The perfect garbanzo or chickpea to tahini ratio makes the best hummus recipe. Making hummus from scratch is so easy; our homemade hummus is made out of canned chickpeas, tahini, lemon juice, garlic, and olive oil. Whether you want to make a hummus tortilla wrap, put it on a sandwich, or use it as a dip, you’ll come back to this recipe again and again!
The secret is that perfect chickpea to tahini ratio. Well, that’s one of the secrets, the other secret is the order in which you blend the ingredients (seriously, as weird as that may sound).
Hummus Secret #1: The Chickpea to Tahini Ratio
Whether you call them chickpeas or garbanzo beans or “those cute roly-poly beans that bounce when you accidentally spill them on the floor” (don’t ask), it’s important to get the chickpea:tahini ratio right. The tahini imparts an integral flavor to hummus; too little and your hummus flavor profile will be flat because the tahini will be under-represented. Too much, and your hummus can end up overpowered by the tahini and even taste bitter.
Because our recipe uses canned chickpeas (which in addition to being ready and waiting and eager for you to turn them into hummus are also better for both low FODMAP diets and those concerned about lectins), it’s easy to express this perfect ratio. Are you ready? The perfect chickpea to tahini ratio is:
1 can of chickpeas to 4 Tablespoons of tahini
But wait, there’s more, because you actually want the perfect chickpea to tahini to lemon juice ratio.
That’s right, it’s actually an X+Y+Z = hummus perfection kind of thing, but we didn’t want to throw too much at you at once (actually this is all really easy). Just as with the amount of tahini, too little lemon juice and the zip it imparts will be undetectable. Too much lemon juice and, yow! Pucker up baby!
But guess what! The perfect amount of lemon juice is the same as the perfect amount of tahini! So:
1 can of chickpeas to 4 Tablespoons of tahini and 4 Tablespoons of lemon juice
See how easy? :~)
Hummus Secret #2: The Order of the Ingredients
Hats off to cookbook queen Paula Wolfert for discovering this secret, years ago. In fact, nearly 20 years ago (17 1/2, to be precise) Wolfert posted on the eGullet.org forums about her trip to Israel in search of the best hummus. That post has long been wiped from the eGullet site, but through the wonderous magic of the Wayback Machine (i.e. archive.org), we recreate it here:
Posted 04 July 2005 (archive.org link)
Many years ago, I did a story on the ‘search for the best hummus’ in Israel and discovered the expression ‘let’s go wipe.’ It referred to using a piece of pita bread to wipe up the delectable chickpea and tahini dip that Israelis have adopted as their absolute favorite snack. Israeli food writers argued endlessly about such matters as whether in a proper hummus the chickpeas must be peeled or the tahini refrigerated. So, when I returned home in side by side tests the peeled chickpeas produced a better flavor and color. Try it and let me know, but please use home cooked chickpeas and press them through a food mill.
Otherwise, here are two ways that eastern Mediterranean women peel chickpeas: Place soaked chickpeas in a deep bowl. Gently rub chickpeas against one another under water, then remove the peels as they float to the top; or place a handful of chickpeas between 2 rough towels and rub and roll them around until the skins roll off.
On another note, tahini has excellent antioxidant qualities, it has a long shelf life. Turn the jar upside down from time to time to keep the oil from separating. Once you make up a batch of hummus , it loses these keeping qualities and needs to be refrigerated.
Another tip I learned back then, instead of just scooping some tahini from a jar and using it straight, try mixing the tahini with a little lemon juice and garlic until it is white and ‘tight,’ then loosen with cold water before adding some of the chickpea cooking liquid, the chickpeas, and the seasoning. The final hummus will be lighter and creamier. If you let it rest and mellow for 1 to 2 hours at room temperature it will only be better.”
We added that bolding, because that is the secret! Now, we have our own spin on this (no pun intended) in that we have you put the tahini, lemon juice, and garlic in the food processor first, then process it until it’s nice and smooth and light, and then add the rest of the ingredients.
5-Ingredient Hummus: Our Best Easy Hummus Recipe
Ingredients (may be doubled)
1 15-ounce can of chickpeas, drained (save the liquid, which is known as aquafaba) and rinsed
4 Tablespoons tahini
4 Tablespoons lemon juice
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 clove of garlic (this can be omitted if you need to, or substitute 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder)
A dash of salt if you like
Place the tahini, lemon juice, and garlic in your food processor and process until very smooth. You may want to start it by pulsing and then turn it on to help minimize liquid splattering up the sides of your food processor bowl.
Now add the well-rinsed chickpeas and process again until smooth. With the food processor still running, drizzle in the olive oil until it is fully incorporated. Stop the processor and test the consistency of your hummus. If it’s too thick, add some of the reserved aquafaba (bean liquid) until it is just how you like it. (By the way, this is the very same aquafaba with which you can make vegan meringue!) That’s it, you’re done!
Sprinkle some smoked paprika on top, if you like, and then serve.
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