The key to making really creamy hummus has not a lot to do with oil and a whole lot to do with chickpea flour!
Creamy HummusJump to Recipe
There’s a certain brand of hummus that Betsy and I find particularly wonderful due to its creaminess. I’ve tried to replicate its wonderful texture and never quite gotten it right. Even the few times I’ve made hummus for Macheesmo, they’ve been good and tasty but a bit firm.
I’ve probably tried (but not posted) to make really creamy hummus about half a dozen times over the last few months and normally my attempts involve pumping it full of an increasing amount of oil. That never really worked.
Then one day, I had the sudden realization that I was thinking inside a very tiny box. That very tiny box was assuming that I had to start with chickpeas. I had this realization on the day when I made my chickpea pancakes.
You see, on the back of the chickpea flour bag, there was a recipe, in very tiny print, for hummus. And chickpea FLOUR, my friends, makes some seriously creamy hummus.
- ¾ Cup Chickpea flour
- 2½ Cups water
- 3 cloves garlic
- ¼ Cup water or stock for blending
- ¼ Cup Tahini
- 1 lemon juice only
- ¼ Cup olive oil
- Pinch of ground cumin
- Pinch of salt and pepper
- Dash of hot sauce
- Start by bringing the larger amount of water to a simmer in a pan. Slowly add in the chickpea flour, whisking the whole time.
- Continue stirring/whisking on low until the the chickpea flour mixture is thick, about 8-10 minutes.
- Combine chickpea paste with other ingredients except stock/water and oil and process in food processor until smooth.
- Drizzle in oil and water/stock and continue to process until combined well and smooth.
- Serve right away with toppings of your choice or store in a plastic container with a drizzle of olive oil on top.
Did you make this?
Snap a photo and tag @macheesmo so I can see your work.
Of course, it makes complete sense that if you want to make something really smooth, it’ll work better if you grind it into flour before mixing it. It just honestly never crossed my mind.
Since chickpea flour has no other ingredients besides chickpeas, it’s not like you are adding a lot of stuff. It’s just a process switch that results in a much finer finished texture!
Making the hummus
Besides the special ingredient, this recipe has pretty standard hummus stuff.
The thing about chickpea flour is that it can take in a lot of water. So start out by bringing the water in the recipe to a simmer in a pan and then add the flour. It’ll look like a small amount compared to the water, but it’ll swell pretty quickly.
Whisk it continuously for a few minutes until it starts to thicken. Don’t worry if it has some lumps. They will smooth out when you process it.
Keep stirring until it’s pretty thick, about 8-10 minutes over low heat should do the trick.
Then mix the chickpea paste with all the other ingredients in a food processor. If you have a mini one, you can use it but you might want to process it in two batches.
Just give this all a whirl and don’t forget to add in your oil and extra water or stock. It should be really creamy and delicious.
This stuff is best right away, but eating four cups of hummus is a challenge in one sitting so you’ll probably want to store some. The best way to store this stuff is to put it in a plastic container and drizzle some olive oil on top. That’ll keep it nice and moist.
It’ll keep in the fridge for a week or two without a problem.
Of course, the best thing to do is to toss on a few toasted pine nuts and a bit of oil and eat it right away while it’s still kinda warm!
This was a great example of a time when it helps to change your frame of reference a bit. I’m not sure if this is how Sabra makes its hummus so darn creamy, but I was able to get really close to their texture by making the simple switch to chickpea flour.
You could obviously mix in any flavors that you wanted like roasted red peppers as it processes to get a flavor that you like.
If you’re a hummus eater, you have to give this a shot.
45 Responses to “Creamy Hummus” Leave a comment
Whoa! This is genius; thanks for sharing! My food processor died mid-pesto the other week, but the one on our wedding registry has been purchased, so…. Less than a month to go, now, and then I'll be married AND I'll be able to make hummus again. Word.
This looks incredible, and your photos are amazing! What a fabulous idea…I am off to find some chick pea flour! :-)
One bag of flour makes A LOT of hummus also…
Can we use a hand mixer or a blender instead of a food processor? We don’t have one yet.
Hey Nick – did you put pine nuts in with the other ingredients in the food processor, too, or did you just use them for garnish?
(Made one of your couscous salads for a dinner party last night, and it was a hit!)
I just used them for garnish in this case, but you could throw some in.
Nice on the salad. ;)
Brilliant. I will have to try this, as my husband and I eat a lot hummus and really like the very creamy Trader Joe's version. It would be nice and convenient not to have to drive over there to fulfill our frequent need!
oh my word Nick – you are a genius ;-)
thanks for sharing
Nick, lovely post! I am going to share my secret for creamy hummus: you need to make sure the skins are peeled from the chickpeas. That one step will give you creamy hummus every time, as it is the slippery little buggers that make your hummus coarse. If you want variation, try tossing in a roasted red pepper or two into the mix at the last minute, and you will have our signature hummus. Oops, the cat's out of the bag!
I can see that. Taking the skins off of a bunch of chickpeas would probably add some time onto your prep I'm guessing ;)
As you might have guessed, I have a trick for that as well. What you do is lay your chickpeas in a bowl so they only come about half way. Then fill that bowl with water. Rub the chickpeas gently in your hands, and settle them back into the water. The skins will float to the top of the water, and you can then just sweep them off. It is not so bad after that.
Once you taste a skinless hummus, you will never go back!
Swweeeeet. I'll add it to my list.
Yay! I haven't had the best luck with hummus recipes, so I can't wait to try this one. My husband loves the texture of the brand you mentioned earlier, but it always irritates me that they don't use olive oil in it. I am excited to try this recipe out!
Great idea Nick. One tactic I always use when making hummus is instead of using water for blending, I use the liquid from the can of garbanzo beans. I don't know if it necessarily makes it creamier but I think it helps with the flavor.
My wife and I gave up buying hummus because we always preferred sabra. We will make this soon. Thanks!
I used to make fantastic hummus but in the last year or so every time I make it it's totally bunk! I'm going to try this first thing Friday!!
Thanks for the experiment! :D
Sabra is phenomenal….especially the supremely spicy flavor. It ruined me too. I will definitely try using the flour.
In my experience, mixing your hummus in the blender instead of the food processor will also make it creamier.
Can't take credit for the idea, though–I read about it in Veganomicon.
One of the photos shows pignoli nuts in the food processor with the other ingredients about to be blended. They're not in the ingredients list. How much did you use – not counting the garnish. I'm going to make some today.
Mine came out great! But I was worried at first, as it was really thin and soupy. Firmed up great after a few hours.
Good idea. I make a very creamy hummus; there are two methods I have used, though I just use the first way now:
1. Blend the crap out of it. Leave it for at least 3 minutes, adding a bit of water to make sure things keep moving. I usually try to get distracted so I can really let the processor go for a full 3-5 minutes.
2. Cook the chickpeas with a teaspoon of baking powder – try this. I don't do this normally because I'm not sure about what baking powder does to the nutrition of the beans, but the result is not only a creamy hummus, but a fluffy hummus.
I also don't buy tahini since sesame seeds are so much less expensive. Blend the crap out of the seeds before adding the garlic or beans. :)
Yum! Great photos, too, as always.
Ok, I made your recipe and it's VERY creamy but boring tasting! WHat am I doing wrong? Thanks BTW, my garbanzo flour is brand new, just bought. Thanks
Where do you find Chickpea flour??? I’ve looked everywhere!
Heya, I was able to find it in a natural foods store… definitely whole foods or a similar type of store should have it.
I know you can probably order it off of amazon or something also.
Look for chickpea flour in an Indian store. It is called “besan” (sounds like basin).
We use it a lot in our cooking. It also make the most delicious sweets.
Never tried hummus with it though. I like the texture that comes from blending garbanzo beans, lemon juice, garlic, 3-4 green chillies and tahini.
Thanks for a very interesting post.
I am trying this as we speak.
I got the chick pea flour at vitacost .. pretty cheap too.
I got tired of lugging cans and cans of chick peas up…..
I added a smidgen of baking powder to see how fluffy I can get it.
Maybe I can make it like whipped cream? jk.
I would have never guessed I would have to cook the flour.
ok i just finished it. Is there anything against chilling it first?
Thanks for finding out the secret to creamy hummus. I gave up making hummus a long time ago (really, decades) because I could never make it as good as the restaurants in the city or some of the prepared brands. I recently had Nur’s, a local company in the NO area. It was really creamy the way I like it, the best I have had in eons, but not at all inexpensive. So I decided to try my hand at it again and started by searching the internet for the secret to making it creamy…and I found your awesome website.
I used your recipe/technique, but almost tripled the garlic (keeps dem vampires away a night) and cooked it with the flour to mellow it out, used about 5 big easy sized dashes of cumin (next time I’m going to toast the cumin), a whole fresh jalepeno in lieu of hot sauce, and added some organic grape seed oil I had on hand (gave it a nice extra nutty flavor), and included about 1/4 cup pinenuts in the processor. Definately chilled it to allow flavors to marry and texture to set up. Garnished with smoked paprika, pinenuts and olive oil.
Oh My Dog, it came out freaking Delicoius. I will never (well, may be not never) purchase prepared hummus again.
Thanks for sharing the great details of your trials and tribs in the kitchen. I’m not one to follow recipes so much as techniques, and whenever I eat something new away from home, I like to try to recreate it (a habit I learned from my Dad). So I hope to visit your site often to to help with my kitchen adventures.
happy cooking, and thanks again.
Wow – this is SO EASY and SO GOOD!
I found chickpea flour at a natural foods store (mine calls it Hummus Flour!) AND I found tahini at a local Indian grocery store.
I also roasted red peppers on the grill and added those! Super good!
I think I like my hummus a little thicker than my consistency so I would probably add another 1/4 cup or so of the chick pea flour.
To all of you who have made hummus with garbanzo flour…
I tried it once. Once. It was GREAT when it was fresh, but after I refrigerated it (even for just a couple hours) the whole thing got completely gelatinous and took the shape of the bowl it was in. It was like a Jell-O mold made of hummus. Did I do something wrong? Has anyone else seen this? Is there a fix? I love the texture when it’s freshly made, but I’d hate to have to throw out the leftovers every time because it gets so funky.
Any help you guys can offer would be greatly appreciated!!!
Hey Harold, that is odd! I’ve never had that problem… Have you tried just stirring in some hot water to it and see if that loosens it a bit? That’s the best I can think of…
I’m able to get the texture back by adding some liquid and mixing in my Cuisinart, but after it goes back in the refrigerator, I’m in the same boat again. :-/
Mine came out super gelatinous as well. It was nasty. I didn’t use pine nuts ( which are in the pictures, but not listed in the recipe ) because we had an issue with “pine mouth” last year. Maybe they added enough texture? I am guessing the brand of chickpea flour makes a big difference…
What worked for me was omitting the extra 1/4 cup of H20 when blending, then letting it cool on the counter until around room temp- it seized up quite a bit- then I added the additional 1/4 cup + a bit more to get to the consistency I liked. It stayed awesomely creamy in the fridge. The only changes I made were to spice amounts- a pinch of each didn’t do it for me, so I added 2-3 tbls of pre-chopped garlic, and about a tsp of each cumin, salt and chili powder (instead of hot sauce).
If you left out the tahini and/or the olive oil, it will bind up into the form it cooled in. The taste will also be interesting, but not the smooth rich taste of hummus.
Garbanzo flour can be pricey. I found out you can just make your own garbanzo flour by putting raw (uncook) garbanzo beans in a food processor or high-speed blender (probably a regular blender would work too) until they are the fine consistency you want. I have made garbanzo flour in my Vitamix a number of times and it’s always great…and the freshest garbanzo flour you can find!
I get mine from swanson vitamin for about 2 buck a bag. I put larger orders in a few times a year- over 50 bucks and the shipping is free- but anything under is only a flat 4.99. This is not a paid advertisement! :)
This recipe didn’t work, came out super watery.
Sorry Liz… not sure what couldn’t went wrong. What brand of chickpea flour are you using? Maybe that has something to do with it?
Did you cook it on the stove? You need to do that else the flour will be raw and taste like a raw bean. And very watery, because the blender isn’t going get the flour to absorb the water.
I know this is an old post but has anyone tried making this without heat or a food processor. I’m considering taking some dry hummus fixins on a backpacking trip but obviously can’t take a food processor and would prefer to not have to cook it and waste fuel.
Hey Liz… I don’t think it would get very creamy without that. Not sure I would deal with it on a backpacking trip… good luck!
A great way to go for backpacking is hummus mix. It’s just add water though a bit of olive oil and garlic added can’t hurt.
Casbah Authentic Grains, Hummus Chickpea Dip Mix
You can find it on Amazon if not your supermarket.
If you can mix it in the morning it will be smoother by lunch time than just mix and eat.
Hope this helps
Thanks guys. My last big backpacking trip was in September. I actually ended up buying pre-designed dry hummus mixes from a vegan backpacking company. They weren’t “perfect” hummus but they were tasty when really hungry and VERY filling. I will try to make my own next time now that I know a little bit more about what to expect.
Followed the recipe, came out gelatinous-, whole thing came away from the sides when you tried to mix it, overall – yuk. Not at all like any hummus I’ve seen before. Threw it all away.