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My Friends Won't Stop Texting Me For This Outrageously Good Hummus Recipe

If you have the energy to learn how to make just one food over the course of your lifetime, let it be this one.

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As someone who writes a lot about food, I've tried a ton of recipes.

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It's a hard job, but someone's gotta do it. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

And I am not kidding or exaggerating in the least when I say I've found the best hummus recipe of all time.

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It's a genius formula made famous by Zahav, chef Michael Solomonov’s Israeli restaurant in Philadelphia. If you have the energy to learn how to prepare just one food over the course of your lifetime, let it be this one.

It is a little more ~involved~ than just your standard blended canned chickpeas-and-tahini recipe (it involves an overnight soak), but trust me — it's WORTH IT.

It's the creamiest, smoothest hummus I've ever had — and is so addictively savory I'm pretty sure I could easily lick an entire bowlful clean in one sitting.

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Even if you have a favorite grocery store brand of hummus, I'd safely bet this one's better. It's light, creamy like the best peanut butter you've had in your life, and served at room temperature, will have you rethinking every single time you enjoyed it in its inferior, refrigerated state. Very sincerely, Zahav's hummus is, for me, the sliced bread of hummus. Life-changing.

Also, it goes well in practically any meal: salads, sandwiches, chicken, pita bread, and with chicken. My favorite way? With some oven-baked sweet potato fries. NOM.

And even if you have minimal cooking experience, you can make a perfect batch yourself. Here's how:

If you want to give this recipe a try ASAP, you can also just scroll all the way down for the full recipe.

1. Soak a cup of dried chickpeas with a teaspoon of baking soda overnight.

The baking soda is essential because it helps break down the chickpeas. You could also skip this step by using canned chickpeas. The result will be just as excellent, but perhaps a little less creamy.
Michelle No / BuzzFeed

The baking soda is essential because it helps break down the chickpeas. You could also skip this step by using canned chickpeas. The result will be just as excellent, but perhaps a little less creamy.

2. Boil your soaked chickpeas in water with another teaspoon of baking soda.

Michelle No / BuzzFeed

As chef Michael Solomonov says, "The secret to creamy hummus is overcooked chickpeas; don’t worry if they are mushy and falling apart a little." So basically, if you suck at cooking and don't use timers and are constantly neglecting your food during prep, your hummus will actually turn out even better. Win-win!

3. While chickpeas are boiling, make the second, ~essential~ part of this hummus recipe — ✨ the tehina sauce ✨ — by blending garlic, lemon juice, kosher salt, tehina*, and cumin.

The actual process is a little more tedious: First, you blend unpeeled cloves of garlic, lemon juice, and one teaspoon kosher salt. (I used a blender for this part because I found my food processor to be too large for this small quantity of ingredients.) You then let the garlicky mixture rest and "mellow out" for 10 minutes. Once that's done, you add tehina, cumin, and iced water to smooth the whole thing out.*And FYI, tehina, which also goes by "tahini," is made of grounded sesame seeds, and can usually be located wherever you usually find peanut butter or other nut butters. Occasionally, it might end up in the "international" or "ethnic" aisle. *smh*
Michelle No / BuzzFeed

The actual process is a little more tedious: First, you blend unpeeled cloves of garlic, lemon juice, and one teaspoon kosher salt. (I used a blender for this part because I found my food processor to be too large for this small quantity of ingredients.) You then let the garlicky mixture rest and "mellow out" for 10 minutes. Once that's done, you add tehina, cumin, and iced water to smooth the whole thing out.

*And FYI, tehina, which also goes by "tahini," is made of grounded sesame seeds, and can usually be located wherever you usually find peanut butter or other nut butters. Occasionally, it might end up in the "international" or "ethnic" aisle. *smh*

The tehina sauce should have this lush and dreamy consistency... 😍

And honestly, this lightly lemony and garlicky tehina sauce could easily be a delicious dip on its own.
Michael Persico / Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

And honestly, this lightly lemony and garlicky tehina sauce could easily be a delicious dip on its own.

4. Once the chickpeas are done boiling (they should be mushy, remember!), add them, along with kosher salt and cumin, to the tehina sauce you just made. Now, BLEND.

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Purée it until it's smooth and creamy, without a single dimple of texture.

5. And VOILÀ! You're done! Now drizzle some olive oil and sprinkle some paprika over the top, and get ready to have the time of your life.

Michelle No / BuzzFeed

One friend who tried my hummus at a potluck later texted me: "Michelle pls send us ur hummus recipe! I been dreaming about it all day." And if you can't trust her, you can trust the five other friends who fought over the leftovers.

Here's the full recipe:

Zahav's Hummus Tehina

MAKES 3 ½ CUPS

INGREDIENTS

1 cup dried chickpeas

2 teaspoons baking soda

1 ½ cups Basic Tehina Sauce (recipe below this one), plus a bit more for the topping

1 teaspoon kosher salt

¼ teaspoon ground cumin

Paprika

Chopped fresh parsley

Olive oil, for drizzling

HOW TO MAKE IT

1. Place the chickpeas in a large bowl with 1 teaspoon of the baking soda and cover with plenty of water. (The chickpeas will double in volume, so use more water than you think you need.) Soak the chickpeas overnight at room temperature. The next day, drain the chickpeas and rinse under cold water.

2. Place the chickpeas in a large pot with the remaining 1 teaspoon baking soda and add cold water to cover by at least 4 inches. Bring the chickpeas to a boil over high heat, skimming off any scum that rises to the surface. Lower the heat to medium, cover the pot, and continue to simmer for about 1 hour, until the chickpeas are completely tender. Then simmer them a little more. (The secret to creamy hummus is overcooked chickpeas; don’t worry if they are mushy and falling apart a little.) Drain.

3. Combine the chickpeas, tehina sauce, salt, and cumin in a food processor. Puree the hummus for several minutes, until it is smooth and uber-creamy. Then puree it some more!

4. To serve, spread the hummus in a shallow bowl, dust with paprika, top with parsley and more tehina sauce if you like, and drizzle generously with oil.

From Zahav: A World of Israeli Cooking by Michael Solomonov and Steven Cook, published by Rux Martin/Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.

Zahav's Basic Tehina Sauce

MAKES ABOUT 4 CUPS

INGREDIENTS

1 head garlic

¾ cup lemon juice (from 3–5 lemons)

Salt

2 generous cups tehina

½ teaspoon ground cumin

1. Break up the head of garlic with your hands, letting the unpeeled cloves fall into a blender. Add the lemon juice and ½ teaspoon of the salt. Blend on high for a few seconds until you have a coarse puree. Let the mixture stand for 10minutes to let the garlic mellow.

2. Pour the mixture through a fine-mesh strainer set over a large mixing bowl, pressing on the solids to extract as much liquid as possible. Discard the solids. Add the tehina to the strained lemon juice in the bowl, along with the cumin and 1 teaspoon of the salt.

3. Whisk the mixture together until smooth (or use a food processor), adding ice water, a few tablespoons at a time, to thin it out. The sauce will lighten in color as you whisk. When the tehina seizes up or tightens, keep adding ice water, bit by bit (about 1½ cups in total), whisking energetically until you have a perfectly smooth, creamy, thick sauce.

4. Taste and add up to 1 ½ teaspoons more salt and cumin if you like. If you’re not using the sauce immediately, whisk in a few extra tablespoons of ice water to loosen it before refrigerating. The tehina sauce will keep a week refrigerated, or it can be frozen for up to a month.

From Zahav: A World of Israeli Cooking by Michael Solomonov and Steven Cook, published by Rux Martin/Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.

FYI, the entire cookbook is pretty excellent and worth a buy.

As one of my foodie co-workers said: "It's one of my all-time favorite cookbooks. The recipes are awesome, but also feel so personal and heartfelt. I've tried the twice cooked eggplant (really good), the chocolate almond situation (also very good), and the tahini cookies (one of my faves)."Get it from Amazon for $14.40.
amazon.com

As one of my foodie co-workers said: "It's one of my all-time favorite cookbooks. The recipes are awesome, but also feel so personal and heartfelt. I've tried the twice cooked eggplant (really good), the chocolate almond situation (also very good), and the tahini cookies (one of my faves)."

Get it from Amazon for $14.40.

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