Musabaha (Whole Chickpea Hummus)


Musabaha (Whole Chickpea Hummus)

I can’t believe I have yet to post a hummus recipe after making this delicious appetizer/dip for the umpteenth time. Hummus, long a staple of Middle Eastern cuisine, made from chickpeas and tahini (sesame paste) is low in fat and high in protein. This might be the reason why the hummus craze has spread the world by fire on the tables of the health conscious communities. My eyes nearly popped out when MSN reported that store-bought hummus sales in US was USD530 million in 2012 and farmers are switching to planting this lowly chickpea to meet with the growing demand.

The craze has also created some interesting variation like beetroot hummus and pumpkin hummus. I find that odd. I still find comfort in the classical hummus, a satisfying dish with complex flavors of spice, tartness and creaminess. The basic hummus recipe is super smooth and rich in tahini, and used simply spread over a plate, drizzled with olive oil, and eaten with bread or extremely satisfying as a dip with carrot and celery sticks.  There are also a number of regional hummus variations in Middle East, like Hummus Kawarma (Hummus topped with Fried Lamb) and Musahaba (Whole chickpeas with hummus).

Musabaha (Whole Chickpea Hummus)

Spoon hummus onto a shallow serving bowl, spoon over whole chickpeas, followed by tahini sauce and lemon sauce. Garnish with parsley, paprika and a drizzle of olive oil.

In contrast to the classical creamy hummus, musabbaha is made with chickpeas left whole. Traditionally, musabaha is served “swimming” in a pool of tahini, for breakfast along with various pickles, fresh radish and spring oinion. Chickpeas are first marinated while still warm in plenty of lemon juice, olive oil and garlic before being blanketed in tangy parsley tahini sauce. Once the chickpeas are cooked, the whole dish can be put on a table within 15 minutes. It makes a great appetizer, salad or even a side dish for grilled fish or chicken.


I am submitting this post to Asian Food Fest: West Asia hosted by Shannon from Just As Delish.

5.0 from 1 reviews
Musabaha (Whole Chickpea Hummus)
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Chickpeas served "swimming" in a pool of tahini and hummus
Recipe type: Appetiser / SideDish
Cuisine: Middle Eastern
Serves: 2
  • 125g Dried Chickpeas
  • ½ teaspoon Baking Soda
  • ½ tablespoon Ground Cumin
  • 35g Tahini
  • 2 tablespoon Lemon Juice
  • 1 clove Garlic
  • 1 tablespoon Iced Water
  • 1 tablespoon Oiive Oil
  • 1 tablespoon chopped Parsley
  • ½ teaspoon Paprika
  • Salt and Black Pepper
Tahini Sauce
  • 35g Tahini
  • 30ml Water
  • ½ tablespoon Lemon Juice
  • ¼ clove Garlic - crushed / finely minced
  • Pinch of Salt
Lemon Sauce
  • 5g Parsley - finely chopped
  • ½ Green Chili - finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoon Lemon Juice
  • 1 tablespoon White Wine Vinegar
  • 1 clove Garlic - crushed / fined minced
  • Pinch of Salt
  1. Start a day before to soak chickpeas with cold water, at least twice their volume, and leave to soak overnight.
  2. The next day, place a medium saucepan on high heat and cook chickpeas with sodium bicarbonate for 3 minutes, stirring constantly. Add 700ml water and bring it to boil. Cook, skimming off any foam and any skins that float to the surface. The chickpeas can be cook for anywhere between 30 and 40 minutes, depending on the type and freshness.
  3. While the chickpeas are cooking, prepare tahini sauce by mixing all the ingredients in a small bowl. Add a little water if needed to get a consistency slightly runnier than honey.
  4. In another small bowl, mix together all the lemon sauce ingredients.
  5. Once the chickpeas are done, they should be very tender, breaking up easily when pressed between your thumb and finger, almost but not quite mushy. Drain the cooked chickpeas, reserving 40ml of the cooking water. You should end up with roughly 300g of cooked chickpeas. Keep ¾ (225g) of the chickpeas in a bowl, mixing them with the cooking water reserved earlier, cumin, ¼ teaspoon salt and freshly ground black pepper. Keep them somewhere warm.
  6. Place the remaining chickpeas (75g) in a small food processor and process until you get a stiff paste. While the machine is running, add tahini paste, lemon juice, garlic and ¼ teaspoon salt. Finally, slowly drizzle in the iced water and allow it to mix for about 3 minutes until you get a very smooth and creamy paste, that has turn into hummus.
  7. To serve, place hummus into a shallow serving bowl, don't level or press it down. Spoon warm chickpeas on top, followed by tahini sauce, the lemon sauce and a drizzle of olive oil. Garnish with chopped parsley and a sprinkle of paprika.


  1. Pingback: Musabaha – Chef Steph

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