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The classic way to mash hummus is to use a bowl and pestle but most use a food processor or a blender. Here are some tips and recipes from the experts to make this great dish. It's easy!

Claudia Roden - hummus, an icon of Arabic cuisine

Claudia Roden

Claudia Roden

Claudia Roden is a cookbook writer and cultural anthropologist based in the United Kingdom. She was born in 1936 in Cairo, Egypt. She is best known as the author of Middle Eastern cookbooks including A Book of Middle Eastern Food, The New Book of Middle Eastern Food, The Book of Jewish Food and Arabesque—Sumptuous Food from Morocco, Turkey and Lebanon. She has also been a food writer and a cooking presenter on the BBC. Claudia is a patron of London-based HIV charity The Food Chain.

Claudia Roden - Why she wrote about Middle Eastern food

Claudia's hummus bi tahina recipe

from Claudia's book - Arabesque


250g chickpeas, soaked in cold water overnight
2 lemons, juice of
3 tablespoons tahini
3 garlic cloves, crushed
4 tablespoons olive oil


1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon ground cumin
2 sprigs parsley, finely chopped


Drain the chickpeas and simmer in fresh water for about an hour or until tender. Reserve the cooking water.

Process the chickpeas in a blender (or food processor) with the lemon juice, tahina, garlic, olive oil, salt and enough of the cooking liquid to obtain a soft creamy consistency.

Serve on a flat plate, garnished with a dribble of olive oil, a dusting of paprika and ground cumin (this is usually done in the shape of a cross) and a little parsley.

Serve with warm pita bread for dipping.

Janna GurJanna Gur

Janna Gur is an Israeli food writer, editor, an expert on Israeli, Jewish cuisine and the author of The Book of New Israeli Food. Janna was born and raised in the former Soviet Union and immigrated to Israel in 1974.

Janna Gur - supermarket hummus vs 'real' hummus

Janna's Basic Hummus Dip recipe

from www.jannagur.com


(serves 8-10)

1 pound 2 ounces small dry chickpeas
1 tablespoon and 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup raw tahini
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 cloves garlic, crushed
Salt to taste


Soak the chickpeas overnight in a large bowl of cold water with one tablespoon of baking soda. Drain and rinse the chickpeas and put them in a large pan. Add water until it reaches an inch above the chickpeas. Add the remaining 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda and bring to a boil. Cook covered over low heat for 2 to 3 hours, until the chickpeas are very soft. Cool slightly, drain and save some of the cooking liquid.

Put the chickpeas in a food processor, add 2/3 cup of the tahini and process until almost smooth. If the paste is too thick, add a few tablespoons of the cooking liquid. Season with lemon, garlic and salt; taste and adjust the seasoning. For a richer creamier version, add the remaining tahini and process until the hummus is completely smooth and fluffy.

Galilee Style Hummus: Set aside 1 cup of cooked chickpeas. Purée the rest with 1/2 cup of raw tahini and the seasonings. Add the whole chickpeas and mix, slightly mashing the chickpeas. The texture should remain somewhat chunky.

Making Ahead:
Since soaking and cooking chickpeas takes a lot of time, you might want to double the amount and freeze them in small batches with some of the cooking liquid. Before making a new batch of hummus: defrost in the microwave or heat with the liquid over low fire until they are tender and warm.

Bachar Haikal's Lebanese hummus lesson

How to make traditional Lebanese hummus

Bachar Haikal owns two Lebanese restaurants in Melbourne's South East which has an enormous Jewish population. Almazett is his gourmet Lebanese restaurant. Manakish Levantine Bakery is his new cafe and the setting for a lesson on making hummus in the traditional Lebanese style.

Trevor's Hummus & Black Pepper Recipe

Trevor Graham eating hummus

I'm incredibly BAD - a good for nothing hummus maker, because I use canned chickpeas. It's a big NO, NO amongst the chickpea purists. But here's what I do. I like my hummus peppery and hot.


(serves 3-4)

1 X 400g can of chickpeas
1 X coffee mug of tahina, I'm generous here
2 to 3 lemons, depending on how juicy they are
2 to 3 cloves of garlic
1 teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper, ground in mortar and pestle and left chunky
1 teaspoon of cumin
Olive oil for the garnish, needs to be good quality
Sweet paprika


Boil the chickpeas for a minimum half hour. They need to squish easily between your fingers when cooked. Like the test for spaghetti, you should be able to throw the cooked chickpea to the wall and it will stick-splatter.

Using a slotted spoon drain the cooked chickpeas into a blender, setting aside the cooking water and a small amount of the whole chickpeas, approximately a dozen.

Add to the blender the tahina, half the lemon juice, garlic, cumin, salt and pepper. Blend for at least one to two minutes. At this stage the mixture will be too thick, so in stages add amounts of the remaining lemon juice.

If after you have used 3 lemons the hummus mixture is still too thick, then begin adding spoonful by spoonful, some of the cooking water. Only use small amounts at a time, and blend in between spoonfuls, as you don't want the hummus to be too runny. The ideal consistency is one that spins in your blender slowly. If you find it too runny add more tahina to thicken it up. The final consistency should allow you to mould or sculpt a hollow or well with a spoon into the hummus in its serving plate without the hummus falling in a heap.

Spoon the hummus into its serving bowl. With a clean spoon, sculpt the well in the middle by running the backside of the spoon around the centre of the hummus, pushing it up to the sides of the plate. It should be like a crater of hummus. Into the well sprinkle the remaining whole chickpeas with a generous sprinkling of paprika. Then give it a good lashing of olive oil so that it runs into the well. Sprinkle some cut parsley on top and serve with warm pita bread. Delicious! Bon appetite.

Trevor's hummus

♦ ♦ ♦   Tips   ♦ ♦ ♦


use bicarb' of soda in the soaking water but make sure you rinse the chickpeas before boiling

soak dried chickpeas overnight for the best results

quick start - use boiled hot water (not tap hot water) if you're pressed for time


remove the froth from the water as you boil the chickpeas

simmer soaked chickpeas for 1-2 hours for nice soft chickpeas
simmer canned chickpeas for half an hour

don't forget to save some of the cooking water for the blend!


a traditional pestle will give texture
a blender will make it 'creamier'

use the same pestle to mash that you crushed the garlic and spices with for little extra flavour

crush the garlic and salt in a mortar, use the pestle to mash the chickpeas for extra flavour

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