Ibolya's Homemade Hummus & Baba Ganoush

Hummus, or houmous, is common throughout the Middle East. In Arab culture, it is served for breakfast traditionally with pita bread. The first use of hummus is mentioned in Egyptian scripts around 5000 BC, while others believe the first plate of hummus was served in Jerusalem at the time of the first crusade. Nowadays hummus can be found in restaurants, grocery stores and delis all over the world.

Baba ganoush is a dish of mashed cooked aubergine. Hummus and baba ganoush are typical dishes in Middle Eastern mezze. Our Cook School Director, Ibi, shares her recipes from her Introduction to Middle Eastern Cooking Class. These are wonderful make-ahead dishes for entertaining or anytime.

Ibolya's Homemade Hummus & Baba Ganoush

For the Hummus


  • 250g dried chickpeas
  • 180g tahini
  • Juice of 3-4 lemons
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • Salt
  • 1 pinch of ground cumin
  • Garnish: toasted pine nuts, fresh coriander, olive oil, za’atar spice mix/ smoked paprika, sliced chilli


  1. Soak the chickpeas in cold water for at least 9 hours, preferably 24, in the fridge
  2. Rinse and drain the chickpeas and place them in a large pot with enough fresh water to cover; add a large pinch of salt
  3. Bring the water to boil and then reduce the heat to simmer, every now and then skimming off the top of the water
  4. Cook for 45 to 90 minutes (depends on how long you have soaked it) or until the chickpeas are completely cooked - they need to be soft and not “starchy”
  5. Sieve the chickpeas and reserve the cooking liquid
  6. Cool the chickpeas before placing in a food processor with the tahini; blend the chickpeas adding the reserved cooking liquid slowly until smooth and creamy
  7. Create the texture you like (if you want to make it lighter add more cooking liquid - if you prefer thick and creamy use less liquid and a bit more tahini)
  8. Add the garlic, lemon juice, and a pinch of ground cumin; taste and adjust the seasoning; always add salt last
  9. Garnish with olive oil, a handful of roasted pine nuts, a few coriander leaves, chilli slices and zaatar and/or smoked paprika
  10. Serve it warm if possible with flatbread or pita bread

For the Baba Ganoush


  • 1 large aubergine
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled
  • Tahini Sauce (see below)
  • A handful of fresh coriander leaves, picked from the stalks
  • Olive oil
  • Garnish: olive oil, pomegranate seeds


  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C
  2. Slice the aubergine in half; score the flesh
  3. Insert the garlic cloves into each half of the aubergine
  4. Season with salt and drizzle with some olive oil; cover tightly with tin foil
  5. Arrange on a baking tray, flesh-side facing up and place in the oven for about 1 hour or until soft and pulls apart
  6. Grill uncovered for 15 minutes to caramelise the flesh
  7. Scrape the flesh and garlic onto a chopping board along with a handful of picked coriander and chop until combined
  8. Mix with the tahini sauce and garnish with olive oil
  9. Serve it warm if possible with flatbread or pita bread

For the Tahini Sauce

  • 1/2 cup pure tahini
  • Cold water
  • 1 clove of garlic, crushed
  • Juice of 2 lemons, divided
  • ¼ teaspoon cumin
  • ¼ teaspoon dried coriander
  • Salt





  1. Place tahini in a bowl with garlic, cumin and dried coriander

  2. Add juice of one lemon and whisk together

  3. Add a little cold water and whisk until the tahini is smooth

  4. Taste; add salt and additional lemon juice, if needed

  5. Add more water if necessary

Store tahini for 3-4 days in the fridge


BK Tips
  • Chickpeas can be swapped with any kind of bean; classic variations are black beans and cannellini beans

  • Poke a few holes in the aubergine and chargrill it whole instead of baking it; include the charred skin in the recipe as well to make a black baba ganoush

  • Tahini sauce can be used as a healthy dressing for any salad