This Is the Secret to Better Homemade Hummus

updated Jun 26, 2019
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If you’ve never made hummus from scratch, you may consider it a run-of-the-mill dip that’s easy enough to grab at the grocery store to have on hand for mid-afternoon snacking. But trust me — that’s barely scratching the surface of its potential. Make it yourself instead, and it could be the very best thing you consume all year. I know that’s bold, but hummus is too modest to say it, so I’ll say it on its behalf.

Homemade hummus is ridiculously easy — especially if you start with canned chickpeas. However, opting for canned chickpeas usually doesn’t achieve complete hummus bliss. The true otherworldly stuff comes from cooking the beans yourself. That takes time, though, and sometimes you need this creamy dip ASAP. Luckily, I discovered the most brilliant tip to make the shortcut version taste like you spent much more time in the kitchen. The secret is the microwave.

Credit: Sheela Prakash

Microwave Your Canned Chickpeas for Better Homemade Hummus

I discovered this ingenious trick in 30-Minute Vegetarian, a cookbook written by Swedish chef and food blogger Ylva Bergqvist. Her hummus recipe is like most out there, except for one thing: She microwaves the canned chickpeas. Not only does this make for a warm hummus, but it also intensifies its flavor. The best part? You can apply this trick to any hummus recipe that starts with canned chickpeas.

Here’s how to do it: Empty the entire can of chickpeas (liquid and all) into a microwave-safe bowl. Add the peeled clove or two of garlic you plan to use in your recipe. Microwave this mixture uncovered on HIGH for 4 minutes. While Ylva then dumps everything, liquid and all, into the food processor, I had more success adding just the beans and garlic first, and reserving the hot liquid to add a bit at a time. This kept the hummus from becoming too liquidy. Blend the warm beans and garlic with your remaining hummus ingredients — typically tahini, lemon juice, and salt — then add the hot liquid a tablespoon at a time until it reaches your desired consistency.

Credit: Sheela Prakash

The result is better hummus — plain and simple. Microwaving the beans with their canning liquid cooks and softens them further, which makes the hummus smoother. It also removes any lingering canned taste that can sometimes find its way into the beans. Lastly, it lightly cooks the garlic and removes just enough of its raw bite to give the dip a more rounded flavor.

This trick will work with any hummus recipe that calls for canned chickpeas. While I haven’t tried it with other puréed bean dips, like white bean dip, I think it would work well with them, too. No matter what, if you’re looking for a hummus that far surpasses the store-bought stuff but takes no less energy to achieve, keep this tip close by.

Have you tried this tip before? What’s you trick for the best homemade hummus?