Cooking traditional Spanish dishes at home: Hummus

February 13, 2013

When most people think of hummus, they think of the Middle East but because of the Middle East’s proximity to the Mediterranean Sea, hummus actually has many Mediterranean influences. Many people are unaware that Spanish food is considered Mediterranean. For my blog this week, I will be making Spanish-style hummus.

I based my recipe from this blog, but I didn’t follow it exactly. This recipe called for 4 cups full of cooked chickpeas (also known as garbanzo beans), 2 or 3 tablespoons of tahini, 2 lemons, 2 garlic cloves, a half of a teaspoon of cumin powder, 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil, a half a  teaspoon of red sweet paprika, salt and pepper.

In my recipe, I used slightly less chickpeas, 1 real lemon and 4 tablespoons of lemon juice instead of 2 lemons, freeze-dried garlic instead of fresh (2 teaspoons), and a little more than 2 tablespoons olive oil; everything else I left unchanged. Most of the ingredients are simple and can be found in your pantry or an average grocery store. The only ingredient I had a hard time finding was tahini (otherwise known as sesame paste)—I had to go to an organic whole foods store to find that.


Two very Spanish elements in this hummus are the olive oil and paprika. Spain is the leading olive oil producer worldwide – producing around 30% of the world’s olive oil. Paprika is in most Spanish dishes, used almost as liberally as black pepper. There are three grades of Spanish paprika: dulce, picante, and agridulce.

A food processor is required to make this recipe. I’ve made hummus before in a blender, but you have to add more oil for the chickpeas to blend smoothly—making hummus in a food processor was ridiculously easy and mess-free.


To make the hummus, all you do is combine all the ingredients in the food processor. It’s that easy. I put the chickpeas in first since I wanted those to blend very smoothly. I then put in the lemon juice, spices, garlic, and oil in no particular order. Finally, I added a dash each of salt and ground black pepper. I blended it until smooth, then I scooped it into a bowl, added olive oil and more paprika on top, and refrigerated for an hour.

The final product!

The final product!

Next week we’ll be making gazpacho!