Homemade Houmous

Flavour of the moment: Harissa, this lovely Tunisian chilli pepper paste is great for adding a bit of zing to houmous and is a must for making Shakshuka (a recipe sure to feature soon).

Cook book I have already mentioned, that this recipe can also be found in and that you MUST own if you don’t already: Jerusalem – Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi.

I was wondering what to cook for James, my lovely man, (who moves in with me TODAY!) as a ‘Welcome Home’ meal when this recipe for falafel appeared in my inbox, courtesy of ‘In Jennie’s Kitchen’. (I am so excited for us to be taking this step and given that our relationship used to be long distance (until today that is) I could not be more thrilled at the prospect of seeing him everyday.) I then remembered that Jennie had also posted a recipe for houmous previously and that was it decided, I would make pitta breads, houmous, falafel and Jennie’s creamy tahini dressing and we would have a chickpea, Middle Eastern comfort food feast. We both grew up in the Middle East so it seemed apt. Upon inspection Jennie had used an adaptation of Ottolenghi’s recipe which features in his Jerusalem book and is also online here.

I used half the Ottolenghi recipe as the original serves 6. I will give the full Ottolenghi recipe below but before you end up with endless tubs of houmous you may want to consider halving it is only serving 2 or 3.


  • 1 1/4 cups of chickpeas (soaked overnight in plenty of water)
  • 1 tsp of baking soda
  • 6 1/2 cups of water
  • 1 cup and 2 tbsps of light tahini
  • 4 tbsps of lemon juice
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 6 1/2 teaspoons of ice cold water
  • Salt


  1. Soak the chickpeas overnight in a large bowl and covered with water, at least double to amount of water to chickpeas.
  2. Drain and then add the chickpeas to a saucepan with the baking soda and water and bring to the boil.
  3. Cook the chickpeas for 20-40 minutes until soft and beginning to break up. Remove any scum on the surface of the water as they cook.
  4. Drain the chickpeas and place in a food processor, blend until you get a thick paste.
  5. With the processor still running add the tahini, garlic, lemon juice, a good pinch of salt and finally the iced water (slowly).
  6. Leave the processor running for a few minutes until you have a smooth paste.
  7. Allow the houmous to rest for half an hour and then serve or refrigerate for up to 3 days.

I split the houmous into two portions and served one with a spoonful of harissa on top to give it an extra kick.


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