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Hummus b Tahini
classic chickpea and sesame seed spread

Photo Credit: Alexandra Grablewski

Hummus translates literally as “chickpea” in Arabic, and my recipe is a simple, purist’s version—creamy and nutty with some lemon and garlic weaved in. If you’re scared to try homemade hummus, don’t be! It’s only a little more work than opening a container, and the flavor is heavenly. Since the chickpeas (also called garbanzo beans) need to be soaked overnight, make sure to start this process the day before! I always stick true to tradition and use dried chickpeas instead of canned because of their vibrant fresh flavor.

I like to serve my hummus warm (the Lebanese way!), with a drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil, chopped fresh parsley, and a sprinkling of paprika and toasted pine nuts. It’s the perfect spread for toasty Khebez Arabi, or “pita bread”, or sliced raw veggies. If you’re looking for more variety—for a party or gathering—check out my “I Heart Heavenly Hummus Bar”.



1 cup dried whole chickpeas

1⁄2 teaspoon baking soda

3 garlic cloves

1⁄3 cup tahini (sesame seed paste), thoroughly stirred

1⁄2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice

1 teaspoon sea salt

1 tablespoon unsalted butter, for toasting the pine nuts

1⁄4 cup pine nuts, for garnish

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, for garnish

2 pinches sweet paprika, for garnish

1 tablespoon fresh flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped, for garnish

6 large pita bread pockets, warmed and sliced into wedges, for serving

One day before you plan to serve the hummus, spread the dried chickpeas evenly into one single layer on a clean surface and discard any that are discolored. Place the chickpeas in a large bowl, cover with 6 cups of cold water, and stir in the baking soda. Cover the bowl and set aside at room temperature to soak overnight.

The next day, drain the chickpeas and thoroughly rinse with cold water. Place the chickpeas in a large, heavy-bottomed pot and fill with 8 cups of cold water. Cover the pot and place over high heat. When the water comes to a rolling boil, remove the lid, and skim off any foam that has collected on top of the water. Continue to boil the chickpeas for another 10 to 15 minutes, watching carefully to prevent boiling over, and skimming the foam about four or five times.


After the chickpeas have boiled for the additional 10 to 15 minutes, test a chickpea by squeezing it in between your finger, it should be somewhat squishy. Reduce the heat to a simmer, cover the pot, and continue to simmer for 25 to 30 minutes until the chickpeas are very soft but still hold their shape, and the skin begins to come off. Taste a chickpea: it should melt in your mouth, with no crunch at all. If needed, continue to cook until the chickpeas are very soft. Drain the chickpeas, reserving 1⁄4 cup of the cooking liquid and 1⁄4 cup of the cooked chickpeas for garnish.


Using a food processor, add the garlic, the cooked chickpeas, and process until smooth, pausing periodically to scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl. If the mixture is too thick and the chickpeas aren’t breaking down, add the reserved cooking liquid. When the paste is smooth, add the tahini and fully incorporate into the paste. Add the lemon juice and salt, and process several times until the mixture is silky and a light beige color. You should be able to taste all the ingredients; a lemony taste first and foremost with a subtle hint of garlic and a nutty tahini aftertaste.


In a small pot, melt the unsalted butter on medium-high heat. Once it begins to froth, add the pine nuts and toast for a minute or two, just until fragrant. Remove from the heat and set aside in a small bowl.


Transfer the hummus from the food processor and, using a spatula, spread the hummus onto a large serving plate or bowl and drizzle with the olive oil. Sprinkle with the paprika, chopped parsley, and toasted pine nuts and place the reserved whole chickpeas in the center of the hummus or make one of the variations below. Serve warm with the warmed bread.

I Heart Heavenly Hummus Bar

Housemade. Homemade. Handmade. With lots of Lebanese love from my Lebanese kitchen to yours, each of these incredible culinary combinations are drizzled with extra-virgin olive oil


HEAVENLY HUMMUS & HESHWI Add Heshwi, a mouthwatering meat mixture of sautéed onions, luscious lamb meat, freshly chopped mint leaves, and toasted-to-perfection pine nuts spiked with allspice and seven spice.

FEELING FRESH HERB & SPRING ONION Finish with fresh and finely chopped flat-leaf parsley, mint leaves, spring onions (scallions), and chives.

SIMPLY SMOOTH STYLE Add extra-virgin olive oil, a little bit of freshly squeezed lemon juice, and lightly sprinkle with sea salt.

SELMA STYLE This one is for my vegetarian sister, Selma! My own version of a vegetarian heshwi. Add finely diced and sautéed Vidalia onions, baby bella mushrooms mixed with freshly minced mint leaves and flat-leaf parsley seasoned with sea salt, allspice, and seven spice topped with toasted-to-perfection pine nuts.

SOME LIKE IT HOT HUMMUS Add spicy and smoky concoction of cayenne pepper, Aleppo crushed red pepper flakes, and sweet and smoky paprika for a “some like it hot hummus!”

Copyright 2017 by Julie Ann Sageer in Julie Taboulie’s Lebanese Kitchen, St. Martin’s Press/St. Martin’s Griffin. All Rights Reserved.

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