How to make it: Hummus recipe

A Middle Eastern staple, hummus is a crowd-pleaser — and everyone's got their own way of making it. Cookbook author John Gregory-Smith shares his version

By John Gregory-Smith
Published 1 Apr 2018, 16:00 BST, Updated 14 Jul 2021, 11:38 BST


Photograph by Alamy

Hummus is a gutsy meal, served in a bowl for one to tuck into with a spoon. This recipe by John Gregory-Smith adds baking powder, which softens the chickpeas, making for a smoother finish.

Serves: 6 as part of a meze

Preparation time: 1hr 40 mins plus soaking


250g dried chickpeas

2 tsp baking powder

Juice of a lemon

2 cloves garlic

75ml tahini

Extra virgin olive oil to serve

Flatbreads to serve

Sea salt


1 Tip the chickpeas into a large saucepan and cover with water. Put a lid on and leave to soak overnight.

2 Drain, rinse, then tip into a clean pan and cover with water. Add the baking powder and bring to the boil over a high heat. Skim off the foam.

3 Reduce the heat to low and simmer, skimming off any scum as you go, for 1-1.5 hrs, or until the chickpeas are tender. Drain over a bowl, reserving the cooking liquor.

4 Wash the chickpeas thoroughly in cold water and drain well. Put a handful of them to one side for garnish and tip the rest into a food processor. Add the lemon, garlic, tahini, 75ml cooking liquor and a good pinch of salt. Blend until smooth. If the mix it too thick, loosen with a little more cooking liquor; add tahini to make it richer. Salt to taste.

5 Tip the hummus into a serving bowl. Using the back of a spoon, create a well. Add the remaining chickpeas. Pour over the olive oil and add your choice of topping — I like a handful of chopped fresh parsley and a pinch of paprika.

Food and travel journalist John Gregory-Smith is the author of four books: Orange Blossom & Honey, Turkish Delights, Mighty Spice and Mighty Spice Express

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