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The Perfect Hummus Recipe

By Amelia Casey-Rerhaye, BA Arabic

After a couple of attempts at this recipe you’ll be whipping up this magical dip in ten minutes.

For those of you students lucky enough to have a blender or food processor at your disposal, this one is for you. The key to the perfect hummus cannot be found in any old recipe. It is the essence, the patience and love, the frantic switching between spoonfuls of tahini, squeezes of lemon and glugs of olive oil that leave your kitchen in a state of complete disarray; this is what leads to hummus perfection. After a couple of attempts at this recipe, you’ll be whipping up this magical dip in ten minutes (perfect for last-minute dinner party offerings).

However, the journey must start here, with a basic recipe that I have used for years and has earned me much praise. As always, the measurements are suggested proportions, and can be adjusted to taste. However, I would recommend following the recipe accurately first, and then tasting and adding ingredients as you see fit. I usually find that it is the salt and lemon juice that I play with the most. 

Another big factor is the quality of your olive oil. When I am at home I use a very nice bottle that my parents buy which adds a gorgeous silky and fragrant taste, but at uni, the Lidl Greek olive oil works wonderfully too and is much cheaper. 

This makes around two to three Tesco hummus pots worth.


1 can of chickpeas (save the water in a bowl)

2 tbsp tahini (I use brown, but white works too)

2 tbsp olive oil

2 tbsp (or as much as is needed) chickpea water

1 clove of garlic, roughly chopped

Juice of half a lemon

½ tsp cumin 

Salt and black pepper to taste 


The method for this is reasonably straightforward. Place all the ingredients, save for the chickpea water, into your blender and blend for about two minutes. Do this until it is reasonably smooth. Then slowly add in your chickpea water, blending in between additions. 

If you feel you are using a bit too much chickpea water (say you are on your fifth tablespoon) you can add a little olive oil instead to ensure a balance of flavours. 

Blend for a little longer than you think is appropriate to achieve the perfect consistency, and then taste to see if the flavour is to your liking. If you find it slightly lacking in depth, add a smidge of tahini. If you feel it is a little heavy or bitter, add a pinch of salt and a squeeze of lemon juice. Et voila, you are ready for endless amounts of pitta and hummus.

Photo caption: Hummus and flatbreads, the perfect afternoon snack. (Credit: Jules, stone soup, creative commons)

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