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The Problem with Hummus

posted on: Feb 21, 2024

Hummus topped with toasted pine nuts and chickpeas. Photo Credit: Menal Elmaliki

By: Menal Elmaliki / Arab America Contributing Writer

It’s my aunt’s strange addiction, she has a craving for it constantly. She makes bundles at a time and even refrigerates them to eat the next day or donates it at the nearest food bank. Her obsession had nearly cost her her husband who has a chickpea allergy. He’s been hospitalized twice and now their marriage is dwindling, he told her it’s me or the chickpea.

Have you ever scrolled down the aisle of the grocery store lingering at the spread section and deciding between guacamole and hummus, with hummus there are so many options to choose from, instead of looking for the cheapest why not the most authentic. Hummus that actually contains olive oil, not the other brands that have this sort of weird and addicting aftertaste and that’s made with sunflower and canola oil. Skip the grocery store you can make this hummus at home. The homemade alternative is cheaper, easy to make, and you can make it how you like. If you like it lemony, add more lemon, if you like it thick add more tahini. The choice is yours.

I remember growing up and my father who is very Arab would pronounce hummus as humbus. It would always embarrass my mother who didn’t appreciate the mispronunciation. She would always tell him, “You sure you’re Arab.” Whether it’s hummus or humbus I’ll show you an easy way to make this recipe, and you can spice it up with any toppings.

If you’re feeling lazy or you think buying all these ingredients are expensive remember that although the cost of tahini, chickpea bag or can, garlic, and lemons is not cheaper than the tub at the store, it is cheaper in the long run. You can make 10 hummus for the cost of 10$. Cheaper than the one tub that’s $5-7, huh!

Hummus with mint iced tea. Photo Credit Menal Elmaliki

The recipe is so quick and straightforward, no need to soak the dry chickpeas overnight, you can use the can. For a nice touch, you can add jalapeño pepper and top it with smoked sumac, roasted lamb or beef pieces with pomegranate molasses, zaatar, or/ and toasted pine nuts.

The Hummus Recipe


Serving size 4 people

1 can chickpeas (I prefer to use Goya)

Squeeze of 1-2 lemons

1/4- 1/3 Tahini (add more according to taste preference)

1 small jalapeno (optional)

Sprinkle of Salt

Dash of Cumin powder

Dust of Coriander powder

A few of ice cubes

2 cloves of garlic

A Spicy touch. Photo Credit Menal Elmaliki
A nice tang/ zest. Photo Credit Menal Elmaliki

Always remember the key to hummus is blending. You must blend, blend, and blend.


  1. Boil the can of chickpeas. It should take about 5 to 10 minutes, and some of the leftover skin should be removed. Then, quickly drench the chickpeas in cold water.
  2. After they’ve cooled down, add your chickpeas to the blender and blend.
  3. After blending for about 30 seconds, add in all the ingredients and blend for 2 minutes.
  4. After blending taste to see if it needs more salt, tahini, or lemon, and remember this is according to your taste preference so if you like it garlicky, add more garlic. If the hummus is too thick, add a little chickpea water from the can or water. Remember to add in little by little, and if the hummus is too runny, you can add in more tahini.
  5. Once it’s finished, please place it in a bowl. Remember to add olive oil and sprinkle paprika (for color) right before serving. Add whatever toppings you like.
  6. You can make toasted pita chips to elevate your recipe. Simply coat the cut-up pita in olive oil and bake in the oven for 7-10 minutes at 350 degrees.
Iced mint tea with lemon. Photo Credit Menal Elmaliki

Pomegranate Beef/ Lamb cubes

  1. Marinate the beef or lamb cubes in sumac, salt, pepper, and pomegranate molasses and let rest for 30 minutes.
  2. Sauté the meat for 5- 10 minutes until it’s finished.
  3. Remember to taste and adjust seasonings to your liking.
  4. Add on top of hummus with a drizzle of olive oil and toasted pine nuts.

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