Scratched Hummus

Scratched Hummus
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You and I both know people who buy hummus. And while that may work for a quick little snack (it’s difficult to make just a small batch of hummus), when you’re going to need enough for a few dozen people you’ll want to scratch it up yourself. Fortunately, it’s easy.

Makes about 1 1/2 quarts


  • 4 cups garbanzo beans, cooked and 1 cup liquid reserved
  • 3-4 Tbs Tahini
  • 2-3 Tbs Olive oil
  • 3-5 Tbs lemon juice (preferably fresh squeezed)
  • 1/2-1 tsp crushed garlic
  • 2-4 tsp ground cumin
  • Salt to taste

Ingredient discussion:

For the garbanzo beans, cook up about 2 cups using the black bean recipe, except don’t make and add the sauté (onions, celery seed, garlic, etc). Then, drain and reserve the liquid. Note that all the ingredients are given as a range of amounts to enable you to tailor your hummus to your taste. That’s the best thing about scratchin’. For example, we’re not too big on having garlic as the main flavor, so we don’t use that much; some people really like it, so they should use more.


If you have a grinder, now is the time to break it out and put it to work; the grinder makes for a coarser hummus which we think makes for a better texture and taste. If not, use a food processor and blender, but be forewarned, you might be processing several batches for this amount of garbanzos.

grinding garbanzo beans
Grinding the garbanzo beans gives a hummus with a slightly coarser, more rustic, texture.

Grind the beans. Using the finest cutting blade on your grinder, run the cooked, drained beans through the grinder. They’ll look a bit like sawdust when they come out. Fortunately, they won’t taste like sawdust.

garbanzo bean paste
Mix liquid back in until you have a thick paste. You’ll add more later, so don’t worry if it seems too thick

Add in reserved liquid. Add the reserved bean liquid back in, about 1/4 cup at a time, stirring after each addition, until you have a thick paste.

mixing hummus
Mix all the ingredients into the paste. After you get the taste right, add more liquid to get the consistency right.

Add remaining ingredients. Add the “low-end” of each ingredient so you don’t end up overwhelmed by a flavor you don’t like. Or leave out anything you don’t like. Thoroughly stir in these ingredients.

Taste and adjust seasonings. Think it needs more tahini? Add more. More cumin? Sure, add some more. Make this scratched hummus your hummus.

Hummus that’s good, and good to go.

Add reserved liquid. Again, add reserved liquid and stir until you have a nice dip-able consistency.

Let sit. Cover and refrigerate for several hours or overnight to let the flavors meld.

Serve with pita breads or pita chips.

Five stars, you know why? We never really liked the store-bought hummus — generally too garlicy for us — but this recipe we like; we’ve even made it with leftover black beans. Yum, yum!

Worth the trouble?

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