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Old 01-20-2009, 02:44 PM   #1
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Hummus Help!

I have recently tried making hummus and it keeps coming out horrible and I was wondering if anyone could help me.

I've been primarily using two recipes from Allrecipes.com which apparently I'm not allowed to post until I have 20+ posts but they are entitled:

Spiced Sweet Roasted Red Pepper Hummus
Hummus III

And they continue to taste very bad. I love hummus, I buy it from the store all the time. But I got a food processor for Christmas and wanted to start making my own and I just don't understand what could be going wrong.

I've tried using much less tahini then the recipes call for because I assumed that was the problem but it still tasted bad. I'm starting to think maybe its the brand of ingredients I've been using.

I used Goya brand garbanzo geans and Pelponese(sp?) brand tahini. Does anyone have experience with either of these, or know what I could possibly be doing to be messing this recipe up? As it seems all reviews of the recipes I've use are good, i can't fathom what I could be doing wrong and it is really frustrating me.

Thanks for any suggestions/ideas!

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Old 01-20-2009, 03:26 PM   #2
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Did you rinse the beans thoroughly?
What exactly does it taste like (what part of it is bad?)
Is it the texture?
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Old 01-20-2009, 03:27 PM   #3
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Here's the ingredients in mine:

1 cups chickpeas (1 can drained)
2 lemons, juiced
2 cloves garlic
2 tbs olive oil
pinch cayenne pepper
2/3 cup tahini
salt and pepper to taste

And I cut the oil down to 2 tbs. Hummus should be creamy, not pasty. And the recipes you are using don't have much oil at all. A few other points:
  • Use fresh lemon juice. Period.
  • Tahini comes in raw and toasted. Both will work, but they have much different flavors.
  • If you don't like the flavor of raw garlic, then, before you peel the clove, toast it in a dry frying pan until it softens first.
  • Once you find a combination you like, play around with the quantities to make it better. You can really change the flavors and textures to something that suits you.
Good luck. Hummus is a wonderful thing.
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Old 01-20-2009, 04:00 PM   #4
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The texture is fine, as far as pinpointing what tasted wrong, I don't even know how to explain it, it's not a taste I'm familiar with. I did taste some of the tahini by itself as I assumed that was the culprit since I'd never had it before, but it tasted fine.

I did not wash the beans at all... Could that be it? I'll feel so bad if it was. I read somewhere that you can use some of the liquid leftover from draining the can to soften the hummus (as my first batch was so dry it didn't even look like hummus) so I assumed if you could use the liquid as a thinner rinsing the peas wasn't that important. Also, the recipe didn't state to do that and as is probably rather apparent I'm not an experience cook.

Also:
I used bottle lemon juice
I believe my tahini is raw
I tried making it with and without garlic

But I'm fairly certain the problem lies with the beans or tahini as I would recognize the problem if it were the taste of the other ingredients I'm used to cooking with.

Thanks so far, I guess maybe I'll try it again with a rinse first. Any other ideas though?
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Old 01-20-2009, 04:13 PM   #5
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Salt might be another variable worth trying. Most canned beans have plenty of salt, but not all. I wouldn't think that rinsed/unrinsed beans would make a significant difference either way. Also, that much bottled lemon juice might make it taste off.
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Old 01-20-2009, 04:13 PM   #6
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Nothing wrong with the Goya brand. As for the tahini as long as it was fresh and not stale--it should be fine.

When I make hummus with canned beans, I use one can as is and I drain the other and add some water instead.
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Old 01-20-2009, 04:19 PM   #7
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I use fresh lemon juice but two lemons is way too much. The other thing is you don't have cumin in it. That also makes hummus taste like hummus.

Garlic will age in the spread so unless you are going to eat it all in one sitting, you don't want to add scads. It will taste much stronger the second day and can be almost bitter.
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Old 01-20-2009, 04:20 PM   #8
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Welcome to DC jsgksu. There is another hummus thread that you might want to read.
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Old 01-20-2009, 04:24 PM   #9
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I'm on a Hummus Kick!
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Old 01-20-2009, 04:27 PM   #10
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Use fresh lemons, add some cumin and I like a little fresh rosemary sprig on the top of the hummus once it has been whipped up - then a drizzle of olive oil. Add salt too.

I have been trying to make my hummus taste like the kind you get at Trader Joe's for years. Theirs is the best and its cheap.
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Old 01-20-2009, 04:28 PM   #11
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Cant see anything in the HummusIII (couldnt find the other) that would make for a nasty dish.

maybe more oil as mentioned.... or salt levels

Maybe the dish is too raw for your liking... maybe roast the garlic or saute it in oil or something. Maybe even toast the garbanzos a bit I dont know... just thinking what you could change

The only other flavoring in there is paprika,lemon,parsley not sure where you could go wrong.

Goya products are good.... used goya garbanzos for a dish last night.

Look the the brand of hummus you buy and see if the ingredients are different somehow.... or if your store makes it ask them what they put in it.
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Old 01-21-2009, 09:24 AM   #12
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After the last batch I made set overnight it defintely tasted better, I guess I'm just so used to the Tribe Roasted Red Pepper or Trader Joe's Pepper Hummus and this really doesn't taste very similair or as good. I'll have to just keep playing with the ingredients I guess. Definitely going to read over these suggestions before I make it again and try to experiment more.

Thanks again.
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Old 01-21-2009, 09:54 AM   #13
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Most of the hummus I've eaten in restaurants is bland, and the stuff I make is garlicky. I tried some prepackaged stuff from the supermarket once, and it was awful. It may just be a matter of taste.
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Old 01-21-2009, 09:55 AM   #14
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Keep trying... I love making hummus or variations of it and the fine folks here have given you great advice. I have found that letting my hummus mixture set for a several hours helps in letting the flavors marry a bit. Also the Hummus Kick thread has a ton of info in it... lots of good recipes posted in there!
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Old 01-21-2009, 10:05 AM   #15
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I make hummus all the time, and it taste fine. I think it is too much lemon, and tahini. I use 1 heaping tbls of tahini, and just add a little water and olive oil to get it to the right consistence. If you took the chickpeas out of the pantry, you are going to want it a little on the thin/runny side because it will thicken a little as it chills. Also, if you have an Indian Market in your area, buy your pita bread there. It is phenomenally cheaper, and better. The ones I buy are 10 in a pack for about $4.00, and they are the size of dinner plates. The one’s in the regular store are about the size of a salad plate, and cost about $1.00 per pita. Shop where the Indian’s shop. The quality is better, and they know how much they should be paying for it. It is also a great outing to just look around. Pita Bread also freezes very well, so buy a few packs. I put some on a plate wrapped in a wetting towel and nuke them for about a minute. Steaming hot, and delicious.
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Old 01-21-2009, 10:33 AM   #16
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It looks like you are using the right technique. It's about balancing the amount of chick peas to tahini to oil to garlic and other seasonings. The best way to get the texture right is to taste and make adjustments.

I normally make my own chickpeas. So I start with dried beans that I soak overnight and then cook them until tender. I hate the sliminess of any canned bean products.

Also a good quality tahini from a middleeastern store. Ensure it's not left out or it will go rancid after a bt.

The ratio of chickpeas to tahini is important. Tahini is very strong and you don't need a ton of it. Add about 2 cups of chick peas to 1 tbsp of tahini paste. Add juice of 1 lemon (I like to zest mine and add that as well). Good quality olive oil about 2 tbsp, garlic (1 clove or 2 if you use roasted), salt, black pepper and blend away, you can also add a little bit of water if you want to thin it out a bit (1 tsp at a time)

Taste again make adjustments.

Always toss in freshly chopped parsley, stir, put a tiny bit more olive oil and let it sit in the refrigerator for a couple of hours so that the flavors get a chance to marry.
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Old 01-28-2009, 09:42 AM   #17
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I make hummus so often I do it in my sleep now. I do use canned chickpeas and I've found that Westbrae Organics offers the best canned chickpeas. I've heard that soaking dried overnight will yield even better results, but I rarely have enough notice for "overnight" to work.

Tahini is important, although I know some people who don't use any at all. I couldn't say about the store-bought varieties, but you can experiment with tahini ratios to see if you like the flavor any better.

Lemon juice is also important. You can't really do without it, but too much will give the hummus some off flavors.
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Old 01-28-2009, 02:59 PM   #18
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I think I'm going to try making it without tahini. I spoke with the chef in my companies diner and he told me he makes it at home often and doesn't use tahini because of how over powering it is. At least if I try making it without certain ingredients I can pin point what is giving it the off taste and then try to experiment with what ratios I like from there.

Thanks again all.
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Old 01-28-2009, 03:41 PM   #19
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Goya beans are fine. rinse them. cumin yes, fresh lemon yes, (I also put in some cilantro and mint. ) salt, yes especially after rinsing the beans. olive oil, water (tad) garlic, tahini, paprika (I like smoked).

2 cans beans
1/4 cup tahini
2 garlic cloves
1/8 cup water
juice of one lemon
1/2 tsp cumin at first
dash cayenne
chopped mint and cilantro total of a tblspn
pinch of salt at a time
olive oil as you pulse till smooth
dress with a swirl of olive oil and a sprinkle of paprika
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Old 02-07-2009, 07:52 AM   #20
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I posted "Turkish style humus " dated 7/June/2008 on my blog below.
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