Improved (Israeli influenced) Hummus

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Yeah we have opinions.


  • Smitten Kitchen's writeup of her own and some of Ottolenghi's technique [1]
  • 5 Secrets to Perfect Hummus, from Babushka Table/Delicious Istanbul [2]
  • Food52 / Yotam Ottolenghi / Sami Tamimi's technique [3]
  • Food52 / Zahav's Hummus Recipe [4]

Small/scaled recipes version:


  • 3/8 recipe Tahina Sauce (Zahav - included here)
  • (1 cup dry) Cooked Chickpeas or Chana Dal (which we prefer) (generic instructions included here)
  • 1 full recipe Actual Hummus recipe (Zahav - included here)
  • Equipment: Food Processor or Blender (if you're making everything at once, may as well just use the Food Processor)

3/8 Basic Tehina Sauce Recipe (Zahav)

Makes 1 1/2 cups

  • 2 large cloves of garlic (unpeeled but broken up - we will strain later)
  • 4 1/2 (2 1/4 oz) Tbsp lemon juice (sometimes we use meyer lemon juice, which is milder)
  • 3/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 3/4 cup or 1 scant cup tehina (tahini paste)
  • 1/4 tsp ground cumin


  1. Put the garlic, the lemon juice, and 1/3 of the salt in the blender or food processor and blend to a coarse puree. Let stand for 10 minutes so lemon juice can mellow the garlic.
  2. Pour through a fine-mesh strainer, pressing solids to release as much of the fluid as possible. Discard solids. Return juice to working bowl of food processor, add tehina and rest of the salt.
  3. Pulse the food processor with a few tablespoons of ice water at a time. You will use a total of 3/4 cups of ice water, and as you go, the mixture will tighten up and then loosen and lighten in color. By the end of it, the sauce will be smooth and creamy.
  4. If you're not going to use it right away, loosen the sauce a bit more with a few more tablespoons of ice water. Refrigerate for a week, or freeze for up to a month.
  5. Add cumin at the very end, or when you use it with the hummus.
  6. Leave this mixture in the food processor bowl to be mixed with the chana dal later.

Cooked Chana Dal


  • 1 cup dried Chana Dal
  • 1/8 tsp baking soda
  • pinch of salt


  1. No soaking required. Some advice says soaking reduces gassiness for eaters, but we don't find that to be the case. The baking soda helps, instead, break the legumes down a bit quicker, helping them get softer.
  2. Pick through the chana dal to take out any legumes that look wrong.
  3. Place chana dal and other ingredients in enough water to cover, and a lot more (some recipes say cover by 4 inches). Bring to a boil, adjust heat to a gentle simmer, and cook until tender, about 40 minutes to an hour. Goal here is to overcook slightly so the texture can be very soft. Watch the pot carefully when it gets up to boiling, it may boil over. You may also want to check occasionally for froth, and to skim it if you see it developing.
  4. Once cooked, drain.

Actual Hummus


  • Cooked Chana Dal from 1 cup dried.
  • 1 1/2 cups Tehina Sauce
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp ground cumin
  • Paprika or Sumac (to sprinkle)
  • Chopped Fresh Parsley (to garnish)
  • Olive Oil (for drizzling)


  1. Combine chickpeas, tehina sauce, cumin and salt in a food processor and puree. Puree until smooth, and puree it some more!
  2. Store in the fridge for up to 10 days.
  3. To serve, bring up to room temperature. Schmoo a generous portion onto a serving plate, making grooves and trenches with the back of a spoon. Make it look interesting! Make pooling spots for the oil!. Sprinkle with sumac/paprika, the parsley, and top with flaky salt (optional) and olive oil (not). Be generous!
  4. Enjoy with crudites or flatbread or nuts or mint tea or whatever makes the world better!