Creamy, Fluffy Hummus – The Way It’s Supposed to Be

Posted by Stephanie Meyer on Jul 23, 2010 at 12:32pm

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.

Very excellent.

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.)

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Older Comments

  1. By FreshTartSteph on May 10, 2013 at 9:20AM

    I'm so glad to hear it! Fluffy is the way to go, ha. No more mush! xo

  2. By Anonymous on May 6, 2013 at 6:37PM

    THANK YOU SO MUCH!!! SO many times my hummus was just 'mush'...we ate it but it never had the consistency of true hummus.

  3. By FreshTartSteph on February 4, 2013 at 9:45AM

    Let me know what you think, Sia Nas!

  4. By Sia Nas on January 29, 2013 at 9:45PM

    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.

  5. By FreshTartSteph on October 22, 2012 at 10:46AM

    Great to hear!

  6. By babylove121 on October 22, 2012 at 9:07AM

    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.

  7. By Anonymous on March 1, 2012 at 2:48PM


  8. By FreshTartSteph on February 9, 2011 at 9:37AM

    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!

  9. By Mindy W. on February 9, 2011 at 9:26AM

    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!

  10. By SML on August 1, 2010 at 6:14AM

    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!

  11. By FinnLover on August 1, 2010 at 2:34AM

    Just came back from the Middle East and your hummus looks just like the stuff I ate almost daily. :) Beautiful pictures by the way.

  12. By Andrea (Off Her Cork) on July 29, 2010 at 12:48PM

    Genius! What a simple yet fab trick to making the hummus creamier and smoother. :)

  13. By SML on July 26, 2010 at 7:12AM

    Ruby - awesome.

  14. By Ruby Leigh on July 25, 2010 at 8:05AM

    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.

  15. By SML on July 24, 2010 at 7:48AM

    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.

  16. By ari_1965 on July 24, 2010 at 7:03AM

    I think "Chickpea Sludge" is a great band or blog name.

  17. By Lollysue on July 24, 2010 at 5:56AM

    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! 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.

  18. By maryannesh on July 23, 2010 at 8:03PM

    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!! the spoon!

  19. By Maria Lichty on July 23, 2010 at 12:45PM

    Your hummus looks perfect!