Chickpea Hummus: Tips And Recipe For This Mediterranean Spread

Hummus is a creamy and savoury spread made primarily from cooked chickpeas, tahini (a paste made from sesame seeds), olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, and various seasonings. The combination of these ingredients creates a perfect balance of flavours. The chickpeas provide a nutty and earthy base, while the tahini adds a rich and slightly bitter undertone. The olive oil contributes a smooth and luscious texture, while the lemon juice adds a tangy and refreshing element. Garlic and other seasonings add depth and complexity to the overall flavour profile of hummus.

History and Origin 

The roots of hummus can be traced back thousands of years to ancient Egypt, where chickpeas were cultivated as one of the staple crops. However, it was the Levantine region, encompassing modern-day Lebanon, Israel, and Syria, that played a significant role in the development of hummus as we know it today. The word "hummus" translates to "chickpeas" in Arabic, highlighting the significance of this legume in the creation of the dip.

Over time, hummus spread throughout the Mediterranean region and became an integral part of the local cuisine. Each region added its own unique twist to the recipe, incorporating local ingredients and flavours. For example, Lebanese hummus often includes pomegranate molasses, while Israeli hummus may feature toppings like olive oil, paprika, or roasted pine nuts.

Significance in Mediterranean Cuisine 

Hummus holds a special place in Mediterranean cuisine, where it is often served as an appetiser or mezze dish. It is enjoyed alongside freshly baked pita bread, olives, and an assortment of colourful vegetables. Hummus embodies the healthful qualities of Mediterranean fare, as it is rich in protein, fibre, and essential nutrients.

It is also a vegetarian and vegan-friendly option, making it widely accessible to a diverse range of dietary preferences. The Mediterranean climate, with its abundance of olive groves and sesame fields, provides the ideal conditions for producing the primary ingredients needed for making hummus.

In recent years, hummus has experienced an exponential rise in popularity beyond the Mediterranean region. Several factors contribute to this global phenomenon. Firstly, hummus is considered a healthier alternative to many traditional dips and spreads due to its high nutritional value and lower saturated fat content.

The growing popularity of Middle Eastern and Mediterranean cuisines has exposed more people to hummus. Globalisation, international travel, and cultural exchange have allowed individuals to experience the flavours of different regions, leading to the adoption of hummus in various culinary traditions.

Tips and Tricks for Perfect Hummus

  • Use Quality Ingredients

To create a delicious hummus, it is essential to select fresh and high-quality ingredients. Opt for fresh chickpeas or high-quality canned chickpeas. Similarly, choose fresh tahini, extra virgin olive oil, and lemons to ensure the best flavours.

  • Cook and Blend Chickpeas Properly

If you prefer using dried chickpeas, soak them overnight and cook them until tender. This will ensure a smoother texture and a more developed flavour. When blending the chickpeas, reserve some of the cooking liquid to adjust the consistency of the hummus.

  • Incorporate Tahini Gradually

To achieve a well-balanced flavour, add tahini gradually while blending the ingredients. Begin with a smaller amount and taste as you go, increasing the quantity until you reach the desired taste.

  • Experiment with Seasonings

While traditional hummus includes garlic, lemon juice, and salt, feel free to experiment with additional seasonings to personalize your hummus. Try adding a pinch of ground cumin, paprika, or roasted red pepper to enhance the flavours.

  • Achieve the Perfect Texture

To achieve a creamy texture, blend the hummus for an extended period or pass it through a fine-mesh sieve. This will help break down any remaining chunks and create a smoother consistency. Adjust the thickness by adding reserved chickpea cooking liquid or water as needed.

Homemade Hummus Recipe

Here is a hummus recipe for you to try at home this weekend:


  • 2 cups of cooked chickpeas
  • 1/4 cup tahini
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Optional: 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin, paprika, or other seasonings


  • In a food processor, combine the chickpeas, tahini, olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, and salt. Blend until smooth.
  • Taste and adjust the seasonings, adding more salt, lemon juice, or tahini as desired.
  • If the texture is too thick, add a little water or reserved chickpea cooking liquid, one tablespoon at a time, until the desired consistency is reached.
  • Transfer the hummus to a serving bowl and garnish with a drizzle of olive oil, a sprinkle of paprika, or any desired toppings.
  • Serve with warm pita bread, fresh vegetables, or use as a spread in sandwiches or wraps.

Mastering the art of homemade hummus allows you to experience the vibrant flavours of Mediterranean cuisine in your own kitchen. By understanding the history, significance, and global appeal of hummus, you can appreciate its cultural and culinary value. With the provided tips and tricks, as well as the detailed recipe, you can confidently create a batch of perfect hummus that will delight your taste buds and impress your guests. Embrace the flavours of the Mediterranean and enjoy the wholesome goodness of homemade hummus.