The History of Hummus

History tells us that the earliest known recipes for “hummus bi tahini” are recorded in 13th century cookbooks. Many cultures would love to claim hummus as their own, but unfortunately, because hummus has been around for so long, the exact origin has been lost. Multiple different theories and claims of origins exist in various parts of the Middle East, evidence is insufficient to determine the precise location or time of the invention of hummus. Its basic ingredients—chickpeas, sesame, lemon, and garlic—have been combined and eaten in Egypt and the Levant over centuries.

Though regional populations widely ate chickpeas, and often cooked them in stews and other hot dishes, puréed chickpeas eaten cold with tahini do not appear in records before the Abbasid period in Egypt and the Levant.

What we know for sure is that chickpeas have been cultivated throughout the Middle East and India for thousands of years. Chickpeas are not only packed with protein, fiber, and folic acid, but also have historically been ground and used as a coffee substitute.

Hummus is a popular dish in the Middle East, North Africa, and the Mediterranean. Thankfully today, hummus is becoming more popular in the western world. Well-known Middle Eastern-style food product companies produces over 14 different hummus flavors available in the US and Canada.

Get ready to make the best hummus of your life!

The best hummus is lusciously creamy, yet somehow light and fluffy


  • Chickpeas (3 cups). Chickpeas, also known as garbanzo beans, are the star ingredient in hummus. Canned or dry chickpeas? If you’re wondering how to make hummus from scratch–the best, extra creamy, authentic stuff–you’ll want to cook your own chickpeas from scratch (you’ll give them a good soak overnight + boil in water until well-done.)
  • Garlic (1 or 2 cloves). Start with 1 clove and make sure it is finely minced. Tip: to tame its pungency, allow minced garlic to sit in a little bit of lemon juice for a few minutes.
  • Tahini (⅓ cup). Tahini is a rich, nutty and slightly bitter paste made from toasted sesame seeds.
  • Fresh Lemon Juice (from 1 lemon). Fresh lemon juice is just the thing to add tang here.
  • Kosher Salt. Just a pinch of kosher salt to your liking. You can always add more.
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil. A generous drizzle of quality extra virgin olive oil is the way to finish and serve this dip the authentic way.
  • Garnish.  The standard to garnish a bowl of hummus, once the EVOO has been poured nicely right in the middle, is a few pinches of tangy sumac (sometimes ground cumin is a good addition). If you have some extra cooked chickpeas, plant them right in the middle. For a pop of green, you can add a garnish of fresh parsley.

How do you make hummus from scratch?

1- Soak and cook the chickpeas
If using dry chickpeas allow extra time for soaking (overnight) and cooking (2 hours).
Take 1 cup dry chickpeas and place it in a large bowl. Add plenty of water and soak overnight (chickpeas will expand in the bowl).

When ready, drain chickpeas and place them in a medium-sized heavy cooking pot. Cover with water by about 2 inches. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 1 ½ to 2 hours. You should end up with about 3 cups of cooked chickpeas.
If using canned chickpeas, give them a quick 20 minute simmer in plenty of water to help soften them some more.

2- Peel the chickpeas
Cover the cooked chickpeas in hot water and add 1 ½ teaspoon baking soda. Leave for a few minutes. Take a handful of chickpeas and rub under running water to remove the skins. Discard skins. Let the chickpeas cool completely before using.

3- Puree the chickpeas in a food processor
Dry the chickpeas well then add them to the bowl of a large food processor that’s fitted with a blade. Run the processor until the chickpeas turn into a smooth powder-like paste.

4- Add the rest and keep blending
While the food processor is running, add 2 ice cubes, tahini, salt, and lemon juice. Blend for about 4 minutes or so. Check, and if the consistency is too thick still, run processor and slowly add a little hot water. Blend until you reach desired silky smooth consistency. At this point, you can cover and refrigerate the hummus for an hour or so before serving.

5-Transfer to a serving bowl and garnish
Spread in a serving bowl and add a generous drizzle of good extra virgin olive oil. Add a few chickpeas to the middle, if you like. Sprinkle sumac on top.
Enjoy with warm pita wedges and your favorite veggies and some warm pita bread.



Chickpeas, the main ingredient of conventional hummus, have appreciable amounts of dietary fiber, protein, vitamin B6, manganese and other nutrients. Hummus provides roughly 170 calories for 100 grams, and is a good to excellent (more than 10% of the Daily Value) source of dietary fiber, vitamin B6, and several dietary minerals.

Fat content, mostly from tahini and olive oil, is about 14% of the total; other major components are 65% water, 17% total carbohydrates, including a small amount of sugar, and about 10% protein.

World records

Hummus has broken records.
The largest serving of hummus was 10,452 kg (23,042 lbs 12 oz) and was achieved by Chef Ramzi Choueiri and the students of Al-Kafaat University (all Lebanon) in Beirut, Lebanon, on 8 May 2010. The hummus was made by around 300 student chefs under direction of Chef Ramzi, and served on the new largest ceramic plate, which measured 7.17 m in diameter and was created by local architect, Joe Kabalan.

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