An expert’s guide to making the best hummus

An expert's guide to making the best hummus

Not all hummus is created equal and there are some tips to getting it right. To do this, we’ve enlisted the help of Ali Srour, the chef behind Sea Point’s newest eatery, Taboulet & Co.

Taboulet & Co. is a veg-focused, organic Lebanese cafe, based in Sea Point, Cape Town and run by Ramzi Charaf and Ali Srour. We chatted to chef Ali about the secrets behind making the best hummus.

What does your classic hummus recipe consist of? What are your non-negotiable ingredients?

Hummus is an authentic Mediterranean dish. The Lebanese way of preparing hummus is easy and simple, it consists of chickpeas, garlic, tahini, lemon juice, salt and olive oil. Some like to add paprika or different types of spices.

What are your tips for making the best hummus? How do you get the best texture and flavour?

Hummus is a simple dish to make, I advise soaking the chickpeas at least 8 hours in water before boiling. Soaking helps speed up the cooking time. Cook until very soft, then add the tahini and garlic while blending the chickpeas.

Should people use canned chickpeas or ones they’ve cooked themselves from scratch? And what tips do you have for cooking them?

We prefer using organic and fresh products as far as possible. Buy the best dried chickpeas beans and follow the previous steps.

What are the most common mistakes you see when people make their own hummus? How can they prevent or rectify these issues? For example, if my hummus is bitter or bland, what should I do?

I wouldn’t say these are mistakes, as tastes differ from one person to another. For example, some like the taste of paprika or cumin and others don’t. When making your hummus, do not use all the salt or lemon juice immediately, keep adding the ingredients to your hummus bit by bit while blending and keep tasting until you are satisfied. The quality of tahini plays the biggest role in the success of your final product.


  1. Place 1 cup of dried chickpeas in a large bowl or container and cover well with water. Place in the fridge and leave to soak overnight.

    Step 1

  2. When ready to cook, drain the water and place chickpeas in a large pot. Cover well with fresh water, bring to the boil and cook over a medium-high heat for 45 mins to 1 hour, until soft and cooked through.

    Step 2

  3. Place in a blender with 2 cloves of garlic, 80g tahini and the juice of half a lemon and blend until smooth. Add 2 T olive oil and salt to taste. Check the flavouring, adjust as you need to.

    Step 3

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  • default
    October 5, 2021

    I used a splash of Sesame Oil instead of tahini and it was delicious.

  • default
    August 5, 2021

    While tahini makes the hummus slightly creamier, it is not absolutely necessary. Just blend the mixture for a longer time to make it light and creamy.

    1. default
      September 20, 2021

      Thanks for the tip. Tahini is expensive