How to Make Hummus from Scratch

27 September 2018
Hummus is such a versatile dip. It has so many uses and so many opportunities for variations. It's also simple to make from scratch. Hummus is actually the word for chick pea in Arabic, as well as now being the name that it's pureed alter ego goes by.

Versatile & delicious hummus.

Around here we enjoy hummus on a platter, served up with falafels or lentil patties, on toast or burgers, and served with roast lamb. My girls like 'hummus balls' where I make the hummus a little thicker and roll into's also has the advantages of being a little less messy for little hands. I also like to use it in dressings for salads by thinning it out with extra dressing ingredients - oil, vinegar, yoghurt or even water. Great with middle-eastern inspired salads as you would expect.

I like to make mine with dried chick peas that have been soaked and cooked. But you can also make it with tin chick peas if that's easier (and quicker). And while not true to the origins, I'm happy to substitute other beans I might have on hand, including broad beans in spring time.

Another flavour variation is to add in roasted vegetables when you are blitzing it all up. Pumpkin, sweet potato and beetroot all work well. Sauteed chard is also added in when the garden is inundating us with the green stuff.

So, I don't really follow a recipe as such. I have my base ingredients and add in flavourings based on what I have on hand and any planned uses. The amounts vary depending on the amount of chickpeas I've cooked up. I generally cook a big batch of chick peas at one time and make a bulk batch of hummus. Then I freeze any extra chickpeas for chucking into other dishes or for a  quick batch of hummus if I need. The hummus also goes in to the freezer for future use. I find it freezes really well, although occasionally I'll add in a little extra water or oil, if it needs it, to loosen it up when defrosted.

Chickpeas cooked & ready to be transformed.

I often don't have tahini on hand and to be honest, I find the dip just as tasty without. I have substituted sunflower seeds in the past and just blitzed them a little first. But these days I just go sans seeds generally. This option makes it fine for people that might not be able to eat seeds or nuts. And it also makes it a less expensive recipe too.

Homemade Hummus From Scratch

Minimum Ingredients

Chick peas, soaked overnight or tin, drained
Lemon juice

Additional options

Tahini (or other seed paste)
Coriander (fresh or ground)
Preserved lemon
Chillies or cayenne pepper

Cook your chick peas in plenty of water until nice and soft. Drain and cool, reserving a cup of the cooking water. For tinned chick peas drain and rinse in a colander - this helps to remove the 'tinned' flavour a little.

I aim for this consistency - but the beauty of DIY is you can make it to suit your preference.

Place chickpeas in a food processor and blitz, add any other vegetables in at this stage. Add your other ingredients from the minimum list, and any additional flavours, and continue to puree until smooth. I would generally leave the oil until last so that I can judge how wet my mix is. I add a mix of oil and cooking water (or just water from the tap if using tinned) until I get the consistency I'm happy with. If using preserved lemon I'd also recommend holding off on the salt until that has mixed through, then add to taste.

Ready for the freezer.

Have you ever made hummus at home?
Do you add any extra flavourings or additions? Always keen for other inspiration.


  1. I do usually put tahini in my hummus but I make a variation with butter beans which is just the beans, olive oil, garlic, lemon and either parsley or chives. A friend puts peanut butter in his humus instead of tahini but I've never tried that.
    I made a roasted red pepper hummus the other day that was really good and I'm planning on making a beetroot hummus soon as it's autumn here.

    1. Peanut butter is a good idea Hazel. I've subbed that for tahini in other places but never thought of it for hummus.

  2. What a useful thing to have in the fridge, I make mine every 2 weeks with fresh cooked chick peas, the flavour difference ( so delicious) is very noticeable from the tinned ones.
    I sometimes add Paprika or garnish with it, can't wait to try the variations with beetroot, roasted pepper etc.
    Thank you for suggestions.

    1. I definitely prefer the flavour of dried too, but I know when I was first getting started the tins were a less daunting option.
      Hope you enjoy the variations :)

  3. Hi Laura,
    I don't make hummus or buy it pre-made either as I'm the only one in our family who likes it. I'm not a fan of tahini so would definitely leave it out. If I make a roasted eggplant dip I don't add tahini as I prefer the Greek version which doesn't include it. My favourite dip is based on Greek Melitzanosalata but I add roasted red capsicum. Spread on toasted home-made sourdough bread... nothing can beat it for simplicity or deliciousness.
    Have a lovely weekend,
    Maria from Adelaide.

    1. I like the sound of that version with the capsicum - it would be more popular around these parts as we have eggplant-haters among us. The hummus does freeze really well so perhaps you could freeze it in Maria size portions for spreading on sourdough.
      Hope you got some good rain with the storms in Adelaide early in the week.

  4. I love hummus and make it often. I haven't made it without tahini though. I've been wanting to make beetroot hummus, but every time I buy beetroot, roast it and just it as is. :)

    1. It's so good isn't it - either in hummus or just as it is. I can't believe I missed out on roasted beetroot for nearly 30 years of my life. Here in Australia it hasn't always been a regularly used vegetable in the natural form. Usually it is served pickled from a tin...which has it's place but doesn't compare to the earthy deliciousness of roasted beetroot.
      I'm guessing you'll be seeing a lot of beets around as you move into autumn.

  5. i love a really tasty hummus. i made a medieval one recently (on my blog) which was so delicious. you just can't go wrong with this dip. cheers sherry

    1. Ok, just checked out your medieval recipe Sherry - looks good. I love the garnish! Such a versatile dip :)


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