Perfectly Balanced Hummus

mixing perfectly balanced hummus
Photo: Quentin Bacon
10 to 12 Serves

Few dishes are as versatile as hummus—the creamy chickpea-and-tahini purée makes a great dip for crackers and crudité, a flavorful spread on a pita sandwich, or a plush landing pad for herbs, vegetables, and even meat. This recipe is from Brooklyn-based chef Einat Admony and is featured in her cookbook, Shuk ($27.54,



  • 2 ½ cups dried chickpeas, preferably small

  • 1 teaspoon baking soda

  • ¾ cup high-quality raw tahini

  • ½ cup plus 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin

  • 2 cloves garlic, smashed

  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling

  • 2 tablespoons ice water, plus 4 more if needed

  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

  • Chopped fresh parsley and ground sweet paprika, for serving

  • Classic Tahini Sauce and harissa, for serving (optional)

Classic Tahini Sauce (Optional)

  • 1 cup high-quality raw tahini

  • ¼ cup fresh lemon juice, plus more to taste

  • Ice water

  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt, plus more as needed

  • 1 small clove garlic, grated or minced


  1. Hummus: Combine chickpeas and 1/2 teaspoon baking soda in a bowl. Add cold water to cover; soak overnight.

  2. Drain and rinse chickpeas; transfer to a large pot and add 3 quarts water. Add remaining 1/2 teaspoon baking soda; bring to a boil. Boil until chickpeas are tender but not mushy, 1 to 1 1/2 hours. Skim off any floating shells. Scoop out 1 cup; set aside. Continue cooking the rest until completely soft, about 20 minutes.

  3. Prepare an ice bath. Drain chickpeas and transfer to a bowl set in ice bath; let cool completely (or refrigerate, covered, up to overnight). Pick off any remaining skins (optional). Place chickpeas in a food processor with tahini, lemon juice, cumin, garlic, oil, and ice water; season with salt and pepper. Purée until smooth. If too thick, add remaining ice water, a bit at a time; purée until smooth. Season to taste.

  4. Tahini Sauce: Pour tahini into a medium bowl and add lemon juice. Mix with a fork or a whisk until color turns a shade lighter. Gradually whisk in about 1/2 cup icewater. The sauce should turn smooth, velvety, and almost white. Keep tinkering with water, lemon juice, and tahini until you get a consistency and flavor you like. Whisk in salt and garlic; taste and adjust seasonings. (Makes about 1 cup.)

  5. To serve hummus, gently reheat reserved cooked chickpeas in a small saucepan over medium. Spoon hummus into a shallow serving dish, leaving a crater in center. Add cooked chickpeas to crater; sprinkle with parsley, drizzle with oil, and lightly dust with paprika. Serve with tahini sauce and harissa.

Cook's Notes

This recipe has been adapted from Shuk ($27.91,, by Einat Admony and Janna Gur (Artisan Books). Copyright © 2019.

While you can use canned chickpeas in a pinch, you'll get smooth, silky results from dried ones. Simmering the soaked peas with a bit of baking soda softens them.

If you're making a large batch of the tahini sauce, use a food processor or blender to get a lovely, fluffy spread, and instead of ice water, use a couple of ice cubes to keep the temperature down while the motor is running, which will improve the color and texture.

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