The Best Hummus

Well, it’s the best hummus according to me.  After travelling to Israel a couple months ago, I couldn’t believe how much I loved the hummus served there.  One of the distinct flavours is the amount of tahini added.  It’s the creamiest hummus that I have ever had and I wanted to make it like that for now on at home.  So, the wonderful recipe that I am sharing with you is from Michael Solomonov, owner of Zahav, an Israeli restaurant in Philadelphia.  There is also a cookbook of the same name,  Zahav: The Cookbook.  Wonderful stories and delicious recipes.

The recipe for Zahav’s Hummus is a winner.  You get a extra creamy hummus by using dried chickpeas and soaking them overnight in water with a teaspoon of baking soda.  Below you can see that one cup of dried soaked overnight produced double the amount the next day.

The recipe said to cook the chickpeas with another teaspoon of baking soda for about an hour to ensure extra mushiness.  My chickpeas were almost falling apart after 25 minutes.  Drain and get the tahini prepared.IMG_4348This recipe prepares a garlic infused lemon juice first.IMG_4336Puréed with a little salt, set to rest for about 10 minutes and squeeze the juice through a fine sieve.  Save the juice only for the tahini mix.

Tahini is a paste made from only white sesame seeds. It is a versatile Middle Eastern product used for dips, sauces and even desserts.

tahini, made from only white sesame seeds.

Tahini, blended with the garlic-infused lemon juice and a few tablespoons of cold water, transforms into a smooth thick paste.IMG_4351Add the drained chickpeas and  a little cumin, and purée until silky smooth.IMG_4352Add a little more water, if necessary for your preferred consistency and adjust the seasonings.  IMG_4353My favourite hummus recipe.  Silky smooth and delicious with a distinct tahini flavour.

Hummus Recipe

– from  Zahav by Michael Solomonov

1 cup dried chickpeas
2 teaspoons baking soda, divided
4 garlic cloves, unpeeled
1/3 cup (or more) fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more
2/3 cup tahini
1/4 teaspoon (or more) ground cumin
1 splash live oil, for serving
1 handful chopped parsley and sumac, for serving (optional)

  1. Place the chickpeas in a large bowl with 1 teaspoon of the baking soda and cover with plenty of water. (The chickpeas will double in volume, so use lots of water. Soak the chickpeas overnight on the counter.  The next day, drain the chickpeas and rinse under cold water.
  2. Place the chickpeas in a large pot with the remaining 1 teaspoon baking soda and add cold water to cover by at least 4 inches. Bring the chickpeas to a boil over high heat, skimming off any scum that rises to the surface. Lower the heat to low-medium, cover the pot, and continue to simmer for about 20-25 minutes, until the chickpeas are completely tender to the point of falling apart.  Drain.
  3. Meanwhile, process garlic, lemon juice, and 1 teaspoon salt in a food processor until coarsely puréed; let sit 10 minutes to allow garlic to mellow.
  4. Strain garlic mixture through a fine-mesh sieve into a small bowl, pressing on solids to release as much liquid as possible. Discard the solids.  Add  the garlic-infused lemon juice and tahini and pulse to combine. Add 1/4 cup ice water by the tablespoonful and keep processing until mixture is very smooth.  Add chickpeas and cumin and puree for several minutes, until the hummus is smooth and silky-creamy. Continue to ensure super smoothness.  Taste and adjust the seasoning with salt, lemon juice, additional water, and cumin to your liking.
  5. To serve, spread the hummus in a shallow bowl, sprinkle some sumac or za’atar, top with parsley and more tehina sauce if you have any left, and drizzle generously with oil.



  1. Lesley Harris · · Reply

    This is also my famous hummus recipe – it’s different than others and I highly recommend everyone make it! As an aside, I’ve had the pleasure of dining at Zahav in Philadelphia – it’s fabulous!

    1. would love to meet you in Philadelphia at Zahav one day!!

  2. Cathy Levine · · Reply

    I have this cook book but as yet haven’t tried the hummus. Looks delicious and will try it this summer !

    1. It’s worth it, Cathy. It will give you fond memories 🙂

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