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I used to have the problem of a hummus that becomes dry and powdery and falls apart, until I worked out this method a few years ago.

Method TL;DR

  1. Mix sesame seeds into a paste.
  2. Add water, spices, and just one table spoon of garbanzo beans (a.k.a. chickpeas).
  3. Mix that thoroughly.
  4. Lastly, mix in the rest of the beans.

Method in detail


In a blender, I use an immerson mixer with the upright mixing pitcher that came with it, put sesame seeds. I use unhulled.

I just eyeball it but I’d say that I usually use at least a quarter cup (which means it’s gonna be the bulk of the hummus’ calories, and, super bitter because it’s unhulled).

Some mixers can’t handle mixing sesame seeds, in which case you’ve got to get ready made tahini. Others can mix them even from dry, so that’s the way to go.

The mixer I use is in between those. It can mix them just fine but they have to be a little bit dampened with water so they don’t fly off everywhere. The less water in this step the better.


Then I add spices and just one tablespoon of beans. I like the beans well rinsed; don’t put in any “aquafaba” for this recipe.

Spices that you want to show in the final hummus, like sometimes you want cilantro leaves to show, you might wanna hold off on and instead mix in at a later step, with a spoon or something.

Then, on top of those things, add water. Water is the only thing I don’t eyeball. I always fill to the same line. In my case, that line is slightly under half of the mixing pitcher.

Then here I blend it up a lot. To the point that it looks kinda milky. That’s called an “emulsion”. The handful of beans I added in this step is what makes it possible to mix fat and water. This is the reason why the hummus is going to stick together.

The rest of the beans

Since the amount of water can vary because the sesames and spices were eyeballed, at this step I add and mix in beans gradually until the whole thing has the consistency I want. If your pitcher becomes overfull but the hummus is still too loose, make a note and the next time you do this recipe, you need a lower water level in the previous step and use that water level from now on.


Using other fats, like sunflower seeds, peanut butter, or rosted walnuts can be nice, as can using other types of beans. You can also mix several kinds at once. Sesame seeds are also great with red beans a.k.a. kidney beans, while garbanzos not only go well with sesame but also with peanut butter.

One mix I really like is sunflower seeds + freshly boiled lentils with an onion tossed in to boil with the lentils + a lot of basil.

When using lentils, you’ve got to use a lot less water. They come with their own water, basically. You need just a tablespoon or so of water when you make the emulsion.

I’ve heard that it can also be interesting to then bake the hummus in the oven a bit but I haven’t tried that yet.

What about olive oil?

I usually don’t use any olive oil at all when making this recipe. (I’ve sometimes used whole olives for a bit of a tapenade feel.)

When I was the most frustrated by my keep-falling-apart hummus, I kept upping the amount of olive oil but it just got worse and worse.

Then I saw that a brand of storebought hummus that was really good didn’t have any olive oil at all, and so I also tried skipping it, and it was way better! Then later I came up with the “emulsify in a separate step” method outlined above, after learning more about the, uh, chemistry of the kitchen.

If you want to bring olive oil into this, one idea is to just make it without and then put olive oil on top, like a garnish and preservative. That’s something I’ve seen several traditional chefs do.

Then, of course, now that I know to emulsify, I’m sure it’ll be fine and not get dry and brittle even with olive oil, if you like. Some brands of olive oil can become very bitter when ran through a blender, so watch out for that.