Mel’s Harissa Hummus

My friend Melanie (the same Melanie who takes the blog photos) makes hummus, excellent hummus. It pairs well with crackers–homemade or store bought–or your favorite vegetables for dipping. She’s your guest blogger for this post. [Ed. Note]

Guest Blogger: Melanie Cohen

A few years ago, I became obsessed with learning how to make things that people usually just buy from the supermarket—Larabars, mayonnaise, pesto and even Cheez-Its. My introduction to this kind of food prep has also been my most prominent; I’ve practically become legen—wait for it—dary for my hummus making. I mean, who wants to pay $5 for chickpeas and hydrogenated oil when you can make a purer and tastier version yourself for cheaper?

Here’s the recipe I use to make my hummus; I’ve also included the recipe I adapted it from. (This is why I’m an editor; I’m much better at improving an existing product than creating it from scratch.)

Harissa Hummus |Photo Cred: Mel C.

Harissa Hummus | Photo Cred: Melanie Cohen

Mel’s Harissa Hummus

  • 1/4 cup of tahini
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice (a bit less if you use the kind from a bottle, but fresh is preferred)
  • 2 tablespoons of water
  • 4 small cloves of garlic (more if you love garlic like I do)
  • 1 can of chick peas (you could get the dried stuff, but that takes a lot of time and patience–canned chick peas also help the creaminess* factor)
  • Salt to taste (I usually add very little because canned chick peas have plenty of salt already)
  • Harissa to taste


  1. Add the tahini, lemon juice and water to a food processor. Blend until it forms a “thick, creamy emulsion” (copying from the recipe here–giggles). Then mix in the garlic, chick peas and harissa and blend, adding extra water by the tablespoon for desired consistency. I also like to add a dollop of harissa on top for aesthetic purposes.
  2. If you’re ambitious, you can use homemade harissa, but I usually buy it from the store. My favorite is from Cava Mezze, which isn’t available everywhere, but I’d definitely recommend using fresh harissa over jarred if possible.*Want a tip to get super creamy hummus? In addition to getting canned chick peas, make sure you take off the little skins–it’s a bit tedious, but it’s completely worth it!
Chickpeas with the skins removed. | Photo Cred: Melanie Cohen

Chickpeas with the skins removed. | Photo Cred: Melanie Cohen


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