One Hundred and One Mezze: 7. Hummus

I am sure everyone of you have their own Hummus recipe so I am not going to give you mine. In our household my wife is the hummus specialist, so I will leave you with her for the perfect Hummus.

Hello everybody, my husband has kindly allowed me a guest appearance on his blog. There's no denying it, he is The Expert on food in this household, whilst I specialise in the eating... The only thing that I'm apparently better at is making Hummus; this gives me a certain perverse satisfaction as by rights, him being Syrian, he really should be The Don at this!

Champagne from Champagne region in France. Stilton from Stilton (near Peterbrough) in England. Cornish Pastie from Cornwall. Hummus originates from Syria. Not Lebanon, not Egypt, not Jordan, not Palestine and not Israel. All the proof you need is that there's a city called Hums in Syria. Enough said.

Just a note, measurements are not meant to be followed by the letter, it's a fairly robust recipe that pretty much fool proof - I mean, I, moi, me, can do it!

What you need:
2 x 410g cans chickpeas (you can soak and boil your own if you really want to)
150ml Tahini (fill just under half an empty chickpea can - that's how much you'll need)
2 cloves of garlic (or one huge clove)
salt to taste
2-3 tbs vegetable oil (optional) (yup, you heard right, not olive oil, vegetable oil!)
Juice of half a lemon
A food processor
Finally, to appease the hardcore Levantine lot; Extra Virgin Olive Oil for pouring over the finished dish

right; please pay attention, this is really complicated...
Step 1: Drain one can of the chickpeas, then empty into the food processor
Step2: Tip the full contents of the other can into the food processor
Step 3: Add everything else
Step 4: Turn on food processor
Step 5: After 5 mins, switch off.
Step 6: Empty contents into a dish - this is now Hummus.
Step 7: Fashion a "moat" and pour Olive Oil into it (see pic) (you can also add some paprika for a garnish)
Step 8: Eat with warm toasted pitta or, Arabic bread

Ta Da! really hope you like it :-)

Final note, this recipe in my opinion tends to taste better after a night in the fridge, it gives time for the flavours to develop - especially the garlic - and the mixture to absorb the water and thicken. It's entirely a matter of personal taste so please don't think you need to prepare this in advance to enjoy it!

Nada x


Maysaloon said...'s that easy? I am going to make some tonight!

Kano said...

It is very easy. Try it and you will never buy the Tesco stuff again.
Nada my wife tried different quantities of ingredients to get that authentic taste you get in Syria.
We are very happy with this one.

Helen said...

Ha ha, you have a very funny writing style Nada, I think you should do more guest posts!

Nada said...

Hi Helen,

Thanks very much for that! I try... :-)

Nada said...

Mr Maysaloon,
Pah! If you don't mind, it's bloody difficult! There are no less than 8 complicated steps in this.

Taste of Beirut said...

I chuckled while reading your post Nada. Very witty. Especially the part about claiming hummos as being Syrian, from the city of Hums. I wonder how the Israelis feel about that (in case you had not heard, they are proclaiming it their national dish) . Just in case they are itching for a reason to fight....

Andy said...

Just made this (I had some spare lemons as I'm going to try your mutabal recipe tomorrow).

It's delicious! Made 1/2 the amount, and apart from measuring the tahini (that stuff stick to everything!) it was a complete success. I added a drop more lemon, as it was hard to judge 1/4 worth of juice, and I 'loosened' the mix at the end with a bit of water.

It's in the fridge atm, don't really fancy it's chances of making it through to tomorrow....

Nada said...

Hey!! Thanks so much for trying it :) please let me know how it tasts tomorrow

Unknown said...

Hi Nada, I love this recipe, it is so simple. I soak and pressure cook chickpeas. It is so easy to make a large amount that I love to make it and give pots of it to friends. What I enjoy so much in this post is the moat of oil! I will present it like that next time.

Tammam Aloudat said...

Nada, fantastic post... I usually am quite keen on my own hummus recipe (only slightly different) but as a tribute to your first appearance, I am going to make your recipe for a big BBQ we are invited to tomorrow... I will let you know how it goes

Kano said...

@Taste of Beirut
I haven't been to Israel but from what I read, they take their hummus very seriously over there.
Even so, they know that it is a Levantine dish and it is been introduced to Israeli cuisine through their Palestinian neighbours.
Gil Hovav the famous Israeli food writer and presenter was asked on a BBC program if Humous originally Jewish or, or Arabic, he answered that "Humous is Arabic. Falafel, our national dish, our national Israeli dish, is completely Arabic and this salad that we call an Israeli Salad, actually it’s an Arab salad, Palestinian salad. So, we sort of robbed them of everything..."

Kano said...

Welcome to my blog. I am glad you tried the hummus and I hope you tried Mutabal as well. How did that go?

Kano said...

Do you use sodium bicarb while cooking chickpeas? It is standard practice in Syria.

Kano said...

How did the Hummus go?

joumana Accad said...

Thanks for the clarification Kano. It was very uplifting to hear an Israeli acknowledge this kind of important stuff. I guess it will deflate the potential hummus war brewing.

Tammam Aloudat said...

The Hummus was seriously good. I made it and took it to BBQ at a friend's place, and despite forgetting to bring Arabic bread (or any bread), the content of 4 cans of Hummus was gone before I knew it... Thanks for the recipe Nada :)
One adjustment Rania insisted on was adding sodium bicarbonate to the chickpeas for about 90 minutes then rinsing them before we did the hummus, as you said, standard practice. I think sodium bicarb help soften the skin of the chickpeas and makes the paste smoother...
I left it in the food processor for more than 5 minutes, just to make sure I do not get any bits or pieces in it.

Unknown said...

Hi Kano, I don't use the bicarb. I have read that the chickpeas they are growing in Australia (up at the Ord River in the far north) don't need it, and it certainly seems true. Also the skins are so delicate that there is no need to remove them. I just soak them and then pressure cook them for 12 minutes in water with a drizzle of oil added.

Allie said...

Oh, hummus, how I love you. I love seeing all the different ways people make it, and your wife's hummus looks fantastic!

Not Delia said...

Hi Nada

Thanks for your recipe, I'll give it a try. I've made loads of various hummus recipes but have never particularly liked any of my own efforts. I've even tried taking the husks off the tinned chickpeas. I reckon I've tried just about everything.

However, I'll have yet another go, as I'm determined to make really good hummus one of these days.

Kano said...

@Not Delia
Have you tried it yet? This one actually works very well. Just buy some good quality chickpeas tins. We buy ours from Waitrose, a bit posh but you get a good quality.

Anonymous said...

Just tried your recipe and it is fantastic. I have tried ENDLESS recipes at home and I have to say this is by far the best! I did add a bit more garlic and lemon juice as I like it a bit spicy. Oh and it makes a ton! Good thing I love the stuff. I experimented and left about a cup in the processor and then added some sun dried tomatoes in oil and it turned out delicious too! I don't know if it is an american thing but we can get an infinite number of "flavored" hummus here and I am kind of fond of these. Again, great recipe!

Kano said...

I am so glad you like this recipe. My wife Nada tried different combinations till she managed to get an authentic tasting one.
Here in the UK we get all different flavoured hummus and different topping. I will post something in the future about what we Syrians do with hummus and what other topping we use.

The London Foodie said...

Hi Kano/Nada,

I have been following your blog for quite sometime now, and wanted to thank you for sharing your hummus recipe with us. I have tried it numerous times now to great appreciation of my friends; they all wanted to learn the recipe so I directed them to your blog. I am originally from Brazil, there are large Syrian and Lebanese communities there and i had a lot of Syrian food while growing up, so was very pleased to find your blog here.

I had seen Purslane in my local Turkish green grocer and was always puzzled by it but didn't know what to do with it, so will definitely try your Fatoush recipe. I love Tabbouleh too.

Thanks for your writing.

All the best,


Kano said...

Welcome to my blog. I am glad you enjoy the writing and the recipes. I hope you try some other dishes and you enjoy them as much as Nada's hummus.
I would love to try Syrian food in Brazil or in Sierra Leone (another large Syrian/Lebanese community in Africa that kept their tradition). I would love to see how much a 100 years living in another country has changed the food. Will be great to see how local influence changed their Syrian cuisine.

Not Delia said...


Yes, I did make it and it was superb! Thanks! I've made it a few times since but didn't get around to blogging about it until today.

At long last, I have the secret of perfect hummus. I'd recommend this recipe to anyone. Thanks again for the help.

MarkP said...

Had a go with this over the weekend. Although I bought Tahini dressing instead of paste, it still tasted gorgeous (just a bit sloppy!).

Kano said...

Glad you like the recipe, Time to try Mutabal and Baba Ghanoush.

Maysaloon said...

Just to let you know I tried making it last week, I didn't put enough Tahineh though, so it tasted like it was missing something. I'm giving it another go tonight and I'll let you know how it goes!

Kano said...

Hope it works out this time.

Candice said...

Thanks for sharing this recipe! I made it last night and it was some of the best hummus I have ever tasted. Finally, a hummus recipe that is authenic and delicious!

Kano said...


Welcome to my blog. I am delighted that you liked the hummus recipe.

Jussaemon said...


Can you tell me how to make the TAHINI?? Not the sauce but TAHINI itself. Because I can't find it in the supermarket here.

I think someone told me to bake white sesame seeds and just blend them. But I would like to know for sure.

Also, would it be the same if i make the hummus using a blender instead of a food processor? Sorry i'm such a newbie at cooking.


Kano said...


To be honest with you, I never made tahini before and I don't think any one in Syria would have ever done. We simply buy it from the shop!

I think you should give it a go as you said. Don't roast the seeds too much other wise it will affect the flavour.

You can use the blender but you might find it difficult to blend if the mix is too dry.

kiwicrooks said...

Super yummy and easily finished in a sitting. It's that whopping quantity of tahina that really gives it a great taste. And calories too unfortunately!

Kano said...


Like all things skinny hummus is no where near as good as the calorie rich one!

Anonymous said...

2 cans of chickpeas and the juice of half a lemon?i don't think so.

Anonymous said...

to make tahini ,add a quarter cup of vegetable oil to the processor with the sesame seeds to get it started

Kano said...


Are you Syrian? Or have you ever tried hummus in Syria? Our hummus is not sour at all.
Regardless, it is a matter of personal taste. So add as much lemon as you like.

I never tried to make it myself. Does it work?

Anonymous said...

yes it does.try it

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

@Taste of Beirut
This is NOT an Israeli dish actually; it is a Palestinian dish but the Israelis took it as their own, maybe they thought they were the first to figure it out?? But anyways, they weren't. It can also be Syrian though with different variations.

Allie said...


I think it'd be more accurate to say that hummus is neither an Israeli, nor Palestinian, dish. No one knows its actual origin point, although we do know that it originated SOMEWHERE in the Middle East/Mediterranean region. Whether it was originally invented by Arabs, Jews, Persians, or anyone else is a mystery that simply cannot be solved.

As a result, I like to think of it as a dish that has a shared history amongst Jews, Arabs and many other peoples (Italians, Greeks, Indians, Turks, etc.). Its shared history simply serves as a reminder to me that despite religious or political differences, the one thing that unites all the various peoples of this region is the food.

At the end of the day, who thought of this delicious food first has little real bearing at all. What does have bearing is the joy these types of foods can bring us, irrespective of who we align ourselves, ethnically or religiously, with.

Kano said...


Thank you for commenting and I couldn't agree more. Although it is definitely a Damascene dish ;-)

I haven't heard from you for a very long time. Good to see you on my blog again.

Allie said...

Lol, snarky Kano!

It's good to be back. Intermittently, since my studies take up nearly all of my time, but intermittently is definitely better than not at all!

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