The ultimate Middle-Eastern chickpea dip, flavoured with tahini, lemon juice, garlic and olive oil. Delicious, creamy, and so quick and easy to whip up, you’ll wonder why you ever bought it ready-made.
I am old enough to remember the days when the British public considered hummus to be a weird health food, if it was considered at all. In the last couple of decades it has risen to the status of grocery staple, to the point where a brief hummus shortage a few years back caused a national outcry.
So to help you cope with any future catastrophes, I am providing you with my very own hummus recipe. Aside from the cat videos and porn, the internet is awash with recipes for hummus, but the exact ratios of ingredients can vary considerably. This is my go-to, for almost all my hummus needs, and tastes like a better version of shop-bought. In my humble, hummus-loving opinion.
How to make quick classic hummus
This recipe is really easy, can be made in a matter of minutes, and you only need a few basic ingredients; a tin of chickpeas, some tahini, a lemon, a garlic clove, a little salt, and some extra virgin olive oil. Try to buy the best quality olive oil you can afford – some of the very cheap ones can have quite an acrid edge which can come through in your dip. If that is all you have, use slightly less and replace the remaining amount with a neutral tasting oil, such as light olive, sunflower or vegetable.
So to begin, take your tin of chickpeas, drain the liquid into a separate jug or bowl, and tip the peas into the bowl of a food processor (if you don’t have a food processor you could use a stick blender instead). Then add a couple of tablespoons of the reserved liquid, along with a couple of tablespoons each of tahini and lemon juice, a small crushed garlic clove, and some salt. Whizz until you have a thick, coarse paste, scraping down the sides once or twice as necessary.
Then, with the motor running, stream the olive oil through the lid of your food processor. Then comes the crucial part – the tasting. If it’s a little flat then you can add a touch more lemon juice for extra zing, or a tiny bit more salt to bring out all of the flavours. You can add a touch more garlic if that’s to your liking, but raw garlic is very strong so caution is advised. If it’s a little too thick then you can add an extra tablespoon or two of the chickpea liquid.
Once you’ve made your final adjustments, the last thing to do is to perfect the texture. I whizz mine for an extra couple of minutes at this stage, and you could go for even longer if you prefer a really smooth hummus. If you like to keep things chunky then just pulse a few more times to incorporate any extra ingredients, and you’re done!
In desperate times you can always grab some bread or crackers and shovel the hummus straight into your mouth from the bowl of the food processor, but for a little more refinement in your presentation, scrape the hummus into a shallow dish, give it a swirl, and drizzle with a little more olive oil. You can reserve a few chickpeas for decoration if you like, and sprinkle over a little paprika and chopped fresh parsley.
There are a whole array of hummus variations, with different flavourings, spices, and vegetables added, and far too many to list here. However, here are a few really quick suggestions to tweak this recipe:
- Lighter hummus: For a lower-calorie option, replace 1–2 tbsp olive oil with additional chickpea liquid
- Aromatic hummus: Add ½ tsp ground cumin for a little depth
- Herby hummus: Top your hummus with a generous sprinkle of za’tar
- Spicy hummus: Swirl a generous teaspoonful of harissa paste through your hummus for a little heat.
Please let me know if you give this recipe a try! You can comment below, use the star rating at the top of the post, or find me on instagram or twitter @greedybearbakes.
Quick Classic Hummus
The ultimate Middle-Eastern chickpea dip, flavoured with tahini, lemon juice, garlic and olive oil.
- 1 tin chickpeas (approx. 230g drained weight), liquid reserved
- 2 tbsp tahini paste
- 2–3 tbsp fresh lemon juice (from 1 small lemon)
- 1 small garlic clove, crushed
- 1 tsp flaky sea salt (or ½ tsp fine salt)
- 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil*
- Drain the chickpeas and tip into a food processor, reserving the liquid in a separate jug or bowl. To the chickpeas add 2 tbsp of the reserved liquid, 2 tbsp tahini, 2 tbsp lemon juice, 1 small crushed or grated garlic clove, and 1 tsp flaky sea salt. Whizz for about a minute, scraping down the sides once or twice, until you have a thick, coarse paste.
- With the motor running, stream 3 tbsp olive oil through the lid of the food processor. Whizz for another 30 seconds or so, then taste the hummus and add a little more lemon juice if you like, or a touch more salt. If the hummus is a little thick, add a splash more of the reserved chickpea water. For a coarser hummus, pulse a few times to incorporate any extra ingredients. If you prefer a smoother hummus, whizz for another few minutes until you have the desired texture (an extra 2 minutes was perfect for me).
- Scrape the hummus into a bowl and drizzle a little extra olive oil over the top, and sprinkle with some paprika and chopped parsley, or see the blog post for variations.
*Try to use a good quality olive oil if you can. Some cheap olive oil can be quite bitter and if that’s the case with yours, or you’re not sure, start by adding 2 tbsp, then taste the hummus before adding the rest. You can replace the extra tablespoon with light olive oil, sunflower, or vegetable oil, or an additional tablespoon of chickpea liquid, to avoid an overly bitter dip.