Israeli Hummus with Paprika and Whole Chickpeas

I decided to take a break from Shanghai and introduce this wonderful recipe I found through Food and Wine.  I was instantly drawn to this recipe for its simplicity– made with wholesome healthy ingredients it not only goes great as a dip but is awesome in sandwiches, salads, and wraps.  This recipe is from Chef Michael Solomonov who was born in G’nei Yehudah, Israel and was raised in Pittsburgh. In May 2008, Michael opened Zahav in Philadelphia, where his main influences come from the traditional cuisine of his native Israel.

An excerpt from chef Michael Solomonov in Food and Wine  states –

“Before opening Zahav restaurant in Philadelphia, chef Michael Solomonov visited hummus parlors all over Israel trying to find the best recipe. “Hummus is the hardest thing to get right,” he says. “It has to be rich, creamy and mildly nutty.” To make his hummus luxuriously smooth, he soaks the chickpeas overnight with baking soda to soften them. While Americans now flavor hummus with everything from pureed red peppers to fresh herbs, Solomonov says among the fanciest garnishes you can find in Israel are whole chickpeas, paprika and lemon-spiked tahini, used for hummus masabacha.”

Ingredients for Israeli Hummus with Paprika and Whole Chickpeas:

  • 1/2 pound dried chickpeas
  • 1 tablespoon baking soda
  • 7 large garlic cloves, unpeeled
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin, plus more for garnish
  • 1/2 cup tahini, at room temperature (see Note)
  • 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • Salt
  • Paprika, for garnish
  • 1/4 cup chopped parsley
  • Pita bread, for serving

In a medium bowl, cover the dried chickpeas with 2 inches of water and stir in the baking soda. Refrigerate the chickpeas overnight. Drain the chickpeas and rinse them under cold water.

In a medium saucepan, cover the chickpeas with 2 inches of fresh water. Add the garlic cloves and bring to a boil. Simmer over moderately low heat until the chickpeas are tender, about 40 minutes. Drain, reserving 10 tablespoons of the cooking water and 2 tablespoons of the chickpeas. Rinse the chickpeas under cold water. Peel the garlic cloves.

In a food processor, puree the chickpeas with 1/2 cup of the reserved cooking water, 1/4 cup of the olive oil and 6 of the garlic cloves. Add the cumin along with 1/4 cup each of the tahini and lemon juice and process until creamy. Season the hummus with salt and transfer to a serving bowl. Wipe out the food processor. Add the remaining 1/4 cup of tahini, 1/4 cup of olive oil, 2 tablespoons of reserved cooking water, 1 tablespoon of lemon juice and garlic clove and puree.

Using a ladle, make an indent in the center of the hummus. Spoon in the tahini-lemon mixture. Sprinkle the hummus with the cumin and paprika. Garnish with the reserved whole chickpeas and the parsley, and serve with pita bread.

I like making fresh hummus at home without the weird preservatives that you find in-store.  It’s made of pure ingredients: organic chickpeas, extra virgin olive oil, tahini, lemon juice with paprika and cumin to finish it off — it’s amazingly simple yet delicious.  To learn the proper way to soak legumes and obtain the maximum nutrients, my friend Divina offers a wonderful guide here.  Chickpeas rich in protein and folate, are high in dietary fiber which results in healthy colons and lowers your risk for diabetes and heart disease.


  1. Posted 22 Apr ’10 at 12:37 am | Permalink

    First of all, I’ve been staring that fresh chickpeas you have on that photo. Those are the fresh ones, right? I love chickpeas and hummus. It’s been a long time since I made one. The pics are beautiful and really tempting as you dig your bread into it. Thanks for the link too.

    • Posted 26 Apr ’10 at 12:11 pm | Permalink

      Yes they are fresh chickpeas! Though I did not use fresh chickpeas for the recipe…I actually found them while I was shopping at the Mediterranean market for Tahini so I grabbed a couple for pictures :) Thank you for your kind words, and you are welcome for the link — that post really opened my eyes to soaking legumes, you’re great Divina!

  2. Posted 22 Apr ’10 at 12:39 am | Permalink

    The hummus looks sooo creamy and smooth! Simply delicious, sweetie. Thanks!
    Enjoy your day and have fun!
    Regards, Kristy

    • Posted 26 Apr ’10 at 12:10 pm | Permalink

      Aw thank you Kristy, you are always so sweet and wonderful!

  3. Ron
    Posted 22 Apr ’10 at 2:36 am | Permalink

    Yay!!! representing my land! see… it’s one step closer to actually coming to visit… i was surprised that the chef didn’t mention Hummus im Basar….. hummus with meat… lamb and the like… mushrooms are common too. But that already starts to take away from the simplicity, though it’s awesome. Also adds to the hummus coma afterwards.

    • Posted 26 Apr ’10 at 12:10 pm | Permalink

      Ron i totally thought of you as I was writin this post, I am determined to visit you one day. HMMM i can definitely see how wonderful Hummus would pair with earthy flavors like lamb and mushrooms. I totally ate myself into a hummus coma…

  4. Posted 22 Apr ’10 at 8:36 am | Permalink

    This hummus looks amazing. I’m going to book mark this and try and make it myself. Thanks for sharing the recipe.
    *kisses* HH

    • Posted 26 Apr ’10 at 12:09 pm | Permalink

      Hurray!!!! That makes me happy :) I hope you like it and thank you for your kind comment!

  5. Posted 22 Apr ’10 at 10:00 am | Permalink

    My favorite dip. Your photos are so appetizing!!

  6. Posted 22 Apr ’10 at 10:46 am | Permalink

    INCREDIBLE pictures. It’s not even 9 am and I am drooling over hummus.

    • Posted 26 Apr ’10 at 12:08 pm | Permalink

      hahahaha Julia thanks for making me laugh, thanks for the kind words!

  7. Posted 22 Apr ’10 at 1:42 pm | Permalink

    Hi Joy. That is some good looking hummus.

  8. Posted 22 Apr ’10 at 2:44 pm | Permalink

    Wow this hummus looks great! I love hummus, so now I’m having a craving for it :)

    • Posted 26 Apr ’10 at 12:05 pm | Permalink

      Hee hee thanks Rochelle, hummus is indeed addicting :)

  9. Posted 22 Apr ’10 at 5:01 pm | Permalink

    I love a good hummus and usually eat a little too much than I can. Love the photos!

    • Posted 26 Apr ’10 at 12:06 pm | Permalink

      Haha thanks Penny — yeah i totally ate too much, I had babaghanoush too and ended up eating it with 3 pita breads to myself. Only to return a couple hours later to eat a 4th one… -_- Fail.

  10. Posted 22 Apr ’10 at 6:23 pm | Permalink

    I’ve been trying to make my own hummus but it never tastes right. I will give this a try and hopefully I can stop buying brand-name hummus!

    • Posted 26 Apr ’10 at 12:04 pm | Permalink

      Yes Elissa!! You should definitely give this one a shot, I am trying to shy away from buying food with preservatives. This recipe yields a pretty big batch but that means you get to share with all your friends :)

  11. Posted 22 Apr ’10 at 6:44 pm | Permalink

    Pass the hummus please. Some people don’t like tahini in their hummus, but it’s the best part!

  12. Posted 22 Apr ’10 at 8:27 pm | Permalink

    Excellent recipe!

  13. Posted 23 Apr ’10 at 8:25 am | Permalink

    Looks delicious! The paprika is a nice touch, though I’m more partial to zaatar on my hummus… it’s a Middle Eastern spice blend with sumac, thyme and sesame seeds.
    Great photos as always, Joy. You’ve got a real talent.

    • Posted 26 Apr ’10 at 12:01 pm | Permalink

      Isabelle I have never heard of zaatar thank you so much for introducing me to it. I will search for it in the Mediterranean market next time I go because that combination of spices sound frikkin awesome. Thank you for your kind words, they really mean a lot :) You make me smile Izzy!!

  14. Posted 23 Apr ’10 at 9:31 am | Permalink

    I love chickpeas and hummus. In fact I’ll be having some for lunch later. I’ve been doing some Middle Eastern dishes lately as I found a market here in Minneapolis selling all kinds of wonderful ingredients. Your hummus sounds delicious!

    • Posted 26 Apr ’10 at 11:58 am | Permalink

      Biren I forgot you lived in Minneapolis, my family lived there when I was 4-5. I remembered wintertime was my favorite because of the heavy blankets of snow :) Thank you for the kind words, it is awesome you found a Middle Eastern market!!

  15. Posted 23 Apr ’10 at 1:33 pm | Permalink

    chickpeas and hummus, is one of my favorite snacks I love it with veggies, and a good movie.

    • Posted 26 Apr ’10 at 11:57 am | Permalink

      Yes I agree Shauniece, that is actually how I enjoyed my hummus :) !

  16. Posted 23 Apr ’10 at 2:18 pm | Permalink

    A great change of direction from China to Israel; I adore everything with Hummus and paprika!
    Drooling with it on pita bread :)



    • Posted 26 Apr ’10 at 12:29 pm | Permalink

      Hahahaha! I figured the readers would need a break from all my posts from China :) Thank you so much for your kind words Gera!

  17. Posted 23 Apr ’10 at 3:11 pm | Permalink

    We love the fresh green chickpeas! Hummus is an all time favorite. Looks scrumptious! Beautiful Beautiful pictures.

    • Posted 26 Apr ’10 at 12:28 pm | Permalink

      Thank you very much Soma!! Hummus is one of my favorites too :)

  18. Posted 24 Apr ’10 at 1:00 am | Permalink

    I have been to Zahav & I have had the pleasure of tasting Michael Solmonov’s Israeli Hummus! It is absolutely delicious! Love your recipe and photography too!

    • Posted 26 Apr ’10 at 12:28 pm | Permalink

      Thank you Sara!! You are so lucky, Zahav looks amazing :)

  19. Posted 24 Apr ’10 at 8:33 am | Permalink

    You make me miss my food processor at home…

    I love hummus, I used to make a black bean one too, doesn’t look very appetizing but very tasty!

    • Posted 26 Apr ’10 at 12:28 pm | Permalink

      OOOO black bean?? That sounds absolutely amazing!!! Why did you leave poor food processor behind :( I am sure he/she misses you! hee hee

  20. Posted 24 Apr ’10 at 8:37 am | Permalink

    The colors are so beautiful! Makes me want to make hummus this weekend! :)

    • Posted 26 Apr ’10 at 12:26 pm | Permalink

      Hee hee YES you should Reiko!! :) Thanks for the kind comment, you’re great!

  21. justine
    Posted 24 Apr ’10 at 8:47 am | Permalink

    The hummus sounds delicious and your picture are beautiful!

  22. Posted 24 Apr ’10 at 7:28 pm | Permalink

    This looks amazing – totally love Israeli cuisine. this is an interesting and inspired post and a great recipe – looks delicious. I need to make my own hummus soon, too. I like your blog style a lot

    • Posted 26 Apr ’10 at 12:25 pm | Permalink

      Thanks a bunch Sasha!!! You are too kind :) Also, sorry again for the mix-up, I still feel so silly!!!!

  23. Posted 24 Apr ’10 at 8:24 pm | Permalink

    I love hummus. I’ve never tried the Israeli version. Thanks for sharing.


  24. Posted 25 Apr ’10 at 12:18 am | Permalink

    i love hummus,yours is so beautiful!and entire blogpost is amazing!congrats!

  25. Posted 26 Apr ’10 at 3:39 pm | Permalink

    Aha….a big change now to go healthy! Good for you. You cannot put on or lose weight…remember your wedding dress :D This looks very delicious but I think I just love the chickpeas as snacks….great when watching movies in cinemas.

    • Posted 4 May ’10 at 10:33 am | Permalink

      Mary you are right, I CAN’T PUT ON ANY MORE WEIGHT. I don’t know why, I usually lose weight in the summer but this year it is becoming just the opposite. I need to put the ice cream and desserts down…but it’s just..SO HARD. Okay you are right, my wedding dress will be my motivation :)

  26. Posted 26 Apr ’10 at 4:38 pm | Permalink

    I adore hummus, and after reading Chef Solomonov’s I’m wondering what good authentic Israeli hummus tastes like! I will have to try this recipe. I love that photo of you hummus with the swirl of olive oil and paprika!

    • Posted 4 May ’10 at 10:36 am | Permalink

      Ah thank you Christine!! I really enjoyed this hummus for its simplicity, it’s very creamy and nutty (I’m guessing from the Tahini), I hope you enjoy it :)

  27. Posted 26 Apr ’10 at 8:59 pm | Permalink

    Hello Chickpea, how are you? I like that photo very much.

    I have not made hummus at home. In fact, I seldom have hummus. I will try to include in my meals in future.

    • Posted 4 May ’10 at 10:37 am | Permalink

      I never ate hummus until two years ago. A friend of mine introduced it to me and after finding out that it was mainly made from chickpeas, lemon, olive oil and salt I couldn’t help but give in :) It’s a healthy option when it comes to snacks or toppings for wraps and sammies :) Thank you for your kind words!

  28. Posted 26 Apr ’10 at 9:42 pm | Permalink

    That hummus is a killer, so so vibrant, what a gorgeous dish, you really captured the creaminess and texture of the puree chickpeas! Magnificent!

    • Posted 4 May ’10 at 10:37 am | Permalink

      Ah thank you Silvia for your kind words :)

  29. Posted 29 Apr ’10 at 10:22 am | Permalink

    Hi Joy. I’ve been waiting to comment on this because I really wanted to make it. I just finished blending it, and I have to say it is so delicious. I am going to eat it inside a pita with spinach and veggies for lunch. YUM! Instead of 1/2 lb. dry chickpeas, I used one 15.5 can of chickpeas with the liquid, instead of cooking water, and it turned out beautifully. Of course your photos are also gorgeous. (:

    • Posted 4 May ’10 at 10:57 am | Permalink

      Laura I am so happy you enjoyed the recipe!! Mmmm your pita sounds deeeericious :) Thank you for your kind words as always and trying out the recipe!

  30. Posted 1 May ’10 at 4:22 pm | Permalink

    great recipe – i love hummus! beautiful photos!

    • Posted 4 May ’10 at 11:24 am | Permalink

      Thank you very much Brie!! Hummus is great :)

  31. Posted 13 May ’10 at 3:21 pm | Permalink

    I have yet to make my own hummus -this looks like the perfect recipe to try!

  32. Posted 15 May ’10 at 10:24 pm | Permalink

    I love hummus and make a batch every week. I use it as a spread instead of butter or mayo. AGain, your pictures are amazing!!

    • Posted 24 May ’10 at 9:00 am | Permalink

      Martica thank you for the kind words!! Hummus is seriously great, and you are right, what a great replacement for butter or mayo!

  33. JIll
    Posted 4 Jun ’10 at 12:34 pm | Permalink

    I just made this hummus. It as a little earthy so I added one tablespoon of Agave. Perfect.

    This was my first time working with dried beans.

    Just curious, why do my sad, speckled little chickpeas not look like those plump ones out of the can?

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  1. [...] Marwan, I will be patiently waiting for that day .  Until then you guys can enjoy the hummus recipe I made in honor of Marwan’s delicious food.   For all you lucky New Yorker’s, check [...]

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