurt or anything else like that to make it creamy. You can make the creamiest, smoothest and velvetiest (?) hummus ever with just chickpeas, tahini, lemon juice, garlic, iced water and a little bit of baking soda. Cooking the beans with the baking soda is the key technique to ending up with a lovely creamy texture. Brilliant. A great source of protein and a nice load of anti-viral garlic to boot. 

The recipe does use LOADS of tahini. But as with any recipe, once you have the basic technique, you can play around with the flavours - less tahini, more lemon, less garlic...whatever you like. Enjoy with crudites, toasted pitta, or a big dollop on a nice hot baked sweet potato with a crunchy salad. Yum.

Yotam Ottolenghi's Hummus from his book Jerusalem (


250g dried chickpeas

1 tsp baking soda

1.5 litres of water

270g light tahini paste

4 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice

4 cloves garlic, crushed

100ml ice cold water

1.5 tsp salt


Soak the beans overnight in at least twice their volume of cold water.

The next day, drain the chickpeas. Place in a medium saucepan over a high heat and add the drained chickpeas and baking soda. Cook for about 3 minutes, stirring constantly. Add the water and bring to the boil. Cook, skimming off any foam and any skins that float to the surface (you could do this when making dinner, keep half an eye on it). The chickpeas will need to cook for between 20 and 40 minutes, depending on how fresh they are. Once done, they should be very tender, breaking up easily when pressed between your thumb and finger, almost but not quite mushy.

Drain the chickpeas. Place in a food processor and process until you get a stiff paste. then, with the machine still running, add the tahini paste, lemon juice, garlic and salt. Finally, slowly drizzle the iced water and allow it to mix for 5 minutes, until you get a very smooth and creamy paste.

Transfer into a bowl, cover the surface with clingfilm and let it rest for at least 30 minutes. If not using straightaway, put it in the fridge until needed, though make sure to take it out at least 30 minutes beofre serving. Seriously earthy, creamy and delicious. 

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