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Hummus guide | Top Tips For Making Perfect Hummus (plus recipes)

Why grab a tub of disappointing hummus when it's so easy to make your own? Expert Josh Katz of London's famed shawarma bars, Berber & Q reveals his secrets to the perfect hummus

The main ingredients of hummus are dried chickpeas, garlic, onion, lemon, tahini and cumin.

You can add whatever takes your fancy on top of that, although some ingredients lend themselves better than others. Roasted red peppers, chilli, caramelised onions, and roasted butternut squash are all good options, and it’s important to drizzle oil over the top as a garnish when serving.

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I use dried chickpeas every time and wouldn’t consider making hummus without them.

Chickpeas vary in quality and I never find tinned ones produce the flavour I’m looking for. The brine that the tinned chickpeas are kept in is unwanted and affects the taste and texture of the hummus even if you rinse them.

I’m not saying that you can’t make a decent hummus from tinned chickpeas, and certainly if time is of the essence then they’re a good go-to option, but if you want to make a proper hummus then you really need to use dried.


The cooking liquor is important for adding flavour back into your hummus.

Soak the chickpeas overnight before transferring to a pot with an onion, garlic and bicarbonate of soda. I use ½ tsp per 500g of chickpeas and add it after it’s all come to the boil, then let the mix boil for 30 minutes.

They cook quicker this way and the bicarb softens the skin of the chickpeas, helping ensure a lovely smooth finish to the hummus. Once cooked, remove the chickpeas and blend with fresh garlic, tahini, cumin and fine salt until you’re happy with the taste. I add lemon juice and some of the warm cooking liquid which helps give it that creamy texture.


I love tahini’s versatility.

You can pair it with almost any ingredient and it enhances it, it can even be sweetened with honey as a great base for desserts. S H Yaman and Al-Arz are the best brands in my opinion.


The garlic and lemon are vital ingredients for adding flavour and depth.

It really comes down to personal preference and how garlicky you like your hummus, but I use eight garlic cloves per 500g of dried chickpeas and 100ml of lemon juice.


When serving, I add paprika, cumin and chopped parsley or coriander with a drizzle of olive oil and freshly grilled pitta.

At Berber & Q Shawarma Bar we serve mesabaha, a traditional Middle Eastern mezze of hummus with whole cooked chickpeas. To make this, retain some cooked chickpeas before blending, then spoon the whole cooked chickpeas over the finished hummus, along with tahini sauce, olive oil, coriander and green chilli for a different take. berberandq.com


Try our great ideas for quick hummus toppings here

Tart up your shop-bought hummus with one of our clever toppings. From spicy lamb, toasted pine nuts with zesty lemon to punchy harissa with chickpeas. These recipes are super simple and take no time at all.

Hummus Toppings

Three olive hummus recipes to try:

Grilled avocado halves with harissa hummus and tahini yogurt

We love avocado! With this recipe for grilled avocado halves with harissa hummus and tahini yogurt, we’ve promoted it to BBQ star


Harissa salmon sandwich with pea hummus

This healthy open sandwich is packed with delicious, fresh flavours but is ready in just 20 minutes and under 500 calories


Posh hummus

This poshed-up hummus with tomatoes and spring onion tastes so much better than shop-bought. Eat as a dip or in falafel wraps – it will be your new favourite.


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