Hummus (Chickpea Purée)

(recipe, Sally Schneider)

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This revisionist hummus is lighter and fluffier than traditional versions, and each flavor is distinct. Adding toasted crushed cumin, coriander, and sesame seeds accentuates the sesame flavor of tahini and provides crackle. Serve with warm pita or another flatbread, crusty peasant bread, or with roasted beets, peppers, and eggplant.


  1. 1 tsp. cumin seeds
  2. ½ tsp. coriander seeds
  3. 1 Tbsp. sesame seeds
  4. 3 cups cooked chickpeas, drained, or 2½ cups canned chickpeas (garbanzos), rinsed well and drained
  5. 3 Tbsp. tahini
  6. 3 to 4 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
  7. 1 garlic clove, minced
  8. 2 tsp. kosher salt
  9. Pinch of cayenne pepper
  10. ½ cup reserved bean cooking liquid or water
  11. 2 tsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  12. ½ cup chopped fresh cilantro
  13. ½ tsp. slivered lemon zest


  1. In a small skillet, toast the cumin and coriander seeds over low heat until fragrant. Crush coarsely in a mortar with a pestle or spice grinder. Add the sesame seeds to the skillet and toast, shaking the pan frequently so they don't burn. When they are golden, crush them in the mortar or coarsely grind them in the spice grinder. Set aside.
  2. Transfer the drained chickpeas to a food processor. In a small bowl, whisk together the tahini, lemon juice, garlic, 1½ teaspoons of the salt, the cayenne, the reserved spice mixture, and 2 tablespoons of the reserved cooking liquid or water.
  3. Add the tahini mixture a tablespoon at a time to the chickpeas, processing until you have a medium-coarse purée. (For a coarser texture, pulse to a coarse mash, or pound in a large mortar.)
  4. Stir in enough of the reserved cooking liquid to make a soft, fluffy mixture with the consistency of mashed potatoes. Add the remaining ½ teaspoon salt, adjust the seasoning, and transfer the hummus to a serving bowl.
  5. Drizzle with the olive oil, sprinkle with the chopped cilantro and lemon zest, and serve.


You can make the hummus up to three days ahead; cover and refrigerate.