Let’s get cooking: Saba’s hummus

Last March, I was so sad to leave the city of New Orleans to quarantine with family back at home. Just as everyone had told me I would, I had fallen in love with the city. I was devastated to leave it. In the blink of an eye, all of our worlds were turned upside down and I yearned for some comfort. More specifically, I craved some of my New Orleans favorites. With a grumbling stomach and literally nothing else to do, I ventured to my parents’ kitchen to attempt to cook some of my favorite dishes from some New Orleans restaurants. 


Alon Shaya’s hummus is a favorite of mine. It’s a crowd-pleaser and I have never met someone who disliked it. At his restaurant, there are many hummuses to choose from. My favorite hummuses are definitely the brussels sprouts, the lamb, or the blue crab. I felt like trying to replicate any of those specialty hummuses is pretty ambitious. Instead, I opted to make the classic tahini hummus. This specific hummus reminds me of the meal I had with my parents a few nights before they moved me into my freshman dorm here at Tulane. It’s a classic that keeps me coming back. 

Here is the recipe that I used: 


Classic Hummus by Alon Shaya

for 4 servings

  • 1 ½ cups dried chickpeas
  • 3 teaspoons baking soda, divided
  • 3 qt cold water, divided
  • 7 cloves garlic, lightly crushed
  • ¼ cup raw tahini
  • 1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon cumin
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 3 tablespoons canola oil
  • 2 tablespoons hot water
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil


  • tahini sauce, optional
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, optional
  • ¼ cup fresh parsley, lightly chopped (optional)
  • ½ teaspoon aleppo-style pepper, optional


  1. In a large bowl, combine the dried chickpeas, ½ teaspoon baking soda, and 1½ quarts (1.4 L) of cold water water. Soak overnight.
  2. Preheat the oven to 400˚F (200˚C).
  3. Drain the chickpeas and transfer to a baking sheet. Sprinkle with 2 teaspoons of baking soda and spread evenly on the sheet. Bake for 10 minutes.
  4. Transfer baked chickpeas to colander and rinse under cold water. Massage to remove excess baking soda and begin to loosen the skins.
  5. In a large pot over high heat, add the rinsed chickpeas, remaining 1½ quarts (1.4 L) of water, and remaining ½ teaspoon of baking soda. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium.
  6. With a slotted spoon or small sieve, skim away any foam and loose skins that rise to the surface of the water and discard. This will ensure the hummus is extra creamy and smooth! Continue this process, regularly skimming off any loose skins, for about 20 minutes.
  7. Add the garlic to the pot and continue to cook for another 25-30 minutes, until the chickpeas are very soft and easily fall apart.
  8. Drain the chickpeas and let sit for a few minutes to let any extra moisture drain off.
  9. Transfer the chickpeas to a food processor with the tahini, salt, cumin, and lemon juice. Process for 2-3 minutes, until the mixture is super smooth.
  10. With the food processor still running, add the canola oil, hot water, and 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Continue to process for another 2-3 minutes. Don’t worry, you can’t over-process it! You want the hummus to be as smooth and creamy as possible.
  11. To serve, spread the hummus in a wide, shallow bowl. If desired, top with tahini sauce, olive oil, and garnish with parsley and Aleppo-style pepper.
  12. Enjoy!

Here is a photo of my creation: 

My attempt at making the tahini hummus from Saba.

This hummus was delicious, I would give it a 9.5/10. The recipe was easy to follow and the results were impeccable. I would definitely suggest tasting it as you go and balancing the flavors to your own personal preferences. I added some extra lemon juice (more than the recipe called for) and loved the extra kick. I ate this whole bowl a little too quickly and it tasted good with everything I dipped in it. 

Here is a photo of the restaurant version: 

The restaurant version of the tahini hummus from Saba.

The restaurant version of this dish is definitely creamier than my attempt. The dish is so simply delicious and savory. 10/10. 

I look forward to replicating more dishes from my favorite New Orleans restaurants!


You must login to post a comment. Need a ViaNolaVie account? Click here to signup.