Black Bean Hummus

Black Bean Hummus
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black bean hummus
Black bean hummus ready for the Fourth of July party!

Wow! July Fourth is coming up fast, and that means cook-outs! Sure, you could have potato chips and French onion dip, but why not break out of the rut and have something different? Something that — because we know you’ll probably over-indulge just a bit — we’re sure, is a little healthier, but still so tasty you really want to keep eating it.

Of course, as the title says, Black bean hummus! Yes, we know you’ve had regular hummus, and this is similar, but it corrects two flaws that we find in regular hummus. One: that kind of dry, dusty taste from the chickpeas, and two: most hummus seems to be subsidized by the town of Gilroy, CA (hint: garlic capital of the world).

Makes about 1-1/2 quarts.

Black Bean Hummus

Black Bean Hummus


  • 12 ounces (1 bag) black beans
  • 1/2 Tbs kosher salt
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 3 Tbs tahini
  • 3 Tbs ground cumin
  • 4 Tbs lemon juice
  • 2 tsp kosher salt

Abbreviated Instructions

Soak beans overnight. Drain and rinse.

Place 6 cups water, salt, and bay leaves in a large pan and bring to a boil over high heat.

Add beans, reduce heat, and simmer until beans are tender. Remove bay leaves. Let cool.

Drain beans, reserving 1 cup liquid.

Grind beans, and mix with remaining ingredients. Add reserved liquid to desired consistency.

Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Ingredient discussion:

Tahini is a paste made from roasted ground sesame seeds. We haven’t tried our hand at making it, but we found a can at the local food co-op, and it lasted through several batches of hummus, a couple of stir-frys (it’s sort of like peanut sauce), and a variety of other things. If you like hummus and want to make it regularly, it’s a no-brainer to buy. Ground cumin, 3 tablespoons will empty those spice jars at the grocery. Head on down to your local ethnic market where you can buy it in bulk. Finally, we hear you people from Gilroy: yes, you can add garlic. We just didn’t.

Procedure in detail:

Soak beans. We just pour the bag of beans into our cooking pan, add water to cover by a few inches, and set it out of the way until the morning. Just don’t forget about it or you’ll have an uncontrolled science experiment going in a few days.

Drain and rinse. In the morning, we pour the beans out into a colander and rinse. The soaking liquid just goes down the drain.

Boil water. Bring 6 cups of water to a boil, add 1/2 tablespoon of kosher salt, bay leaves, and beans. Bring it all back to a boil.

Simmer. Reduce heat and simmer until the beans are tender, about 1-2 hours. We can’t be more specific as it depends on how fresh your beans are. Yeah, we know they’re dried, but, as they sit on the shelf, they become drier, and take longer to cook. We’ve had some done in 45 minutes, and some that never really got completely done. So keep checking.

It's a bit tricky to reserve just a cup of the liquid, so if you have to drain the beans over a bowl, go for it.
It’s a bit tricky to reserve just a cup of the liquid, so, if you have to drain the beans over a bowl, go for it.

Cool and drain. Remove the bay leaves and let the beans cool, then drain, reserving about 1 cup of the cooking liquid. The amount isn’t too critical; we’ll use it to adjust the consistency of the hummus later on.



grinding beans
We like to use a grinder with the fine plate; you just keep adding beans, as needed.

Grind beans. For a large batch like this, we find it easiest to just run the beans through a grinder. If we made a smaller batch, we might just use a food processor. If you have the energy and stamina, you probably could just mash ’em.



ground black beans
Once ground, the beans are really easy to mix into a paste.



mixing hummus
Basically, you just add all the remaining ingredients and stir. It helps if you can refrigerate the hummus overnight to let the flavors meld.

Mix everything. Yep, add the cumin, the lemon juice, the tahini, and the 2 teaspoons of salt right into the beans. As you mix, add some of the reserved liquid to make the hummus “dippable.” You might even need more; in which case, add a little water.



black bean hummus
Black bean hummus ready for the Fourth of July party!

Taste and adjust. Get out a cracker and taste your hummus. Does it need more tahini? Add a bit more. More salt? Add some. Basically, make this hummus taste good to you.

We really like this hummus as an alternative to the standard hummi (what’s the plural of hummu, anyway?).  It’s great when you need a lot, doesn’t really take too much of your time (just let those beans simmer), and it surprises most people used to garlicky chickpea hummus. We give it four stars.

Worth the trouble?

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