Hummus is one of the best simple recipes out there. Our version is a Mediterranean dish, but you’ll also find it in most of the Middle East and Egypt, having spread across the continents centuries ago.
This recipe is creamy, rich, and easy to adjust according to your tastes. But we do recommend you try the exact recipe – you may never want to try it any other way!
My mom’s been making this recipe since we were kids, and it just never fails. It’s our no.1 go-to whenever we have friends over in Oudtshoorn, our family home – for braais or movies or anything else. It’s a simple ‘slap on the table and dig in’ kind of dish that works great to turn a bag of chips or some crackers into a super easy meal. Or as a classic side dish alongside our simple tzatziki.
How to make hummus from scratch
While a lot of people make their hummus with canned chickpeas, a healthier, cheaper option is to prepare the chickpeas yourself. This option is also more environmentally friendly, as you’re not using multiple cans. The chickpeas also lose less of their vitamins this way. And you can make more than you need for the recipe, and freeze your extra chickpeas to throw in stews or a future hummus!
Preparing your chickpeas
To make your hummus from scratch, you just need a little forethought and a smidge of time.
Pour your chickpeas into a large pot, and cover with water, leaving a few inches of water above them for the chickpeas to expand into. It’s important not to add salt at this point, as it can affect the chickpeas’ texture.
Now you have two options – one uses more energy, the other takes more time.
1 cup washed chickpeas
4 cups water
½ teaspoon bicarbonate soda
Option 1: Soak the chickpeas overnight, or a minimum of 6 hours
Option 2: Bring the chickpeas to a boil, and then take them off the heat and let them sit for an hour. The heat triggers a much quicker process, but the chickpeas can sometimes be slightly more rubbery than the long-soak ones. However, when you’re making hummus with them, you’re not really going to notice this difference. This is normally my go-to option, because when I want hummus, I want it today.
Health benefits of homemade hummus
Hummus is a terrific source of plant-based protein, making it a great option for vegetarian and vegan diets – or even those of us trying to lighten our meat consumption. The legumes, tahini and olive oil are also all great combatants of inflammation.
Hummus is also good for your digestive health, providing a great source of dietary fibre and promoting growth of good gut bacteria. It’s ingredients are also heart healthy!
So basically, hummus is packed with healthy, happy things – particularly when you’re making it from scratch.
Where does hummus come from?
It is surprisingly difficult to pinpoint the origins of hummus! Because the Middle Eastern and Mediterranean societies were migrating and trading millennia back, they’ve been sharing the dish for a very long time.
Mentions of hummus date back to the 13th century in Egypt, making this country a likely contender. But Greeks and Arabs are both adamant in claiming it as their own, and Lebanon even requested protected status for the dish as uniquely Lebanese in 2008.
Lebanon and Israel were also competing over the largest dish of hummus ever made for a few years, before Lebanon broke the record with a 10,452 kg dish of hummus prepared by 300 cooks!
Easy hummus recipe
- Your prepared chickpeas should be about 2 cups
- 5 tbsp fresh lemon juice
- 2 large cloves of fresh garlic
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 - 3 tbsp tahini
- Salt to taste
- Black pepper to taste
- Cumin to taste at least a teaspoon
- Throw cooked chickpeas into your blender, followed by each of the other ingredients
- Blend all together until you’re happy with the consistency (some like it a little coarser than others).
Drizzle tahini and / or olive oil over hummus and sprinkle red pepper or paprika over. For alternative variation add:
Sundried tomatoes (softened/rehydrated)
Last thoughts on your homemade hummus
And there you have it! Your 10-minute crowd-pleaser. This hummus dish goes terrifically with bread and pita, and we always start our braais (South African barbeques) with hummus and chips. We tend to eat so much of it that we’re not really hungry for the meat anymore, but what can you do. We still fit in our roosterkoek!
Let us know if you try our recipe and what you think! We’re still starting out with this whole food blogger thing and would love to hear from you.