Heavenly Hummus with Homemade Pita Chips

One thing that I like about cooking is that even if think you know a recipe, there’s always a better version lurking around the corner. It’s always possible to make something better. So, for example, homemade hummus: I’ve been making it for a while. Generally, I just strain a can of chickpeas (reserving the liquid), toss it into a food processor with some garlic, some tahini, some lemon juice, a splash of olive oil, salt and a little of that liquid. Whir it up and I’ve got hummus. I’m usually pretty happy with the results.

Recently, though, I was thumbing through an under-celebrated cookbook, Staffmeals by David Watluck. This is one of my favorite all-purpose cookbooks; all of the recipes work well (it’s kind of my Joy of Cooking)…it’s got everything from biscuits to roast chicken to chocolate cake.

The recipe for hummus is very straightforward, but it’s all about the proportions. Watluck reserves the chickpea liquid too but instead of just using a little of it, he uses lots of it (1/2 a cup to 1 can of chickpeas). There’s also 1/2 cup of tahini. That’s a big amount of chickpea liquid and tahini.


(I doubled the recipe so there’s a lot more stuff in my food processor in this picture. Also, it’s missing the herbs Watluck recommends for “Herbed Summer Hummus.” Here’s what goes into his food processor: 1 can chickpeas drained, 1/2 cup of the chickpea liquid, 1/2 cup tahini, juice of 1 lemon, 4 to 5 cloves garlic (peeled), 1 bunch fresh chives, 1 cup (loosely packed) flat-leaf parsley leaves, and a pinch of salt.) Even without the herbs, the resulting hummus is incredibly light and fluffy.


All it took was a change of proportions and my hummus was no longer dense. This is my new go-to hummus.

But that wasn’t enough for serving it up. I didn’t want to do vegetables because, blah, this isn’t a spa retreat. So I took some pita bread and I fried it up.

I’ve done this before (see here) and it’s so easy and yields such big results, I can’t believe more people don’t know about this. Just pour vegetable oil into a large skillet…you only need about 1/2 an inch of oil. Then heat it up on high heat for a few minutes until the back of a wooden spoon makes bubbles when you stick it in. Cut your pita into wedges and carefully lower into the oil (here’s a picture of the pita frying from that old post because I didn’t take any this time around).


Cook for 30 seconds on one side, then carefully turn over and cook another 30 seconds, then drain on paper towels and immediately sprinkle with salt.


Holy mama, these are good. These take hummus from “health food snack” to “decadent treat.” Serve it up by spooning the hummus into a bowl, drizzling it with olive oil, sprinkling it with smoked paprika and surrounding it with these chips.


This is such a great dinner party appetizer, especially the homemade fried chips. My friend Jimmy (who’s moving with his partner Raef to L.A. next month, yay!) went nuts for it. Look at that smile:


Now go forth and make hummus and chips. It’s hard to think of this getting any better.

14 thoughts on “Heavenly Hummus with Homemade Pita Chips”

  1. Next time you feel like cooking up a pot of beans, use the recipe for ceci in the Mozza cookbook. It makes the best tasting cooking liquid and beans. I cook at least a pound of beans every time (the beans just seem to vanish from the pot into mouths. You’d think they were bacon), then freeze it in 2 cup increments with lots of the cooking liquid specifically for hummus making.

  2. Oh boyz hummus, my favourite. I try to always soak my dried chickpeas in filtered water with a little whey for 24 hours. They I tenderly boil them and then, are you ready? I PEEL THEM. Yes each and every darling wee ceci gets its outer coat removed. let me tell you this elevates hummus to a cloud-like station of fluffydom.

    Marianne from northwest BC

  3. Dear Adam, thank you for this recipe!!! I’ve tried making hummus before and the family prefers the store bought. This recipe showed me I was way under hydrating the beans!!! And I loved how you suggested cooking the beans with a whole head of garlic clove and fuzzy part of an onion!!! I’ve made veggie broth with scrapes of vegetables and there is *so* much flavor being lost that direction!!! I look forward to cooking a whole lot of beans!! (oh, I cheat and use a pressure cooker!) Thank you once again and I look forward to your future posts!!!

  4. Healthy Appetizers

    3- 15 oz. cans sweet potatoes (drained)
    1/2 stick Parkay or butter (melted)
    1 tsp. McCormick ground cinnamon
    1/4 tsp. McCormick ground nutmeg
    1/2 tsp. salt
    3 cups Jet Puffed miniature marshmallows

    Whipped Sweet Potato Bake
    Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a mixer, combine sweet potatoes, melted butter, cinnamon, salt, and nutmeg–beat on medium speed until well blended. Grease a 1.5 quart baking dish with Pam. Pour the sweet potato mixture into the baking dish and top with the marshmallows. Bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes or until the sweet potato mixture is heated through and marshmallows are lightly browned.

  5. I have been trying to perfect hummus and just recently started making the best ever. 3 tips: Pressure cook dried beans with a pinch of baking soda and reserve the liquid; rinse the chickpeas under cold water and slough off as many skins as you have the patience to remove; and the secret ingredient: Labne. Thick Middle Eastern Yogurt. Add about 1/4 cup to your other ingredients in the food processor. I will never buy another can of chick peas again!

  6. I don’t recommend the herbed summer variation. I think I over did the garlic but even that didn’t disguise the green look and green flavour. It’s edible but next time I’m leaving the parsley and chives on the side!

  7. A restaurant I love makes “pita fries,” which I’ve recreated at home and they are delicious and really beautiful on a big platter of Mediterranean food. Cut the pitas vertically instead, and sprinkle with Greek seasoning when they come out of the fryer. Heavenly!

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