The Secret to Smooth Hummus

Have you been making hummus for years and it never gets as smooth as you’d like?

Hummus 1

Or do you often go to an Israeli or Middle Eastern restaurant and the hummus is just…well, perfectly smooth?

This the trick, from an original source, my Turkish mother-in-law Chana who has been making hummus for decades, passed down from her mother, etc.

I am not sure she would allow me to share this trick with you, but the difference in the hummus is that substantial, I have to fill you in.

And the ingredient is….

Baking soda!

Of course this trick won’t work if you use chickpeas from a can (which I definitely do often for a last minute hummus for Shabbat when I run out of fresh chickpeas in the freezer).

How do you use the baking soda?

  • Soak your dried chickpeas overnight in water. 1-2 cups of chickpeas is a good amount to start with.
  • The next morning/afternoon drain all the water and add a teaspoon or two of baking soda to the chickpeas and mix it in.
  • Let it sit for 10 minutes and then rinse off the chickpeas.
  • Let the chickpeas boil in unsalted water for 90 minutes or so, until the chickpeas are tender and falling apart.

I usually cook about 2 cups at a time and then separate them into bags of a 1/2 cup and freeze them. Then on the Fridays before Shabbat when I plan to make hummus I just take out the bag to defrost. 1/2 cup of chickpeas is enough for our small family for Shabbat. If we have guests, I use 1 cup.

If you don’t already have an Israeli hummus recipe, here is my go to recipe below.

Unfortunately with hummus it is not an exact science, so you need to use your eyes and taste, but these are roughly the measurements. Feel free to add more garlic, lemon, salt, tahini or water…

Israeli Hummus Recipe

What you need:

  • 1 cup cooked chickpeas
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • Juice of one lemon
  • ⅔ cup raw tahini
  • salt to taste
  • water


  1. Put the chickpeas, garlic, lemon juice and salt in the food processor and pour the tahini on top. (I never use exact measurements here, I kind of just pour a good amount over the chickpeas, because tahini also gives the hummus its creaminess. Don’t be cheap with the tahini!)
  2. Start to process the hummus while adding a bit of water. Start with a 1/2 cup and see how the consistency is. You want it soft, because it will harden a bit in the fridge, but not watery.  Add a bit more water if the chickpeas still look chunky.
  3. Let the food processor run for a few minutes and taste it. See if needs more lemon, garlic, salt, tahini or water.  Don’t be afraid to add a bit more tahini at this stage with a tiny bit more water if you feel it isn’t creamy enough.
  4. Eat immediately with a pita, olive oil, and paprika if you can’t resist, or store it in a Tupperware for later enjoyment 🙂

*Hummus stays fresh in the fridge for about a week.

Enjoy and let me know how smooth your next batch of hummus comes out!


3 Replies to “The Secret to Smooth Hummus”

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