Bowl of HummusBy J.M. HIRSCH & DIANE UNGER

Makes 4 Cups
Total Time: 1 Hour, 15 minutes of preparation


cold water                                                             1/4 cup dried chickpeas

2 tablespoons kosher salt                                  1/2 teaspoon baking soda

3/4 cup toasted tahini, room temperature    3½ tablespoons lemon juice

1-2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil              1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin                              1/2 teaspoon paprika


Step 1: Soak & Boil Chickpeas

  1. In a large bowl, combine 8 cups of cold water, the chickpeas and 2 tablespoons of the salt. Let soak at least 12 hours, or overnight.
  2. In a large stockpot over high, bring another 10 cups of water and the baking soda to a boil.
  3. Drain the soaked chickpeas, discarding soaking water, and add to the pot.
  4. Return to a simmer, then reduce to medium and cook until the skins are falling off and the chickpeas are very tender, 45 to 50 minutes.

Step 2: Strain Chickpeas

  1. Set a mesh strainer over a large bowl and drain the chickpeas into it; reserve ¾ cup of the chickpea cooking water.
  2. Let sit for 1 minute to let all liquid drain. Set aside about 2 tablespoons of chickpeas, then transfer the rest to the food processor. Add the remaining 1 teaspoon of salt, then process for 3 minutes.

Step 3: Add Tahini to Mixture

  1. Stop the processor and add the tahini. Continue to process until the mixture has lightened and is very smooth, about 1 minute.
  2. Use a rubber spatula to scrape the sides and bottom of the processor bowl. With the machine running, add the ¾ cup of cooking liquid and the lemon juice.
  3. Process until combined. Taste and season with salt.

Step 4: Add Oil & Spices to Hummus

  1. Transfer the hummus to a shallow serving bowl and use a large spoon to make a swirled well in the center.
  2. Drizzle with olive oil, then top with the reserved 2 tablespoons chickpeas, parsley, cumin and paprika.

Step 5: Serving

  1. Serve with warm pita bread.
  2. Serve warm and garnished with paprika, cumin, chopped fresh parsley, and a drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil. A sliced hard-boiled egg may be added, if desired.
  3. Leftover hummus can be refrigerated for up to five days. To reheat, transfer to a microwave-safe bowl, cover and gently heat, adding a few tablespoons of tap water as needed to reach the proper consistency, 1 to 2 minutes.


Don’t forget to stir the tahini very well. Some brands separate and can become quite thick at the bottom of the container. If your tahini is particularly thick, you may need to add a tablespoon or two of tap water for the hummus to reach the right consistency. If you reserve some of the hummus to serve later, you won’t need the full amounts of olive oil, cumin and paprika to garnish.

Small chickpeas work best for hummus; aim for no larger than a green pea. The Whole Foods Market 365 Everyday Value brand worked well. If you only find larger chickpeas, cook them until starting to break down, or 10 to 15 minutes longer. Soak the chickpeas for at least 12 hours. They can be soaked ahead of time, then drained and refrigerated for up to two days. Tahini is a sesame paste sold near peanut butter or in the international aisle. We liked the Kevala brand, but Soom is good, too. Look for a brand that is toasted and pours easily. Processing the chickpeas while warm ensures the smoothest, lightest hummus.