White Lentil Hummus

Recipe 10 minPreparation Time 20 min plus cooling timeCooking Time

White Lentil Hummus

10 minPreparation Time 20 min plus cooling time Cooking Time

About this Recipe

The idea for this white lentil hummus — now a staple — came about because I wanted to serve something to guests at my restaurant that would work well for just about every diet and restriction. I wanted to do something like hummus but a little less traditional. Lentils are packed with protein and are so good for you, and they’re reflective of where I came from. I like to use ivory lentils (urad) for this hummus, but feel free to substitute any lentils you have on hand.

The Benefits

Besides providing a vegetarian source of protein in theform of the lentils, this recipe also contains immunity boosting citrus and anti-inflammatory garlic. Tahini is made from sesame seeds, which are high in several B vitamins and contain large amounts of iron, magnesium, calcium, phosphorous, and zinc. Eating sesame seeds appears to help lower blood pressure and reduce oxidative stress and damage to cells.


Serves 4
  • 1 cup (140 g) ivory lentils
  • 4 cups (960 ml) water
  • 1 Tbsp plus 1 tsp (18 g) salt
  • 3 Tbsp (45 ml) tahini
  • 3 Tbsp (45 ml) fresh lemon juice
  • 1 small garlic clove
  • 2½ Tbsp (35 ml) extra virgin olive oil


  1. Step 1
    Rinse the lentils in a fine-mesh strainer under cold water until the water runs mostly clear; this takes a few minutes. Add them to a large pot with 4 cups (960 ml) of water and 1 Tbsp of the salt.
  2. Step 2
    Bring to a boil over high heat and then lower the heat to medium so the lentils are simmering gently. Skim off the foam that rises to the top. Simmer until the lentils are soft, 20 to 25 minutes. Remove from the heat.
  3. Step 3
    Transfer the lentils, still in the cooking liquid, to a smaller vessel that can fit in a large bowl filled with ice and water. This will cool them down quickly. After 15 to 20 minutes, when the lentils have cooled down (they should be at least slightly colder than room temperature), strain the lentils but save the cooking liquid.
  4. Step 4
    Add the lentils, tahini, lemon juice, garlic, and 3 Tbsp (45 ml) of the cooking liquid to the bowl of a food processor. Purée for 3 to 4 minutes, scraping down the sides of the food processor to make sure all the ingredients get fully incorporated. Slowly add the olive oil. You may need to add more water if it is too thick. It should be a creamy, hummus-like consistency. Season with the remaining 1 tsp salt, or to taste, and serve immediately. Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 1 to 2 days.

Adapted from Good for You: Bold Flavors with Benefits by Akhtar Nawab (Chronicle, 2020)