Creamy Traditional Lebanese Hummus
This traditional Lebanese hummus recipe is a smooth and creamy dip.
In the US, hummus has become popular with the meditation diet. But did you know that Lebanese hummus is different from most hummus in America? The key to our hummus is extra virgin olive oil, chickpeas,and baking soda. That is right, you can get creamy Lebanese hummus with just a little baking soda! I will show you how.
Have you ever had traditional Lebanese hummus? It is significantly different from most hummus served in America. It is creamy, smooth, and better than any hummus bought at a store.
I know that sounds biased, but I promise it's not. As a Lebanese-American I take my hummus seriously. This is traditional Lebanese hummus. I like to pair hummus with tabouli, a traditional Arabic salad.
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What is Hummus?
Hummus is a traditional Middle Eastern dip. You make this dip by combining garbanzo beans (also known as chickpeas), tahini, extra virgin olive oil, fresh lemon juice, garlic, and salt in a food processor. Traditionally, we dip the pita bread directly into the hummus and do not use utensils. For this second-generation Lebanese-American, I love hummus inside a pita with tabbouleh. It has a refreshing flavor, and I cannot get enough of it.
Hummus has become very popular in the United States over the last few years (ok decades) for its health benefits, thanks to the Mediterranean diet. In America, we often buy pre-made hummus at the store. This hummus is coarse and very different from Lebanese hummus.
Next time you want hummus, use this hummus recipe. It is super easy, the flavor is amazing, and the texture is soooooo smooth! You can make it in less time than going to the store and waiting in line.
Once you eat it, you will notice the difference, and there is no going back to store-bought!
How Is This Hummus Different?
If you have had traditional hummus, you will notice one thing; the texture is very smooth. There is only one way to achieve this smooth texture: removing the garbanzo bean shells. To this, you must:
- First: Soak the garbanzo beans in baking soda. I know that using baking soda to make hummus sounds crazy, but it works. Start by opening a can of chickpeas (also known as garbanzo beans), drain, and rinse. Then place the chickpeas in a bowl, fill with water to cover by 2 inches, and add a teaspoon of baking soda. Let the chickpeas soak for five to ten minutes. This step is double-acting; it softens the beans and loosens the shell.
- Then: Remove the shells. Once the beans have soaked for a few minutes, the shells will disconnect from the beans. Gently rub the chickpeas together to remove the shells. This does not have to be perfect. Aim for 80% removed. You will find the shells slide right off. This step takes about 10 -15 minutes and is one of two keys to perfect hummus.
Hummus only takes a few ingredients to make, and you will already have most of them. I like to add all kinds of toppings to my hummus, especially kalamata olives. The flavors complement each other and help make this dip insanely delicious! The ingredients you will need are:
- Chickpeas, also known as garbanzo beans (15oz)
- Fresh lemon juice (¼ cup)
- Tahini (2 tablespoons)
- Garlic cloves (1)
- Pinch of salt
- Ice cubes (2)
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- Olive oil
- Optional toppings: parsley, kalamata olives, tomatoes, carrots, etc.
What the Heck is Tahini?
Tahini is a Middle Eastern condiment made from toasted ground hulled sesame seeds. I like to think of tahini as the sesame seed version of peanut butter. Similar to peanut butter, tahini varies in quality. I strongly believe it is worth investing in good tahini. I always find the best quality tahini in the kosher section of the grocery store. At my store, it will cost around $6, which is a little more than a container of pre-made hummus and so worth it.
Remember to Save the Aquafaba
You are probably asking what the heck is aquafaba? In the simplest terms, aquafaba is the liquid leftover from canned chickpeas. This liquid is, well, amazing! Aquafaba is starchy and this starch has become a staple in vegan baking. Often aquafaba is whipped into a meringue or used in place of egg whites to give baked goods a lift. This once commonly discarded liquid has transformed vegan baking from meh into OH. MY. GOD. Delicious!
There are many videos and blogs on how to use aquafaba. I recommend this video from Bake it Up a Notch or this post from America's Test Kitchen.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Long Does Hummus Last?
Hummus stored in an airtight container will last for a week. If you can, make hummus a day in advance for the best flavor. Although in our house we can never wait that long to eat it.
Why Add Ice Cubes to Hummus?
This step is common throughout the Middle East. The slow absorption from the ice cubes tends to make the hummus creamy. I am not exactly sure why this works, but it does.
What Can I Use in Place of Tahani?
Tahani has a very distinctive flavor. If at all you can use it, please do. However, if you cannot find it or you are allergic to sesame seeds, you can use olive oil in its place.
Can I Use Hummus For Something is Other Then Dipping?
Yes, while hummus is traditionally eaten as a dip, you can use it as a spread on sandwiches or toss it in pasta. There are so many creative ways to use hummus. I say experiment. I am sure it will be good.
How Do I Store Hummus?
Hummus can be made in a day or two in advance (I find the flavor peaks on the second day). To store, place hummus in an airtight container inside your refrigerator. Before you serve it, create the wells and fill them with extra virgin olive oil. Then put any additions on top.
* I do not recommend freezing hummus.
Check Out Some Of My Other Recipes
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Did you try this Lebanese hummus recipe? If so, please leave a recipe rating and comment. You can also post pictures of how it turned out on my Instagram and Facebook pages.
Creamy Traditional Lebanese Hummus
- ▢ 1 can chickpeas also known as garbanzo beans (15 oz/drained)
- ▢ 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ▢ 1/4 cup lemon juice
- ▢ 2 tablespoons tahini
- ▢ 1 cloves garlic
- ▢ 1 pinch salt
- ▢ 2 ice cubes
- Prep Garbanzo Beans: In a medium bowl, add the drained chickpeas and enough water to cover by two inches and add 1 teaspoon of baking soda for five minutes. After five minutes, gently rub the shells off of the garbanzo beans. I find it helpful to rub the garbanzo beans together. This does not have to be perfect; aim for 80%. This usually takes about 10 - 15 minutes.
- Process Garbanzo Beans: Place the shelled garbanzo beans in a food processor. Use the pulse function for 3 - 5 minutes until the beans form a rough paste.
- Make Hummus: Add the lemon juice (¼ cup), tahini (2 tablespoons), garlic (1 clove), and salt (pinch) to the garbanzo bean paste. Continue to use the food processor, and use the pulse function until smooth.
- Ice Cubes (final step): Add two ice cubes to the hummus mixture in the food processor and pulse until smooth. This takes about 2 - 3 minutes, depending on your food processor.
- Serve: The traditional way to serve Lebanese hummus is on a plate, then using the back of a spoon, carve out 1 - 2 wells. Fill the wells with extra virgin olive oil. Lebanese also dust paprika on the side of the hummus for decoration. Personally, I skip this step.
- Recipe notes:
- I recommend using extra virgin olive oil
- I like to add toppings when serving the hummus as a dip. The toppings create a showstopper look. When doing this, I usually add. Kalamata olives, quartered cherry tomatoes, parsley, and/or feta.
- Pita bread, carrots, tomatoes, and celery are standard dips in the US.
- To store, place hummus in an airtight container in your refrigerator. You can keep it for 3 - 5 days this way. I do not recommend freezing hummus.