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Dips and spreads

Whipped airy hummus

Prep time 15 minutes | Cook time 1 hour
yields 2 cups

Photography by Tracey Creed
Assisted by Amandine Paniagua
Recipe by Amandine Paniagua and Tracey Creed
Words by Tracey Creed

Published December 21 2020
Updated January 13 2024

Even in the 70s, hummus was considered hippie food. It wasn’t a staple, you’d find it in health food stores or Middle Eastern markets — not in supermarkets. Still, today the better-purchased varieties are going to be the ones you seek out in health food stores or Middle Eastern markets — though, the best hummus will be the batch you prepare from scratch. I think today we’re returning to that more idealistic and wholesome communal approach to life and food. Celebrate. Make hummus.


1 cup dried chickpeas
2 tsp bicarbonate of soda, divided
2 garlic cloves
13 cup lemon juice
1 tsp kosher salt
23 cup tahini
14 cup ice water
1 tsp ground cumin
4 ice cubes
olive oil


To get started, place chickpeas and 1 teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda in jar or bowl, cover with cold filtered water and let sit overnight — 8–12 hours. Drain and rinse.

Combine soaked chickpeas and remaining 1 teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda in a large pot, cover with cold filtered water. Bring to the boil, skimming surface as needed. Reduce heat to medium-low, partially cover, and simmer until chickpeas are super tender and the skins remove very easily — 45–60 minutes. Drain.

Blend the garlic, lemon juice, and 1 teaspoon of salt in a food processor or blender until kind of foamy. Let sit, the garlic will mellow out. Strain, removing as much liquid as possible. You’ll use this. Set aside the remaining solid garlic, you can use this for cooking.

Add the garlic and lemon liquid to your blender with the tahini and pulse to combine. With the motor running, add the iced water, processing until mixture is very smooth, pale, and thick. Add the chickpeas and cumin and process, occasionally scraping down sides, until mixture is extremely smooth. To thin, add ice cubes, start with a few and if needed, add the rest. Season to taste with salt, more lemon juice, and more cumin as desired.

Store in an airtight container. Your hummus will keep for up to one week in the fridge.

Tips you need for a lighter, brighter hummus

This whipped, lighter version of the classic makes for the perfect dinner prep snack, it pairs well with raw crackers, toasted sourdough, crudités. Let the below guide you for making better hummus.

Cook your chickpeas until they’re so tender, they become mush Michael Solomonov who makes the very best hummus — Bon Appetit named his hummus their 2015 Dish of the Year, adds bicarbonate of soda to the cooking water. It raises the pH of the water and helps the little guys break down. Yotam Ottolenghi uses 1½ tablespoon bicarbonate of soda per 500 g dried chickpeas — 1 tablespoon in the soaking water, and the remaining half tablespoon in the pot. Canned or undercooked chickpeas will not make great hummus; it will be grainy.

Peeling chickpeas results in a more grounded flavour A mindless activity, ideally paired with the ritual of masking, removing the skins creates a smoother hummus. You’ll be rewarded for both activities.

Blend the lemon juice and garlic Amandine read this somewhere. The acidity in the lemon juice prevents the garlic from developing a raw heat.

Use ice cubes Greg Arnold, the brilliant plant-based chef behind Dark Horse Organics incorporates ice cubes during the final stages of processing — in place of ice-cold water. Cubes make for a much more pale hummus with a wonderful whipped texture.

Hummus is a tasty way to increase your calcium intake

I have been on a fully plant-based diet for over 20 years now. My bone density is fine. There are plenty of plant-based sources of calcium, including sesame seeds. Just 2 tablespoons of tahini provide almost 15 per cent of the recommended daily allowance of calcium. Per 2 cans of chickpeas, you’ll use 4 tablespoons of tahini, it’s not crazy, but it isn’t nothing neither. Frequently spooned onto the side of your favourite meal will get you that much closer to that 1,000 mg of calcium per day requirement. That said, the calcium content of tahini varies, and the amount you absorb will depend on your genetics. And ensure you’re taking vitamin D supplements if you’re not able to obtain sufficient levels through your diet. Your body cannot process one without the other.

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