Creamy, Fluffy Hummus – The Way It’s Supposed to Be
Thanks to reader Michael G. for the following email:
Stephanie, I make my own hummus but I can’t get it as creamy as others. I add a good amount of olive oil & lemon juice, but I want it creamier. Thanks, Michael
Have you had the same problem – homemade hummus that seems more like chickpea sludge than a really good, buttery hummus? I certainly have, and since I despise store-bought hummus (I find the stale garlic taste and smell offensive, no matter the brand…), I tend to just eat it in Middle Eastern restaurants (where it can be divine…) and really savor it.
But Michael’s question got me thinking, and doing a little research, and thanks to Google and a million food blogs (seriously, it’s a miracle anyone reads this blog given the competition – thanks for being here!), I pieced together the secret to authentic, home-made hummus…
It’s the tahini! Not just adding tahini, because you’ve probably done that and still ended up with sludge. The trick is emulsifying the tahini with liquid (lemon juice and water), creating a whipped, fluffy, buttery-textured base into which you then puree the chickpeas and seasonings. (Think homemade mayonnaise or aioli.)
The result? Smooth, creamy hummus.
Toasted cumin and minced preserved lemon add lovely flavor. (If you’ve not yet discovered the addictive deliciousness of preserved whole lemons, buy a jar immediately; they’re fantastic on everything.) Good olive oil is a must-have, since the olive oil flavor really comes through. Plus, it looks pretty drizzled on top, with a sprinkle of toasted sesame seeds. Hummus tastes best at room temperature, particularly slathered on a small mountain of warm, grilled flatbread.
Creamy, Fluffy Hummus
Makes about 2 cups
1/4 c. tahini
juice of one lemon, about 1/4 c.
1/4 c. water or more
1/2 of a whole preserved lemon, seeds discarded (I find jars of whole preserved lemons at Whole Foods), minced (optional)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/3 c. extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
1 14-oz. can chickpeas, rinsed well and drained
2 tsp. ground cumin
2 tsp. smoked paprika
1/2 tsp. ground chipotle chili powder (optional, if you like spiciness; if not, skip it)
salt & freshly ground pepper to taste
toasted sesame seeds (optional)
Add tahini, lemon juice, and water to the bowl of a blender. Blend on high until the tahini becomes very fluffy and pale colored. Add the minced preserved lemon and garlic and blend until pureed. Add some of the the olive oil and chickpeas, a little bit at a time of each, blending until completely pureed before adding more. Add a little bit more water at any point if hummus seems too thick. You want it to be creamy and the consistency of mayonnaise.
Heat a small skillet over medium heat. Add cumin and toast for a minute or two, just until fragrant and toasty smelling. Do not burn it. Remove from heat and immediately scrape it into the hummus. Add smoked paprika and chili powder (if using). Blend to incorporate. Taste and adjust seasonings and salt (you’ll need less salt if you used the preserved lemon). Grind in some pepper. Blend again.
Scrape hummus into a serving bowl. Drizzle with additional olive oil and sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds. (Can be made ahead; cover and chill, bring to room temperature before serving.)
I'm so glad to hear it! Fluffy is the way to go, ha. No more mush! xo
THANK YOU SO MUCH!!! SO many times my hummus was just 'mush'...we ate it but it never had the consistency of true hummus.
Let me know what you think, Sia Nas!
I am so going to make this. It looks incredible. My hummus always turns out so sludgy. I am looking forward to it being nice and fluffy.
Great to hear!
Thanks so much for enlightening us on how to get homemade hummus to be fluffy like you find at so many restaurants! First try turned out ok, but there's room for improvement and I'm looking forward to trying again.
Mindy, that's great (and thanks to TasteSpotting!). I think you'll be pleased. Keep in mind that you maybe won't add all the chickpeas - taste it as you go along and stop when you like the texture/flavor. If you like this version, you'll like the lentil too. Kind of amazing how similar the flavors are. Good luck!
My daughter loves homemade hummus, but I avoid making it because I can't get it creamy enough for my taste. I'm totally trying this next time (read: soon)!
P.S.--I found you through TasteSpotting with your lentil hummus...I'll be trying that soon too!
Andrea, I know, so simple, why did I never look around for tips before? I guess it took someone else asking me to kick me into gear :)
FinnLover, that's fabulous to hear, I hope if you make it that it takes you back to what must have been an incredible trip. Thanks and welcome home!
Just came back from the Middle East and your hummus looks just like the stuff I ate almost daily. :) Beautiful pictures by the way.
Genius! What a simple yet fab trick to making the hummus creamier and smoother. :)
Ruby - awesome.
yeah - my hummus is more like chickpea sludge too. Made some improvements by using a food processor (don't ask what we did before), more olive oil and so forth... but I will be referencing this blog for the next round.
Thanks Maria! Good luck with your remodel!
Hi MaryAnn - great to hear from you, I remember you well and think it's great you've been checking in, Sonya's a sweetie for passing the word :)
Ooh, Lollysue, I'll definitely check out making my own preserved lemons, I'm eating a lot of them right now, crave.
Ari - Chickpea Sludge the band totally cracks me up, love it.
I think "Chickpea Sludge" is a great band or blog name.
This looks like a great method for making hummus. I've always felt that my homemade didn't measure up in creaminess! I love the idea of adding preserved lemons, and think it's better to make them than buy them in the store! http://sweetandsavorykitchens.com/2010/07/19/moroccan-staples-preserved-lemons-harissa/ I've never had store-bought equal homemade, although this isn't the right time of year to make them due to unavailability of Meyer lemons.
Yum! Hey, don't sell yourself or your blog short. Sonya P. @ PNHS told me you had a blog and it's been great fun reading it the last year or so! We crossed paths many years ago while you were still at PN. Keep up the great work!! BTW...love the spoon!
Your hummus looks perfect!