Chickpeas. Does Size Matter?

Talk to people from the Middle East about hummus, and the first thing you hear is that this dip in the U.S. is nothing like the one they enjoy at home. According to my Israeli friend, the right variety of chickpeas play the leading role. Latin American chickpeas are better for soups and salads because they are larger, firmer, and stay whole when cooked. The best for hummus are pea-size chickpeas known as Baladi in Israel. They become soft and easily smashed between fingers when cooked. Unfortunately, in the United States, all chickpeas (aka garbanzo beans) are labeled the same, unless you shop for them at ethnic stores. And even if you make a trip to an ethnic grocery store, Indian for example, the chickpea names will be specific to Indian cuisine — larger Kabuli and smaller Desi aka chana dhal. Choosing the right chickpeas variety is not really an option for an average grocery shopper who craves for amazing hummus. What is the option then?

Skin Them!

Look at this picture:

Chickpeas/Garbanzo Beans and their skins
Chickpeas/Garbanzo Beans and their skins

This is 1 cup of dry beans soaked for 12 hours, skins removed. The amount of skins is impressive, right? If you do not remove them, all that cellulose in the bowl on the left ends up in your hummus affecting the texture and taste. And then, it goes into your digestive tract. According to Keith Ball, removing the skin is also beneficial for those who want to enjoy eating chickpeas without a side-effect flatulence.

You can easily skin the chickpeas when they are properly soaked or after they are cooked.

Cooking Methods

If you start with dry chickpeas, they can be rapidly boiled for 10 minutes and then simmered for about 2 hours. If soaked for 12–24 hours, cooking time shortens to about 30 minutes depending by the freshness (initial moisture level) of beans. Chickpeas can be cooked sous vide at 90 °C (194 °F). I use Instant Pot to pressure cook them.

One cup (240 ml) of dry Kabuli chickpeas makes about 400-420 g of cooked beans and about 1 lb of hummus.

Hummus | Creamy Chickpeas Spread

Prep Time1 d
Cook Time45 mins
Total Time1 d 45 mins
Course: Appetizer
Cuisine: Middle Eastern
Keyword: dip, garlic, legume, lycooking, lyukum cooking lab, recipe, spread
Servings: 1 lb


  • 1 cups chickpeas dry, Kabuli variety
  • 0.5 cup chickpea stock
  • 6 oz sesame paste tahini
  • 0.25 cup lemon juice freshly squeezed
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 3 cloves garlic peeled fresh or honey fermented

optional toppings

  • 4 tbsp basil pesto with extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 tbsp roasted chickpeas


  • Measure 1 cup (240ml) of dry chickpeas. Place them into a container, add 4 cups of cold water, cover, and place in a fridge to soak for 24 hours. They are properly soaked if the skins are slippery and you can easily pop the beans out of their skins with your fingers.
  • Transfer skinless chickpeas into an Instant Pot insert pot and cover them with cold water, 2 inches of water over the beans. Secure the lid and close valve to "seal." Set the Instant Pot to "Manual," "High Pressure" for 20 minutes + natural release. Check the chickpeas. They should be soft and mushy. Strain them reserving about a cup of stock. Let them cool down to room temperature.
  • Combine all hummus ingredients — cooked chickpeas, stock, peeled garlic, lemon juice, sesame paste, sea salt — in a blender jar and blend until smooth and creamy. Add more stock if needed, a little at a time. The consistency of hummus should be not too thin, not too thick. Taste it and adjust the seasoning to your taste.
  • Transfer the hummus to a shallow bowl and top with high-quality extra virgin olive oil, herb pesto, or other favorite toppings. Fresh homemade hummus can be stored in a fridge for up to 3 days.


Хумус и другие ближневосточные удовольствия by Rosa Skoblova
"Рецепта приготовления хумуса впрочем практически нет никакого, тут главное пропорции, правильно выбранный нут, и четкая последовательность действий. Поэтому борцы за аутентичность могут расслабиться,пропорции в каждой семье и у каждой фирмы-производителя разные. [...] На сорт "правильного" нута и тхины (у нас так называют кунжутную пасту, мне очень неудобно произносить тахини, язык не поворачивается), меня навел тот же Маджиди, до этого дня я не подозревала, что нут бывает разных сортов для разных целей. Я всегда покупала крупный мексиканский или аргентинский, для супа, или так поесть, отварным горошком с приправами. Он то как раз и не подходит для хумусовой пасты, так как не разваривается и серединка остается плотная. Нужен самый мелкий сорт, величиной с горох или чуть крупнее, у нас он называется болгарский или балади. Отварной, он легко растирается в кашу между пальцами. Есть еще третий вид, среднего размера, он идет в основном в супы."
Chickpeas vs Garbanzo Beans: What's the Difference?