Hummus and Adventures in Tahini

18 Sep

I love hummus. Probably this is because I love chick peas. I have been known to eat chick peas straight out of the can. Now that I’m on my scratch cooking/bean kick, hummus seems like a natural thing for me to try at home. Processed hummus that you buy at the grocery store is pretty tasty and somewhat low cal. So why, try this at home?

Well, first would be all the extras they add into store bought stuff. Since I’m “unprocessed girl” these days, I opt for making this at home. Second, hummus is sinfully easy to make and really impresses people (especially non cooking types) when you say you made it yourself. Third, and most important, like anything else you make from scratch it just tastes better.

But, like sometimes happens, my plans didn’t unroll exactly as I would have liked. Once I decided to make hummus and googled about a bazillion recipes, I realized I was going to need tahini (sesame seed paste). Crap! Last time I bought tahini it took two grocery clerks at Safeway to find it and it cost $10 for a 6 oz jar. To add insult to injury, I only used two tablespoons and threw the rest away after it got lost in my fridge for an undetermined amount of time.

Hmmm. I’m Scratch-cooking Girl so I consider making the tahini at home too.* I had toasted sesame seeds in a zip lock bag in my freezer and I had both sesame and olive oil. Let me fast forward to the lesson I learned. Do not try to make tahini at home. I whizzed the sesame seeds and oil in my food processor but unless you are making cups of this stuff there isn’t enough volume. The paste ended up under the blade of the food processor and splattered along the wall of the bowl. Next I tried my immersion blender. The paste ended up caked inside the umbrella-cup thingy which protects the blade. Sigh! Last, I transferred the whole mixture to my food mill (aka Krupps coffee grinder). This mixture, although starting to look a little more paste like just got gummed up around the blade.

Crap! I scratch the whole tahini thing off my list. I regroup with a hummus recipe that uses roasted garlic in place of the tahini. I don’t actually have roasted garlic on hand but I do have several heads of garlic so things are looking up. I blend up the roasted garlic hummus and bring it to a friend’s house. She and the other guests are suitably impressed. Hooray!

That would be the end of the story had I not found the tahini pictured at Sprouts. At roughly $4.00 a jar its a much better bargain that the stupid Peloponnese brand. I figure the holidays are coming so homemade hummus is going to be my new thing.

So, here you have it. Kat’s favorite hummus recipe; try making one batch with tahini and one without. Try them both and let me know which you like better!

Roasted Garlic Hummus


  • 1 15 oz can garbanzo beans or 1 cup cooked
  • 2 to 3 cloves roasted garlic
  • 1/4 cup tahini (optional)
  • 1/2 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt or to taste


  1. If using canned beans, drain and rinse them in cool water to reduce the sodium
  2. Add all ingredients to a food process and blend until you get the desired consistency. Scrape down the sides so everything blends evenly
  3. If the hummus is too thick, continue adding olive oil in one teaspoon increments.
  4. Canned chick peas with have a more salty flavor than ones you rehydrate yourself. Go easy on the salt until you’ve tasted the hummus.
  5. Scoop out and serve with pita bread, chips or cut vegetables
  6. Optional: sprinkle the hummus with paprika, chopped parsley, oregano or rosemary

Kat’s Tip:

In retrospect I realize I really could have made sesame seed paste using my food mill. Instead of trying to blend the seeds and oil together, I might have been able to grind the seeds first, transfer them to a bowl and slowly add oil until I had a paste. Oh well. If I’m ever in a tahini bind again I’ll try to remember this.


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4 responses to “Hummus and Adventures in Tahini

  1. Michele

    October 26, 2011 at 1:44 pm

    I love to mix up sunflower seeds in my homemade hummus just for something different once in a while. Mmmm…

    • klansden

      October 27, 2011 at 7:49 pm

      Thanks for the input. I have sunflower seeds in my pantry. I may try that on my next batch. I imagine you stir in whole seeds after you’ve blended the hummus.

  2. Michele

    November 26, 2011 at 12:37 pm

    I throw the sunflower seeds in just before I’m done blending. So they’re not whole, but they still add texture.


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