Stir-Friday! Perfect Homemade Hummus (Sabra clone)

Mmmm… hummus

It’s that time again.  It’s Stir-Friday! For the complete list of this series click here.  The main idea is that making delicious food makes me happy, so I like to share good recipes with you.

OK guys, I don’t normally throw around the word `perfect’ when it comes to recipes, so you know this recipe is super-legit.  As always, I list the starting point of my recipes at the end of the article, but this recipe comes from the Bible of cookbooks… The Cook’s Illustrated Cookbook.  Literally every recipe I’ve tried from this cookbook has turned out well, so I just wanted to let you know the starting point up front.

My favorite brand of store-bought hummus is Sabra (whose isn’t?), so I was basically looking to create a clone recipe for their classic hummus.  The Cook’s Illustrated recipe was a great starting point, but it used 6 tbsp (!) of tahini.  Tahini is not cheap, so I wanted to cut this back a bit.  Also, the flavor of the CI recipe, while awesome, wasn’t quite what I wanted. As a side note, I’m going to be making homemade tahini soon… I’ll let you know how it goes.

So, long story short, I’ve made about 13 batches of hummus in the last four weeks trying to get the recipe just right.  Below are the fruits of my labor:

Perfect Homemade Hummus (Sabra clone)

Hummus is one of those foods.  It’s good all day every day.  And believe me, I should know since I’ve been eating it in truckloads trying to get this recipe right.

A few notes:

1) You need a food processor to make this recipe.  If you don’t have one, you should get one.  Seriously.  It’s a super versatile tool that should be a part of any fully stocked kitchen.

2) This recipe calls for dry beans.  If you don’t regularly use dry beans, you should consider making the switch.  It takes more time, but they are cheaper, taste better, there’s less packaging waste, and you get to control the salt content.  Anyway, canned beans will work just fine in this recipe, but I can’t guarantee that you’ll get the same creamy texture.

3) If you aren’t familiar with hummus, the beans used are garbanzo beans.  Garbanzo beans can also be found masquerading under the names chickpeas and ceci beans.  Clearly these beans win the “best bean name” and “most bean aliases” prizes.

4) This recipe also calls for tahini.  You may be saying to yourself, “Ta-who?”  If you’ve never heard of it, it’s the same idea as peanut butter but made from sesame seeds with a little added oil.  You can find it in places like Whole Foods on the nut-butter aisle, and also in your local indian food store (if you have one).  Hopefully I’ll soon be posting on how to make your own, so if you can’t find tahini in your area, stay tuned.

Without further ado:

Perfect Homemade Hummus (Sabra clone) (makes about 2 cups)

  • 1/2 cup (100g) dry chickpeas, soaked overnight
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • about 1/4 cup bean water (kept after cooking the beans)
  • 1/2 tsp salt (or heaping 1/2 tsp kosher salt)
  • 1/4 tsp ground cumin
  • a few shakes cayenne pepper (or more if you like spicy)
  • 1 medium/large or 2 small cloves of garlic, peeled and roughly chopped
  • juice from 1 medium/large lemon (about 2-3 Tbsp)
  • 3 Tbsp tahini
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil (or other vegetable oil), plus a little more for garnish
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Beans just after getting into their bath.

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Beans after soaking for about 8 hours.

Drain the soaked beans and the put them in a small/medium pot and cover with about an inch of water.  Add the baking soda, bring the water to a boil, and then reduce to medium and simmer until the beans are tender (about 15 minutes).

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Putting in the baking soda.  I’m not sure why you do this, but I think it makes the beans blend to a better consistency.

Drain the beans, reserving some of the bean water, and add them to a food processor.

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Don’t forget to reserve some bean water!

Add the salt, cumin, cayenne, and garlic and process for about 15 seconds.  Scrape down the sides.

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Put the lemon juice in a 1/3 cup container, then top up to 1/3 cup using bean water.  Put the 1/3 cup bean/lemon water into a vessel with a pour spout.  Turn the processor back on and steadily add the mixture.

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A steady stream is fine for this step.

Scrape down the sides again and then process for about a minute.

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Just after adding the lemon/bean water.

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After processing for about a minute or so.

In a container with a pour spout (maybe the one you already used), whisk together the tahini and olive oil.  With the food processor running, SLOWLY but steadily add the tahini mix (you are making an emulsification here, so you should just be slowly drizzling this mixture in).

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For best consistency you should try to stick with a slow drizzle. Also, it’s more important to go slowly at the beginning than at the end (that’s what she said).

Process until smooth (about another 10-15 seconds).

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As you can see, the hummus has enough body to keep an impression made by an errant finger.  However, at this stage the hummus should be pretty moist.  Maybe more so than you think (it will dry out just a little bit as it rests).  It should only barely be able to keep the finger impression’s shape without caving in a little.  If it’s too dry you can turn the processor back on, and slowly add a little more bean water.

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Try not to eat it right away. You’ll thank me later.

Scoop hummus into a bowl, cover, and let rest in the fridge for at least 30 minutes so the flavors can marry and settle down together.  I suggest passing the time with a lovely cocktail.  I went with an old-fashioned.

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Sugar, bitters, whiskey, an ice cube, and a lemon twist. Simple goodness.

When ready, drizzle a little more olive oil (and add a garnish if you want) on top and serve with crudités (fancy french word for raw vegetables), bread, or whatever you want.

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Here I added some chili garlic paste, but even if you don’t use a garnish you should drizzle a little olive oil over the hummus to keep it from drying out.

This recipe was adapted from the “Ultimate Hummus” recipe in The Cook’s Illustrated Cookbook.

I find that the amount of lemon a person likes in their hummus can vary quite a lot.  My fiancée likes “super-lemon-taste-nothing-but-lemon” hummus.  I do not.  This recipe does not taste very lemony, but feel free to play with the proportions until you get a combo that’s just right  for you.  Of course, to keep the right consistency, always add just 1/3 cup of whatever liquid concoction you’re going with.

You could easily add roasted red pepper, olives, or whatever you want to fancy up this recipe.  If you do, I would recommend adding a little bit of your desired ingredient(s) in the first phase of processing, and then garnishing with a healthy serving on top before chilling.

Have you ever made hummus before?  How did it turn out?


2 thoughts on “Stir-Friday! Perfect Homemade Hummus (Sabra clone)

  1. AandB

    Can is just say this recipe is bang on :) I love Sabra hummus because it’s so creamy and “whipped” and you just nailed it. This will be my forever Hummus recipe now thank you!!!!


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