Perfect Hummus

Perfect Hummus

Every body loves hummus. I remember when Hummus entered my life in the early nineties. I would drive my 1970’s 250CE down from London to my other family in Leigh-on-Sea for Friday evening. Once there here we would drive to the big Sainsbury’s in Southend and stock up on lots of nibbly bits: rollmop herrings, taramasalata, hummus, olives and flatbreads. Although taramasalata no longer graces my mezzes, you will always find hummus in my fridge. This is now my goto recipe for perfect hummus.

If you want hummus quicker, just use a jar of cooked chickpeas. The trick is to add them to a pan with a little extra water and boil them for 20 minutes before continuing with the recipe from step 3.

Serves 4

Perfect Hummus

200g dried chickpeas
1½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 tsp salt
180g tahini
3-5 garlic cloves depending on size and taste
juice of 1 large lemon – 6 tbsp

Choose from the following

  • Chopped flat leaf parsley, whole cooked chickpeas & olive oil
  • Paprika & olive oil
  • Za’tar & olive oil
  • gently fried garlic and lemon zest (in olive oil)
  • Dukkah & olive oil


  1. Put the chickpeas in a large bowl and cover with about twice the volume of water. Stir in 1 teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda and leave overnight to soak.
  2. Rinse the soaked chickpeas and transfer them to a large pan. Cover with water and stir in half a teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda. Bring to the boil and then simmer for 30 minutes. Skim any foam from the surface and add a teaspoon of salt – and more water if necessary. Continue to simmer for 15 minutes or  until the chickpeas are soft enough to be easily squashed.
  3. Drain the cooked chickpeas, rinse with cold water until the chickpeas are cool enough to touch.
  4. With the chickpeas covered with cool water, mix them around a little with your hand – the idea is to help loosen a few more skins.
  5. Drain the chickpeas and remove as many loose skins as you see fit – it is not important to remove them all!
  6. In a blender or food processor, blend for a couple of minute to a thick paste.
  7. Add the tahini, lemon juice, garlic, cumin and a good pinch of salt.
  8. Blend your hummus until you have a really smooth paste – this can take up to 10 minutes.
  9. As you are blending add 6-10 tablespoons of iced water to achieve your desired constancy.
  10. Adjust seasoning to taste.

Plating up

  1. Spoon the required amount into a serving bowl and then using the back of the spoon, swirl around from the centre towards the outside to create a shallow pool area.
  2. Prepare and then add your topping.
  3. serve with flatbreads or homemade pittas.



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