The best easy traditional hummus ever!
Inspiration and thoughts
My mom is, again, definitely my inspiration for this recipe. I don’t remember when the hummus craze began in the US, but I have been eating it since I was a child. I remember bringing mom’s homemade hummus with veggies to elementary school for lunch and my friends would ask me what I was eating and always thought it looked strange…until they tasted it! Honestly I never wanted to share because I didn’t want everyone to eat it all up before I did. Glad it’s become so popular now! Hummus is a staple of Middle Eastern cuisine and is served at every family gathering and get together as an appetizer and as part of a meal. For our Syrian family it is no different. My mom makes the best hummus and always somehow blends it to the perfect consistency with the perfect amount of spices and garlic. We love to eat it with cucumbers, carrots, pickled turnips, and fresh pita bread, but I love it with Stacy’s chips too (of course) or any pita chip!
My boyfriend and I eat so much hummus. If we want a snack it’s definitely the go-to thing to make, especially because it is so easy and quick. Now there is always a jar of tahini and several cans of garbanzo beans in Eli’s pantry for whenever we need the perfect quick and easy snack. We also top off salads (Middle Eastern or otherwise) with hummus to give them an extra yummy flavor.
The most traditional topping for hummus is called sumac. It’s a beautiful berry that is ground into a spice with a deliciously tangy and lemony flavor and vibrant red color. While it may be hard to find at your local grocery store, you can definitely find it at any ethnic market or online. My dad gets me the best sumac in bulk from a Middle Eastern-specific market, but I have seen it at several ethnic markets in my area. If you don’t want to deal with finding it, or can’t, don’t fret! You can definitely use paprika instead in this recipe, and remember, it’s just for the topping. Paprika is a different flavor but still so delicious with hummus, and it still gives you that nice pop of color.
Another garnish for hummus that I love to use is zaatar, as pictured in the featured image for this recipe. Actually, I add this spice to almost everything. Zaatar is a delicious Middle Eastern mix of spices generally including the actual wild zaatar herb, sesame seeds, sumac, thyme, oregano, and salt. How good does that sound? Different brands have slightly different mixes, but the best ones have sumac included. It has recently become more popular as a spice in the US, but it has always been a constant in my family’s cooking and I always have its ingredients on hand. For special recipes I still use the zaatar that my mother gave me that was my grandmother’s that she brought from Syria with her, and it is the best. You can find zaatar at the same places I mentioned earlier as sumac, but again, if you can’t find it don’t worry. This can be easily omitted from the hummus and it will taste just as good!
Hopefully this recipe can mirror my mother’s and you can enjoy it just as much as we do.
How it’s made, notes, substitutions
I like to use a Ninja blender, but any food processor or small blender will be fine for this recipe. All you have to do is add the ingredients into the blender and mix until smooth but still thick and fluffy. I am not a fan of hummus that is too thin and liquidy. The best hummus is thick and fluffy, almost a whipped consistency. This makes it so much easier to dip with and also gives the hummus a deliciously rich taste and texture.
Pour your hummus into a small dish. Traditional hummus always has a pattern carved into it with a fork, which you can do if you wish. If you want to be a little extra (I always do!) take a fork and run the end of it around the top of the hummus, circling inward until you’ve covered the top. This is totally not necessary, but I am very extra and love a fabulous design! Add a spoonful of extra virgin olive oil to the top of the hummus and move the bowl around to spread out the oil. Top with paprika (or sumac and zaatar if you have them), and fresh mint leaves. Serve with your favorite veggies, chips or pita bread, and you’ve got the best hummus ready to enjoy!
The best easy traditional hummus ever!
- blender or food processor
- One can garbanzo beans drained and rinsed
- 1 tablespoon water
- 1.5 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- Juice of one lemon
- 2 tablespoons tahini
- Optional garnish: a spoonful of extra virgin olive oil sumac or paprika, zaatar and mint leaves.
- In a food processor or blender (I use a Ninja), add all of the ingredients and mix until everything is well blended.
- Pour into a small bowl, add your garnishes, and serve with pita chips or veggies (or both!). Enjoy!