making hummus in India

24th November 2009

Now I know I promised some delicious Indian dishes when I was in India, but during my stay, I enjoyed someone else making them, rather than me cooking them.  My dear friend Mary had organised a wonderful Indian lady with a huge smile to cook lunch for us.   We were quite a big group of  6 hungry adults and 4 hungry, very appreciative children.  Each day, there was a new dish, more delicious than the next.  Each day there was a soupy dal, rice, two types of vegetable palya (a dry vegetable dish)and either chapati or rice rotti.  The chapati went very well with the hummus.

When packing for India, I packed a huge jar of tahini to experiment with a hummus recipe that was given to me by some experts in this field (thank you, Noa and Tal).  Also, it is one way that I know the children will get a good dose of protein while we are in Mysore, in the South of India.

There are a few secrets to this recipe;

  • bicarbonate of soda for a softer chickpea
  • good quality traditional tahini
  • ice water to create an aerated, creamy hummus.

P1020314IMG_3292Scan 141720002


Makes about 2½ cups


1¼ cup dried chickpeas

¼ tsp bicarbonate of soda

½ tsp cumin seeds

½ cup good quality tahini

salt to taste

juice from ½ lemon, approximately 2 Tbsp, plus more if needed

½ cup ice water

to garnish

1 large ripe tomato

¼ tsp sweet paprika


1.  Soak the chickpeas and bicarb of soda overnight with double their volume in water.

2. Drain, rinse and place in a large pot, and generously cover with water, bring to a boil, skimming off any foam that comes to the surface.

3.  Simmer until the chickpeas are soft, about 2 – 3 hours, depending on the brand and freshness of your chickpeas. You will need to add more water as they simmer.  Once done, the chickpeas should be quite soft but not mushy – drain and set aside.

prepare the hummus 

4.  Dry roast the cumin seeds in a small pan; when lightly toasted, turn off the heat and grind to a powder in a mortar and pestle.

5.  Measure out 2 cups chickpeas/350g (any remaining chickpeas can be used as garnish) and place in a food processor attached with an S-blade; run the machine, stopping and scraping down the sides occasionally until the beans are crumbly.

6.  Pour in tahini, add ground cumin, lemon juice, and salt, and blend again until well combined.  With the machine still running, start drizzling in the ice water so that the hummus starts to become fluffy and aerated. Depending on the chickpeas, you may not use all the water or need more.

7.  Allow to sit for 5 minutes; taste and adjust to your own personal taste by adding more tahini, lemon, or salt.

8.  To serve, spread the hummus in a shallow bowl, add any leftover chickpeas, cut the tomato in half, and grate each half on a medium grater directly into the hummus. Grate until all the pulp and juices are out, and you’re just left with the peel, which you discard. Drizzle with olive oil, more lemon juice, and a sprinkling of sweet paprika. You could also garnish with toasted black sesame seeds or an assortment of sprouts.

Serve with freshly made chapati or pita bread.

I have been sautéing on very high heat – mildly spiced long green peppers, sautéed until slightly charred. 

Shared goodness from Stacey

Print Friendly, PDF & Email


  • hutfitproject

    Just made the hummous. I did add a little bit more of the cumin seed (there is no mention of when you add the cumin)and a bit of garlic. It is very yummy and so much better than the bought variety. mmmmmmmm

    • goodnessis

      Thanks, just amended the cumin addition in the ‘Method’. The cooked red lentil is much lighter and more delicious than the chickpea version.

  • hutfitproject

    Further comment – what would you suggest is a good olive oil in Australia? It is very hard to know and I have tasted a great one that my sister had in Brisbane but she got it from friends in Melbourne who had it imported.
    Can’t wait to make the lentil hummous.

  • Kristin

    Beautiful. I am inspired and amazed by the beauty in such clear wise food. May every table be graced with a dish from the offerings you have.
    ps this is my first ever foray into blog-land, and it feels so appropriate that I am getting my feet (mouth)wet here…

Leave a Comment

All rights reserved © Goodness is…. · Theme by Blogmilk + Coded by Brandi Bernoskie