Authentic Lebanese hummus recipe

My friend Suzie is from Lebanon and she makes the best hummus I’ve ever had. So I asked her for the recipe and I’m sharing it with you.

People like to put their own spin on hummus and add different things that aren’t part of the traditional recipe. I must confess I fell into that category, mostly because I didn’t know any better. Hummus should have a creamy, delicate chickpea flavor enhanced with tahini, lemon and hints of garlic.

Having tasted Suzie’s recipe, which she assures me is authentic, I will never be satisfied with anything else.

Authentic Lebanese hummus

authentic lebanese hummus ingredients

Ingredients for authentic Lebanese hummus

2–15 oz cans of chickpeas (garbanzo beans)
2T (heaping) tahini
3T water
Juice of 2 lemons (about ½ cup)
4 cloves garlic, diced
Salt to taste
Extra virgin olive oil, parsley flakes, ground cumin, a few whole chickpeas for garnish


Reserve a few whole chickpeas for garnishing later. Mash one of the beans with a fork to see how soft it is.

mash chickpea with fork

It should mash easily and have the consistency of mashed potatoes. If not, the rest of them need to be boiled.

Say what? Whoever heard of boiling canned chickpeas, but Suzie says they have to be really soft or the hummus will be grainy, and nobody wants that. She buys the Mid East brand from the Arab market because they’re always soft enough.

Mid East brand chickpeas, tahini and olive oil

Suzie’s favorite Mid East brand chickpeas, tahini and olive oil.
Photo credit: SM

Put the chickpeas in a pan along with the water from the can and boil for five minutes.

Boiling canned chickpeas for hummus

Boiling canned chickpeas

Mix tahini with the water in a small bowl.

Tahini mixed with water

Tahini mixed with water

Juice the lemons into a measuring cup.

Dice the garlic.

Four cloves of diced garlic for hummus

Four cloves of diced garlic

Instructions for Lebanese hummus

Drain the boiled chickpeas and begin blending them in a food processor or mini chopper like mine. (Using a mini chopper I have to do this in batches.)

Chickpeas in my mini chopper

Chickpeas in my mini chopper

Throw in the garlic and some salt and add the tahini/water mixture along with some lemon juice. Put enough liquid in until the blended chickpeas become the consistency of yogurt.

You may not need to use all of the lemon juice. Taste it as you go along. I ended up not using 1 or 2 tablespoons. But you may need to add more water until the consistency is right.

blended chickpeas for hummus

Put the hummus in a bowl, smooth out the top and make a little swirl with the back of a spoon. Sprinkle the reserved chickpeas on top. Garnish with extra virgin olive oil and a little bit of chopped parsley (dried or fresh). Then just around the outside edge sprinkle a little bit of ground cumin. Not too much because you don’t want it to overwhelm the chickpeas.

Hummus garnished with olive oil, parsley flakes and ground cumin

Hummus garnished with olive oil, parsley flakes and ground cumin

Hummus garnished with olive oil, parsley flakes and ground cumin

Now serve with some nice, soft pita bread or raw vegetables. Many times I’ll have hummus as a light lunch with carrot sticks.

Hummus on pita bread

Hummus on pita bread

This is so good you might end up eating the whole thing. But just in case you don’t, you can freeze the leftovers.

Try this for yourself and let me know what you think!