lazy girl chickpeas

A few years back a good friend, who happens to be Armenian, said my hummus reminded her of her mother's. She wasn't alone in her enthusiasm recently. The hummus was a hit at the girls' birthday party last weekend. Another friend's husband said I should open a shop selling it. While I'm not ready to make that move just yet, I did decide to share the secret to making really great hummus.

It's all in the beans.

More precisely, in how you cook the beans. Sure, you can just use water. But adding a few aromatics to the pot transforms them above and beyond the canned variety. Thanks to Olga, I started adding a bit of olive oil too—my heavens talk about upping the ante folks.

In the end, these chickpeas are anything but lazy, and if you must know why I decided to call them lazy it was because I don't normally measure the ingredients when I cook them. I do it all from memory and slight of hand. I was going to post the recipe as such, and then felt a twinge of guilt. Lately I've gotten some of the sweetest emails from readers as far as New Zealand, Australia and South Africa (and some very lovely correspondence with this sweet gal in Boston, before you think my U.S. readers are any less wonderful).

Well, it would've been downright selfish of me to not take the extra minute to measure out a few beans. So now there are no excuses. Go make some chickpeas. Use this recipe to turn them into the hummus you see above. And while you're swiping at it with your pita, carrots or flatbread, know I'll be doing the same thing in my little corner of the world here in Brooklyn, NY.


p.s. I'm hoping to make this fundraising event on Monday for Cookies for Kids' Cancer. If you in town, it's a very worthy cause, the hostess is as sweet as she is beautiful and kids are welcome. Do look for me and say a big hello, too. If you can't make it, you can always make a donation here to help support the fight against pediatric cancer.

lazy girl chickpeas

makes a bit less than a quart

There's really nothing slacker about this recipe, except that I don't soak the beans overnight. After years of fearing cooking beans from scratch because of the time involved, I learned you can skip the soaking all together and just add extra time to the clock while the beans cook. Sure you can easily buy a can of chickpeas, but after one taste you'll be a convert too.

1 cup (7.5 ounces/210 grams) dried chickpeas, picked over & rinsed

4 cups (1 litre) filtered water

1/4 cup good quality extra virgin olive oil

1 bay leaf

1 clove garlic, peeled & smashed

1/2 teaspoon (3 grams) sea salt

Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Add all the ingredients to a medium-sized pot. Bring to a boil, then cover, reduce heat to low, and let beans gently simmer until tender but still toothsome, 45 minutes to an hour. Let cool, pour chickpeas and their cooking liquid into an airtight container and store in the fridge up to 3 days. No need to discard the garlic or bay leaf, just pick around them as you spoon out what you need.


  • Carolyn

    Beautiful… I’m going to try these. I have been cooking chickpeas in my crockpot, so maybe I’ll try it with the additions you’re suggesting.
    BTW, made the homemade grainy mustard and last night was the grand unveiling. Beautiful texture, but holy cow — it has a kick! I think with some tinkering, I will have a winner.

  • Shira

    Just curious… why filtered water?
    JP’s Note: Shira, we have excellent water here in NYC, but I know other parts of the world and country do not. My aunt, for example, has a filtered water system in her house in Florida because the water isn’t even safe enough to use for boiling pasta. If you know the water from your tap is fine for drinking, then that is absolutely fine to use here as well.

  • Brandi

    So, I don’t need to soak the dried beans? Also, our local middle eastern restaurant told me to either use dried beans or to take canned beans and simmer them a while. Apparently, he says, the canned garbanzo beans haven’t been cooked long enough and so the hummus tends to be lumpy. For smooth hummus with canned (not my favorite anyway) beans, cook them a little longer.

  • Doreen Ross

    Hi…Did you forget the pureeing part??
    JP’s Note: Doreen, this recipe is only to make the beans. Read the post, and you’ll see the link to the hummus recipe.

  • Heather :) :) :)

    OH, I LOVE hummus, I mean LOVE to EAT IT 🙂 🙂 This looks like a really easy recipe. I’m just starting to make all meals at home and I have a very simple, slightly silly question. How du you “puree” the chickpeas? Or do they sort of puree themselves after you cook them? I’m going to try this recipe. Yummy 🙂 🙂 🙂
    Love and hugs from Oregon, Heather 🙂

  • Heather :) :) :)

    Ooopss…I just answered my own question. I need a food processor 🙂 🙂 I bought a mini food processor. So I’d have to puree the chickpeas in small batches. Oh,this looks really, really yummy. Thanks for sharing the recipe.
    Love and hugs from Oregon, Heather 🙂

  • Peggy

    Thank you so very much! My husband developed a taste for hummus while in the Middle East and has been searching for substitute every since. So far we have failed! But I think this is going to prove to be a winner. Can’t wait to try this out… now to head off to the market to pick up garlic as I used my last clove!!