There’s nothing like hummus made from scratch. This recipe begins with dried chickpeas, which are soaked overnight. They’re then cooked until tender and blended with garlicky tahini sauce into a smooth, creamy hummus. Serve warm, with fresh pita.
The tahini sauce will keep a week refrigerated, or can be frozen for up to a month.
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For the basic tahini sauce:
- 1 head garlic
- ¾ cup lemon juice (from 3-5 lemons)
- 2 generous cups tahini
- ½ tsp ground cumin
For the hummus:
- 1 cup dried chickpeas
- 2 tsp baking soda
- 1 ½ cups basic tahini sauce, plus a bit more for the topping
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- ¼ tsp ground cumin
- paprika, chopped fresh parsley, and olive oil, to serve
- Place the chickpeas in a large bowl with 1 tsp of the baking soda and cover with plenty of water. (The chickpeas will double in volume, so use more water than you think you need.) Soak the chickpeas overnight at room temperature. The next day, drain the chickpeas and rinse under cold water.
- Place the chickpeas in a large pot with the remaining 1 tsp baking soda and add cold water to cover by at least 4 inches. Bring the chickpeas to a boil over high heat, skimming off any scum that rises to the surface. Lower the heat to medium, cover the pot, and continue to simmer for about 1 hour, until the chickpeas are completely tender. Then simmer them a little more. (The secret to creamy hummus is overcooked chickpeas; don’t worry if they are mushy and falling apart a little.) Drain.
- To make the tahini sauce, start by breaking up the head of garlic with your hands, letting the unpeeled cloves fall into a blender. Add the lemon juice and ½ tsp of the salt. Blend on high for a few seconds until you have a coarse puree. Let the mixture stand for 10 minutes to let the garlic mellow.
- Then, pour the mixture through a fine-mesh strainer set over a large mixing bowl, pressing on the solids to extract as much liquid as possible. Discard the solids. Add the tahini to the strained lemon juice in the bowl, along with the cumin and 1 tsp of the salt. Whisk the mixture together until smooth (or use a food processor), adding ice water, a few tablespoons at a time, to thin it out. The sauce will lighten in color as you whisk. When the tahini seizes up or tightens, keep adding ice water, bit by bit (about 1½ cups in total), whisking energetically until you have a perfectly smooth, creamy, thick sauce. Taste and add up to 1½ tsp more salt and cumin, if you like. If you’re not using the sauce immediately, whisk in a few extra tablespoons of ice water to loosen it before refrigerating.
- Combine the chickpeas, tahini sauce, salt, and cumin in a food processor. Puree the hummus for several minutes, until it is smooth and uber-creamy. Then puree it some more!
- To serve, spread the hummus in a shallow bowl, dust with paprika, top with parsley and more tahini sauce if you like, and drizzle generously with oil.