Hummous my way

My hummous is made the way I like it. You should make yours the same way – the way you like it. Having said that, I’m going to give you my recipe. Then you can decide how you want to tweak it so that it tastes the way you want it to taste.

Just like Italian ladies all have their own spaghetti sauce recipe, Syrian ladies all have their own hummous recipe. I can’t speak for anyone else, but if I had to guess, I would say that like me, not a one of them actually measures out their ingredients. But each has their own preferences. Some like it VERY garlicky, others, not so much. Lots of tahini or just a little, lemony or mild, salty or not, and also, thick or saucy or in between. Eat it the way you like it is all I can say, but this is the way I like it and I think that this is the best!


  • 2 cans garbanzo beans *
  • 2 large or 3 small cloves of garlic
  • 3 T. tahini
  • juice of 1 or 1-1/2 lemons
  • 1-1/2 to 2 tsp. salt
  • water to thin
  • olive oil
  • a little minced parsley
  • a sprinkle of cayenne or paprika

I like to use my Magic Bullet if I’m only making up one can of beans, but it’s too small for two cans. (I love my Magic Bullet!).  Anyway, we’re dealing with two cans here, which is really the bare minimum if I’m sharing the hummous with my family! I can make one can if I’m hiding it away and hoarding it all to myself (which I have done!)

So – please drain the beans! Rinse them in running water. Shake out the water and leave the beans in the colander. Put the garlic cloves in a food processor (I honestly have no idea how they used to make hummous without power tools). Mince the garlic by pulsing at high speed. Add the drained chickpeas and process them adding just enough of the lemon juice to keep the mixture moving. Puree for a while, you want it to be really, really smooth! By the way, if you’re using beans you boil yourself, please don’t try to make hummous until you have cooked the beans until they are VERY tender! If they are not fully tender, the hummous will be grainy.  By the same token, if you use a canned variety and they are not fully tender, boil them awhile if you have time, and then, for Pete’s sake, buy a different brand of beans next time. Sheesh!

Ok. The beans and garlic are fully pureed. So go ahead and add the salt and the tahini (it’s REALLY important to mix the oil into the thicker tahini every time you use it). You can also add the rest of the lemon juice. Puree it some more and then taste it and do whatever the heck you want to so that you are completely happy with it. You should always be completely happy with your hummous. If it tastes just right, then add some water, a little at a time, whirring it in and checking the consistency.

So here’s the deal. The stuff in the store is really pretty dry. Thick. Sometimes gloopy. But hummous should be a little saucy. You should be able to scoop it up in bread, and it shouldn’t be so thin that it drips off, but you shouldn’t really be able to stand a spoon up in it. Also, ideally, you will chill the hummous before you serve it (or eat it in secret). And it will thicken as it sits and chills. The tahini is responsible for this. So when you put it in the fridge, it should be a little looser than you want to to be.

Now, put it in the serving dish to chill. Now, take it out of the fridge, swirl a spoon into the surface of it to make a little swirly depression. Now pour some olive oil on top. Extra virgin olive oil has a very strong flavor on it’s own and I do not use it for hummous. Try a nice, basic second press oil. Now, delicately sprinkle some finely minced parsley on the top, and then, gently dust the top with cayenne (some like it hot), or paprika (some don’t). Sahtan!

*Let me first say that I hate it when things have an asterisk next to them, and then you can never find the footnote for the asterisk. Having said that, it’s a good thing I proofread my posts, because I actually forgot about the asterisk. But that’s not what the asterisk is for. It is for this: I STRONGLY recommend buying Eden Foods Organic Beans. Not just garbanzos, but also cannellini, black, pinto, kidney, or any other kind of bean you buy in a can. BECAUSE – they are the only company that does not use BPA to line their cans. It’s after midnight and this is a Lenten blog, so I’m not going to go into the whole thing, but if you don’t know why I think this is such a big deal, google BPA lined cans and do some reading. Then buy Eden Foods beans. Thank you.


About LeilaPiazza

I am a wife and mother. I am an Orthodox Christian. I am a Syrian American with family living in Syria. I am a also a yoga teacher and freelance writer. I recently described myself in a job pitch as "a person who's lived in Portland, Oregon for over 20 years with a passion for writing and a passion for all things Portland. I'm a foodie, knitter, wine and beer lover, bee-keeper (yep, I said it), mead and fruit-liqueur maker, organic gardener, home-canner, hiker, biker, runner, and occasional skinny-dipper. I’ve camped all over the state, I sail a sailboat that’s moored on the Columbia (o.k., I'm the first mate), and I spend a large percentage of my time at our beach house in Seaside." That about sums it up.
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2 Responses to Hummous my way

  1. kim yacoub says:

    Hey cousin – how about some Arabic lessons??
    Love & miss you!!!

    • Leila says:

      Love you and miss you too! In fact, I love you SOOO much, that I would never, ever, ever teach you Arabic. Learning Arabic from me would be like taking an ethics class from a politician! But if you wanna go to Syria with me next time, we can both practice our Arabic together! Yalla, nruh habibte!

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