Hummus has now entered the chat. This homemade hummus is smooth, creamy, and just like my Baba Ganoush is light on the tahini. If you hate it when hummus is overly earthy in flavor, partially due to tahini, partially due to adding earthy spices such as cumin, this recipe is for you. This creamy hummus is bright and light in flavor, and a perfect base for, well anything.
Truth be told, I never feel great after I eat store bought hummus, and no wonder a lot of commercial hummus has extra stuff and oils added. Not extras added here. This bright and creamy hummus comes together with just 5 ingredients, and has nothing extra. The only extra’s here are what you are going to top this dish with. Spoiler, this is the start of a hummus series.
Light Tahini not No Tahini
Even I have to admit it, hummus needs tahini. Now unless you are allergic to sesame I don’t recommend going to a no tahini recipe. That iconic hummus taste comes from tahini, without it it doesn’t taste like much. I have seen alternatives that use almond, cashew, or peanut butter, and frankly while these seem like okay substitutes the flavor won’t hit the same. I have even seen recipes that take it out completely, but replace it with equal parts olive oil. We want to avoid that as well, that will just make it heavy and dense especially after popping it in the fridge.
If you MUST remove it due to dietary restrictions then start small and add only 1 tbsp of olive oil, you can always add more. If you are trying to remove it because you want to make hummus now, and don’t want to buy it…just go buy it.
What You’ll Need for Creamy Hummus
- Chickpeas – Any hummus “expert” will tell you, that the smoothest hummus is made with dried chickpeas. I don’t know about you, but unless it is a food related holiday I am not in the business of a multi-day prep for a dish, especially for something as simple as hummus. Canned it is! See below for my comments on chickpeas.
- Cardamom – You are looking for cardamom pods. If you haven’t cooked with cardamom before or if you hate the spice because it smells like perfume, trust me here. Cardamom has a warm, fruity, and aromatic flavor. It almost seems weird to be adding this spice to the cooking liquid for the chickpeas. Cardamom gives this hummus such a bright flavor that pairs amazing with the lemon juice and garlic that is added in later. 2 pods go a long way here.
- Tahini – Ugh, tahini. You are looking for pure sesame paste, no extra garbage added. Most major supermarkets carry it, however I have used both Beirut and Tavor, and they are great options. Depending on what brand you buy you will either be faced with 1 of 2 things.
- 1. The tahini will be smooth, and ready to use.
- 2. The tahini will have separated leaving a lot of oil on top. This happens naturally, and can usually come together with an aggressive mix. In the event you can’t combine it back, pop it in a food processor and give it a blitz. Then add it back to the original jar.
- Lemon – Fresh only!
- Garlic – Fresh only!
- Olive Oil – Optional to top the finished product. Most of the time when it comes to finishing with olive oil I recommend EVOO, however this creamy hummus is so light in flavor EVOO completely overpowers it. Stick with regular olive oil.
Not All Chickpeas are Equal!
I used to be obsessed with chickpeas. When I was little my mom would buy me a small deli container of them and I would sit there and remove all the skins and eat the legumes one by one. It wasn’t until I was in college that I realized you can buy chickpeas in a can. Game changer.
I have now made this recipe 10-15 times and I can tell you not all canned chickpeas are the same. Some are harder than others. Some are kind of mealy. This will change the end result of the hummus. My personal preference is Hanover, or surprisingly supermarket generic brands (ShopRite has great chickpeas). Goya is a good option but they are soft so peeling back the skins can result in broken chickpeas.
Step By Step Creamy Hummus
This method is inspired by Ottolenghi’s hummus method that can be found in Test Kitchen – Shelf Love. While the method of making the hummus is similar, yet still different, the taste is even further apart. If you came here looking for a tahini forward hummus I recommend his recipe.
Prep the Chickpeas – Possibly the most time-consuming part, which I find rather therapeutic, removing the skins. Now I’m not saying you need to remove 100% of them, but aim for the majority. The less skins that get tossed in the food processor the smoother the hummus. Now Ottolenghi’s method is to put them in between 2 towels and gently roll off the skins. I found that if the chickpeas were on the softer side it broke them up, which we want to avoid. Instead I found placing them in a colander in the sink and pinching them ever so slightly was a quick and efficient way to remove them. Every handful or so I would rinse my hands off, and goodbye skins.
Cook the Chickpeas – In a small sauce pan add 4 cups of water, 2 cardamom pods and a heavy, heavy pinch of salt. The chickpea cooking liquid will be used later on, think of it as pasta water. Once at a rolling boil add the chickpeas and cook for 15 minutes. You are going to need to reserve 1/2 cup of the cooking liquid at the end. Just to be safe save a few extra tbsp in case you want it thinner.
Process to Combine – In a food processor, yes you need one of those, add 1/2 cup of the chickpea water, drained chickpeas, 1 medium clove of garlic, 1/4 cup of tahini, and 1/2 lemon juiced (approx. 2 tsp). DO NOT and I repeat DO NOT add the cardamom pods. Discard those. For a more rustic texture, yet still smooth process on low for 10 minutes. This is what is pictured. For a light, super smooth, and airy texture process on high for 13-15 minutes.
Because this hummus is light on the tahini that means it’s light on the oil. Coming out of the fridge this dip keeps its smooth texture and doesn’t get overly thick vs a hummus with an exorbitant amount added. Store in an airtight container for 3-5 days.
- 1 Food Processor
- 2 cans chickpeas drained, skins removed
- 2 cardamon pods
- 1/2 cup chickpea cooking liquid read below
- 1 clove garlic
- 1/4 cup tahini
- 1/2 lemon approx 2 tsp juice
- olive oil optional
- Drain and remove skins from chickpeas * read passage above for easy teqnique.
- In a small pot add 4 cups of water, cardamon pods, and a heavy pinch of salt. Once at a boil add the chickpeas, water should cover the chickpeas. Cook for 15 minutes then reserve 1/2 cup + of the cooking liquid (always good to reserve a few extra tbsp).
- In a food processor add the drained cooked chickpeas, 1/2 cup of the cooking liquid, lemon juice, garlic, tahini and a small pinch of salt.
- For a more rustic texture, yet still smooth process on low for 10 minutes. For a light, super smooth, and airy texture process on high for 13-15 minutes. Serve right away or store in the fridge for 3-5 days.