Classic Hummus

Sneha: I’ve had a few failed attempts with hummus – the first time I didn’t have tahini on hand and thought “how important could it be” (spoiler: its VERY important). Then came the time I used canned chickpeas and had a gritty hummus on our hands. But then came Zahav, our favorite Middle Eastern restaurant and their hummus which is smooth and luscious, you could literally just eat it with a spoon, no pita needed! I had to find out their secret, and after scouring the interwebs, pieced together a recipe from Chef Michael Solomonov, the owner of Zahav and boy did this live up to the restaurant version! 

The prep time for this recipe is slightly longer because it requires you to soak dried chickpeas overnight but it is so so worth it! No gritty texture here! Another wonderful part of this recipe is that making the hummus requires no olive oil (only drizzle it while serving) so it doesn’t seize up in the fridge and freezes really well! We usually bake one batch and freeze half of it. 

If you don’t want to eat it with a spoon like we do, drizzle it generously with some olive oil and paprika and serve with toasted pita bread! It also works great with our Cauliflower falafel (post to come).

Tips and Tricks

  • The baking soda during overnight soak and for cooking the chickpeas is really important – it increases the pH of the water to be more alkaline and causes the skins to break down and cook fully to avoid the gritty texture.
  • When you boil the chickpeas, the foam (aquafaba) will tend to overflow so use a larger pot than you think you need and keep skimming off the foam.
  • Chef Solomonov recommends “excellent quality” tahini, I’ve used both the Trader Joes Organic Tahini and Mighty Sesame Co. Tahini and love both.
  • When you add the chickpeas and blend, let it go longer than you think you should – it gets thicker the longer you process it so don’t stop once its smooth, let it go a couple minutes longer.
  • This recipe is extremely customizable to add your own seasonings when you blend in the chickpeas: roasted red pepper, sun-dried tomatoes, the possibilities are countless!

Recipe Information

  • Prep time: 8 hours
  • Cook time: 1 hour 20 minutes
  • Yield: 2 cups


  • 1 cup dried chickpeas
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 4 cloves garlic (frozen or fresh)
  • 1/3 cup lemon juice
  • 2/3 cup Tahini
  • 1/4 tsp cumin powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup ice water
  • Olive oil and paprika for serving


  1. Place dried chickpeas in a large bowl and cover with plenty of water, stir in 1 tsp of baking soda and let rest overnight. The chickpeas will double in size as it soaks up water so use a larger pot.
  2. The next morning, drain and rinse the chickpeas in cold water; place in a large pot with cold water and the remaining 1 tsp of baking soda.
  3. Bring chickpeas to a boil on high heat, as foam begins to form take and discard it.
  4. Lower to a simmer and continue cooking for about an hour – the chickpeas will start to disintegrate but that’s what is recommended for a creamy hummus.
  5. In a food processor, blend garlic, salt and lemon juice – let rest for 10 min to allow garlic flavors to bloom and drain the mixture through a fine sieve to collect liquid, squeezing solids if necessary. Discard solids and return liquid to food processor.
  6. Add tahini to food processor and pulse to combine, slowly add ice water 1 tablespoon at a time until you have a pale thick mixture.
  7. Drain chickpeas and add to food processor with cumin and puree for several minutes until smooth and creamy.
  8. Adjust salt / cumin to taste and blend to combine.
  9. When serving drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle paprika.