The original recipe for truly authentic hummus from Israel and everything you need to know about the “Mayo of the East”. (2024)

Hummus is an indispensable perennial favorite, and not just in the Middle East. The whole world is now deeply enchanted by the “Mayo of the East”. The name of the delicious chickpea puree now even stands for an unmanageable variation of creative recipes with a wide variety of ingredients. Anything that contains legumes (or not) and is pureed (or something similar) works well with hummus. Very exciting and delicious crossover things often happen: How about, for exampleHummus Thai style with peanuts, lime and sirachaorChocolate hummus with almonds and chocolate chips?

But despite all the gadgets and creative kitchen adventures: what is it actually like, the truly authentic original hummus? How does it taste, how does it feel and – above all – how can you make it perfectly at home? On my journey through Israel, I went in search of clues and not only brought back the traditional recipe for perfect, silky, fluffy and extremely creamy hummus - I also brought a few exciting facts with me that shed a whole new light on the wonderful chickpea puree. So that we can all enjoy our perfect hummus at home:

A little hummus knowledge – everything you need to know about the mayo of the East

Bread with hummus? Actually, I'd rather not.

In Europe, hummus is mostly known as a “spread” or dip – we eat a lot of bread with relatively little chickpea cream. In the homeland of hummus it is exactly the opposite: bread is more of a means to an end. You want to get as much hummus as possible into your mouth in one bite. A lot of bread would only be unattractively filling and spoil your appetite too quickly for the main protagonist: the hummus. It's better to take very small, thin pieces of flatbread in your hand and, with a circular movement of your wrist (magic wipe), bring a neat mound of hummus from the bowl onto the bread and into your mouth. Alternatively, the chickpea cream is often eaten with raw onion pieces or simply with a spoon out of the bowl.

How much olive oil goes into the perfect hummus?

There are tons of recipes online that contain olive oil. A fundamental mistake: with original hummus, you never add olive oil to the chickpea puree. It is only used as a topping on the finished hummus, for example together with whole chickpeas and spices. But then please have plenty. As a professional, you should now avoid olive oil when preparing it and read below what the secret to perfect hummus is.

Small dip or whole main meal?

In Lebanese restaurants in Europe, hummus is often served in mini bowls as part of an extensive mezze selection. Or served as a sauce in the falafel pocket at an Arabic snack bar. Hummus is actually a dish in its own right. In Israel, it is traditionally eaten plain, with boiled eggs or various toppings, in large portions for breakfast or lunch. But never for dinner. The combination of chickpeas and the other ingredients is very nutritious and is digested slowly. Perfect for getting through the morning and the day comfortably satiated in the hot temperatures. In the evening, however, the legumes would be left for too long and would be a burden when sleeping. Therefore, it plays a minor role at dinner and is definitely not served as the main meal.

Beans with lentils or would you prefer large and small chickpeas?

Especially in America, people are very relaxed about the selection of legumes for hummus. Beans, lentils, peas – everything is made into a puree and then christened hummus. You can do it. However, real hummus is only made from one type of legume: chickpeas. Whether you use a variety with large or small chickpeas is rather irrelevant. Some fans claim that they can taste a difference - but the best way to find out is for yourself. However, beans are a very tasty addition to hummus:Foul Medhamesis prepared, for example, from cooked fava beans, lemon, spices and herbs and tastes delicious as a topping.

The secret to really velvety hummus

Authentic hummus has absolutely nothing to do with stiff supermarket products or tough mush. Good hummus is silky, fluffy and extremely creamy. It flows in waves and melts in your mouth - a wonderful, addictive experience! But how do you achieve this great consistency? The secret is: tahini. The quality of a hummus is determined solely by the quality and quantity of sesame paste added. In many recipes circulating, a small tablespoon is used, along with larger amounts of olive oil. In Israel this would be absolutely unthinkable and downright a sacrilege. The mixing ratio is not mandatory - but the best restaurants use chickpeas and tahini in a 1:1 ratio. Since tahini is the expensive ingredient for hummus, you can also see how well someone means their guests.

So what now – tahina, tahini, tehina or simply sesame paste?

Tahina is the Arabic name for sesame paste. Tahini seems to be more common in the Greek-speaking world. But you can also buy sesame paste under the names Tehina and Tehin. It consists - in top quality - only of ground, sometimes unpeeled or roasted sesame seeds without any other ingredients. The sesame is slowly ground between huge stone disks until a creamy, very oily paste is created.

Many famous hummus restaurants grind their own tahini - certainly a smart economic decision given the amount needed. Tahina has a very high nutritional value due to its high fat content, but in addition to the calories it also contains a large portion of vitamins (B1, B2, B6) and an extra-large portion of calcium. That’s why many people refer to tahina and hummus as superfoods. And we promise that it will only have the best effects for the body and will in no way mean extra pounds on the hips.

By the way, the best tahina is bought in Turkish or Arabic grocery stores. You can also sometimes get lucky in Asian stores or kosher departments in supermarkets. Or you can order them online. The best identifying mark: the original Hebrew or Arabic lettering. Unfortunately, the sesame pastes offered in health food stores sometimes taste rancid and often do not have the quality that imported products have.

The meditative trick with the legume skin

Some people generally don't tolerate legumes very well and get flatulence from them. But that should definitely not be a reason to avoid hummus! The difficult part of legumes for digestion is a relatively thick membrane that surrounds the legume. Once the chickpeas are cooked, you can easily remove them. Admittedly, this is a relatively meditative activity, but you can do it while watching TV, for example. To do this, take each individual chickpea between your thumb and forefinger and press gently. The membrane comes off very easily and can be thrown away. Process the skinless chickpeas as normal. Delicious hummus is ready – guaranteed without any unwanted side effects.

Hummus without a mixer?! But yes!

A nice, authentic alternative for those without a mixer: The cooked chickpeas are roughly mashed with a potato masher or similar and then mixed very well with the other ingredients. Using home-cooked, still-hot chickpeas, it becomes an absolutely delicious warm hummus with structure.

The storage time of really good hummus

The best restaurants make their hummus fresh every morning. And then sell it on the same day until it runs out. After that there is nothing more – until the next morning. That's why on Thursday - the day before the Jewish holiday Shabbat - long queues form early in front of the most popular places. Everyone is afraid that the day's supply will run out before they get their portion for Shabbat. Hummus should be consumed on the day it is prepared and no later than the next day. It is said that hummus that is stored for a long time becomes “gritty”. This probably means that it oxidizes due to oxygen and the fine balance of acidity and creaminess gets a little out of hand. Of course, it can still be enjoyed with a clear conscience - but connoisseurs would tend to reject that. Homemade hummus can easily survive a night or a day in the fridge. Before serving, it should definitely be brought back to room temperature.

Before you start mixing and be happy with your hummus - if you want to find out more about Israel, hop over to these articles:

A bizarre “Dead Sea goes Ballerman experience” and the most beautiful view in the world. A travel report. {Travel Israel}

Or bake yourself great cookies with tahina:

Israeli Tahina Shortbread Cookies – super tender sesame cookies made from only 5 ingredients
The original recipe for truly authentic hummus from Israel and everything you need to know about the “Mayo of the East”. (1)

The original recipe for truly authentic hummus from Israel

Ingredients for 2 breakfast portions
or for 6-8 dip portions:

250 g chickpeas (jarred, canned or home-cooked)
150 ml cold water
2 cloves of garlic
Juice of 1 lemon
½ tsp salt
½ tsp ground cumin
(or more to taste)
200 gBlessedThe original recipe for truly authentic hummus from Israel and everything you need to know about the “Mayo of the East”. (2)* (Sesame paste without any other ingredients)

Optional for serving:
Thin flatbread
olive oil
whole chickpeas
quartered onions (as an edible spoon substitute)

That's how it works:

The chickpeas in a powerfulMixerThe original recipe for truly authentic hummus from Israel and everything you need to know about the “Mayo of the East”. (3)* orFood processorThe original recipe for truly authentic hummus from Israel and everything you need to know about the “Mayo of the East”. (4)* give. Switch on the device and slowly pour in the cold water.

Then add garlic, lemon, salt and cumin and mix until a hom*ogeneous sauce is formed. Then add the tahina to the chickpea puree and mix on high speed for at least 1 minute until the hummus is creamy, white and fluffy.

If the hummus is too thick - you want it to make waves - mix in a little more cold water.

Finally, if necessary, season with salt and lemon juice and serve the hummus with toppings of your choice (olive oil, chickpeas, herbs), flatbread and onions.

The original recipe for truly authentic hummus from Israel and everything you need to know about the “Mayo of the East”. (5)
* You can find equipment with asterisks in well-stocked specialist retailers or you can order them from Amazon using the partner program links above. Of course, this won't cost you a cent extra. And I get a few cents from Amazon to support my blog work. Thank you for making this possible!
The original recipe for truly authentic hummus from Israel and everything you need to know about the “Mayo of the East”. (2024)


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