Zahav’s Hummus ‘Tehina’ Recipe (2024)

Recipe from Michael Solomonov and Steven Cook

Adapted by Melissa Clark

Zahav’s Hummus ‘Tehina’ Recipe (1)

Total Time
30 minutes, plus overnight soaking and 1 to 1½ hours cooking
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This recipe comes from Zahav, the chef Michael Solomonov’s Israeli restaurant in Philadelphia, which is known for its silky and wonderfully rich hummus. Garlic and lemon play small roles here; the indisputable co-stars are the freshly cooked chickpeas and the nutty tahini. While it’s well worth the effort to cook the dried chickpeas yourself, substituting a couple of cans of cooked chickpeas is perfectly acceptable. —Melissa Clark

Featured in: In ‘Zahav,’ Michael Solomonov Explores Israeli Food

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Yield:4 cups

  • 1cup dried chickpeas
  • 2teaspoons baking soda
  • Juice of 1½ large lemons (about ⅓ cup), more to taste
  • 2 to 4cloves garlic, grated
  • teaspoons kosher salt, more to taste
  • 1cup sesame tahini
  • ½teaspoon ground cumin, more to taste
  • Paprika, for serving
  • Olive oil, for serving
  • Chopped fresh parsley, for serving

Ingredient Substitution Guide

Nutritional analysis per serving (8 servings)

294 calories; 20 grams fat; 3 grams saturated fat; 0 grams trans fat; 8 grams monounsaturated fat; 8 grams polyunsaturated fat; 23 grams carbohydrates; 6 grams dietary fiber; 3 grams sugars; 10 grams protein; 357 milligrams sodium

Note: The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.

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Zahav’s Hummus ‘Tehina’ Recipe (2)


  1. Step


    In a bowl, cover chickpeas by at least 2 inches of cold water. Add 1 teaspoon baking soda and let soak at room temperature overnight. Drain and rinse.

  2. In a medium pot, cover soaked chickpeas by at least 4 inches of water. Add the remaining teaspoon baking soda and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to medium high and let cook at a vigorous simmer until chickpeas are quite soft, 1 to 1½ hours. (Overcooked chickpeas are the secret to creamy hummus, so don’t worry if they start to break down a little.) Drain.

  3. Step


    While chickpeas are cooking, make the tahini sauce. In a blender, combine the lemon juice, garlic and ¼ teaspoon salt. Let mixture sit 10 minutes. Add tahini, remaining 1½ teaspoons salt and the cumin, and blend until a thick paste forms. Add ⅓ to ⅔ cup ice water while blender is running, a little at a time, until sauce is smooth. You’re looking for a perfectly smooth, creamy sauce.

  4. Step


    Add the warm, drained chickpeas to blender with tahini mixture. Blend until perfectly smooth and not at all grainy, stopping to scrape down sides of bowl occasionally. This blending may take upward of about 2 minutes; just keep going until the mixture is ultracreamy and fluffy, adding a little water if you need it to make the contents of the blender move. Taste for seasonings, adding more salt, lemon juice and/or cumin as needed.

  5. Step


    To serve, spread the hummus on a plate, dust with paprika, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with parsley.



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Cooking Notes


Be warned that this recipe is NOT as it appears in the book. They've tried to make it simpler, but you can't put this much tahini in a blender! The tahini and lemon juice should be combined *in a bowl*, after the lemon juice has been steeped with the garlic. Use a whisk to combine, adding cold water as needed to thin it out. The texture should be like waffle batter. Then make the hummus in a food processor, not the blender! Use the chickpea cooking water to thin the hummus if you like.

Jeff Gossett

No one has commented on this, but while using baking soda does soften the chickpeas, it also accelerates leaching of many of the vitamins and minerals thus making this dish nutritionally empty. Overnight soaking and sufficient cooking make the chickpeas perfectly soft for making a creamy hummus. Also agree, after making hummus at least once a week for as many years as I can remember I would never use 1 cup tahini for this quantity of chickpeas. 1/4-1/2 c max.


Baking soda helps soften legumes (like chickpeas and beans) more quickly because it creates an alkali environment that weakens the beans’ pectic bonds. The result is super creamy hummus instead of dry & chunky hummus.


As Carmen says, it helps with softening the bean. Of course it hasn't been used traditionally; this is more of a modern food science hack.

I've made hummus like this, but also removed the outer skins from the chickpeas after they have cooked. It's a little time consuming, but the results are super smooth hummus. Gently massage cooked chickpeas in a large bowl of water. The skin will float to the top.


If you can get your hands on a jar of Soom tahini, it will make all the difference. It's a local Philly company and I've heard that's what Zahav uses in its amazing hummus.

E. Nassar

Way way too much tahini for the chickpeas. The hummus ends up more of a tahini sauce barely held together by chickpeas. As written the recipe has no chickpea favor at all even if the texture is nice. I'd cut the tahini by half and go from there.


If using canned chickpeas be sure to drain them and rinse with hot water. I like to add some cooked beets and/or roasted red pepper to the blender to add taste and color. I make my own tahini, it is really easy to do and is so much cheaper than store bought. It is just sesame seeds and a little oil, ground in a food processor or similiiar machine. I use a Nutri Ninja. Then when the tahini is made I add the rest of the hummus ingredients to the machine.


How about a generous dusting of za'atar instead of paprika? I've found that to be very tasty.


I have found there are big differences in tahini. I bought some Israeli tahini, which was creamy and needed very little ice water. Then I bought some Whole Foods 365 tahini, which was very heavy and no amount of ice water seemed to thin it.


This is truly delicious. I made the recipe as directed, and it came out incredibly smooth and well balanced. I commented below, but I'll mention it here. The recipe calls for one cup DRIED chickpeas which equals three cups cooked. I added close to 2/3 cup water throughout the process which was a little too much by the end.

William Zars

Highly recommend sumac in place of paprika. Spicy, citrusy and addicting.


It is one cup dried chickpeas. That means three cups cooked chickpeas.


I generally use canned, so the baking soda /dried chick pea portion of the recipe, I can't comment on. However, there's a few things that aren't quite right.

For one cup of chick peas, the amount of tahini is too much. I use about 3/4 cup tahini for about two 14 oz cans. The garlic is a little high too unless you want a very strong garlic flavor. I recommend using a mortar and pestle for the garlic and salt. It creates a creamy paste that works better than chopped garlic.


Please tell us how big a serving size is for the nutritional info, not just that it makes 32 servings. That info would require me to measure the final product and divide by 32 to determine the serving size. Nutritional info with a serving size is next to useless.

E. Nassar

I use canned all the time in the fiod processor and never peel them. No issues with grittiness or "gas". Recipe I use is basically what mom mom and grandmother used for years. If I have to peel chickpeas to make hummus I'll never make it.


This is so excellent! I made it exactly as described in the recipe. So very very good! Please make it as described!


I’ve been making hummus for over two decades and never made it as smooth and creamy as the versions I had when I lived in Turkey (they warmed it in an earthenware dish!) this recipe matches the Turkish versions and the key is using the soaked chickpeas and a higher ratio of tahini (4 parts chickpeas to 1 parts tahini). I’ve never achieved this consistency with canned and it’s worth the effort.

Tony if FL.

Just for fun, this is how my mother made hummus, in the 1960s, in USA. Back then, Tahini was not something found at the A&P. Using a blender, canned chick peas (with the liquid) and blue cheese salad dressing.

Tony if FL.

This really is a hummus of distinction. However - do not attempt this using a blender. There is not enough liquid, and if you add enough to make the blender churn, the result will go beyond creamy to downright runny. I stopped before it got there, and transferred the work into my food processor. Creamy, but holds up nicely.


I used 1 can of chickpeas, shelled in water then boiled for about 30 mins. 1/4c tahini, juice of 1 lemon, 1 small clove of garlic (any more would have been overpowering) and added paprika. Next time I would leave out the cumin, it's not my favorite in hummus. Finally a hummus recipe I will use again!


Any tips for making this ahead of time for a dinner party? Store it warm, serve it cold, reheat?


Remember 2/3 c COLD water


I get the ice cube/water method, but really, just use some of the chickpea cooking liquid. It' more flavor.


A cup of a tehina? That’s way too much for a cup of chickpeas. Perhaps 1/4 of a cup of tehina would suffice. Truth be told I much prefer Yotam Ottolenghi’s hummus recipe. It’s simpler and comes out perfect every single time.


Awesome recipe. I like the chicken peas better with a little bit of firmness left after cooking. 40 min cooking seems fine for that. Also I go easy on the water added to the tahini initially. Again, this allows me to preserve a slightly more "grainy" structure at the end.


I skip step 3 and use food processor instead of blender. Throw everything at once (except the water)in the processor and it would be hasslefree. Add some water once everything is smooth and continue to blend in the food processor. I prefer it little runny because it tends to dry once cool. I add zaatar and paprika after drizzling with olive oil for a colorful look and add pitted kalamata olives around the serving platter - it certainly makes it more instagramable!


Only need 1/4 C - 1/2 C of tahini


This hummus is very creamy, but wasn’t flavorful enough for me. I made a drizzle with olive oil, salt, diced parsley, & minced garlic and poured it over the hummus. Delicious!


I’ve tried many, many recipes over the years. This is now my favorite. I use canned chick peas, so I skip the overnight soaking. So amazingly creamy and delightful!


Wonderful smooth hummus! I followed the recipe and the proportions worked out perfectly for my food processor with the additional water. I added additional lemon for flavor and added a sprinkle of Za'atar.

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Zahav’s Hummus ‘Tehina’ Recipe (2024)
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