People always ask me what’s the secret is to a good hummus? It’s a controversial question. The general consensus is you’ll achieve the best results by removing the chickpea skins. In my opinion this is a laborious, time consuming exercise that doesn’t make it taste any better.

My advice – buy plump full-flavoured sweet tasting chickpeas (usually in a jar rather than a tin), a silky smooth tahini (that isn’t bitter to taste) and invest in a blender with some muscle! It’s amazing how the difference in quality of those two key ingredients can drastically change the end result. The rest is subjective. I like a smooth hummus that celebrates the delicate flavour of the chickpea over the tahini. A hint of garlic and just enough lemon juice to contrast the full-flavoured puddle of extra virgin olive oil used in dressing the hummus. If you prefer a coarser hummus and don’t mind a little work out – go back to basics and use a pestle and mortar for maximum control over the finished texture. This recipe hasn’t changed since we first started selling hummus from our 8ft trestle table in Borough Market.


4 as part of a meze or 8 for a dip with crudities


Less than 15 mins


Super easy


400g cooked chickpeas, drained

100g tahini

1 garlic clove, crushed

55g lemon juice

6 tbsp. ice cold water

2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil

1 tsp. sea salt


Extra virgin olive oil

Flat leaf parsley

Wild Sumac ( optional)

If using shop bought pre-cooked chickpeas, as opposed to cooking the chickpeas from scratch. Rinse the chickpeas in cold water, drain and tip into your food processor, reserving a small handful for garnishing.

Add the tahini, garlic, lemon juice, olive oil, salt and water. Turn on the food processor to full speed blend until the ingredients are fully combined and it reaches your preferred texture. If it a little too thick loosen by add an extra tablespoon of ice cold water.

Spoon the hummus onto a serving dish, drizzle with extra virgin olive oil, garnish with a handful of chickpeas and scatter some roughly chopped parsley.

Trick of the trade

Whilst the hummus is blending, boil the kettle and fill a cup with freshly boiled water. When it comes to serving, dip the spoon quickly into the hot water before spreading the hummus onto the serving plate. This will make sure the hummus doesn’t stick to the spoon and will create pleasing swirls in which to pour the olive oil and garnish with whole chickpeas.

Recipe by James Walters, self-taught chef and founder of Arabica.