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How to make hummus like the pros for International Hummus Day

The secret to amazing hummus is freshness, says Hrant Arakelian.

The Lebanon-born owner and executive chef of Lyra in Nashville balks at the tubs of hummus in the deli case at the grocery store, particularly the more outlandish variations made with chocolate or black beans. “That’s not hummus,” he said.

As in Lebanon, which Arakelian said has as many hummus shops as bakeries, Lyra serves hummus as a vehicle for flavorful toppings, including chili-roasted turnips and candied onions, wood-roasted jalapeño relish and spiced lamb merguez.

More:This lemony white bean dip is lighter than hummus

“Hummus is a very simple recipe,” Arakelian said. “If you don’t have all top-quality ingredients, things will stand out a little more.”

That means perfectly fresh garlic, and not too much or too little. That also means top-notch tahini paste. Arakelian prefers Al Kanater, a Lebanese brand that he says is increasingly hard to find.

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