Global "hummus"

Contributed by Preston Maring, MD

Global "hummus"

Sometimes eating locally expands to encompass global goodness. This recipe started with the gift of some white tepary beans grown during the blistering hot summer of the Sonoran desert in Southern Arizona by the Tohono O’odham, Native American “River People and Desert People”.

A half cup serving of cooked beans has 14 grams of fiber and 10 grams of protein making it a very healthy and economical food source.

Hummus, of course, is a well known Middle Eastern and Mediterranean staple that may be made in many different versions. This version reflects the Sonoran desert origin of the beans.

Pita bread is a favorite vehicle for hummus so I made some using my favorite white whole wheat flour from Judith Redmond’s Full Belly Farm in Yolo County’s Capay valley. 

Servings: 24 1/4 cup servings


  • 2 cups dried white beans (don’t have to necessarily be tepary beans)
  • 10 cups water
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • About ½ cup lemon juice
  • 6 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1/3 cup chopped cilantro
  • ¾ tsp cumin seeds, toasted in a skillet then ground
  • Salt and black pepper to taste
  • 2 Tablespoons capers, rinsed
  • Habanero hot sauce or Tabasco sauce to taste
  • More cilantro and lemon wedges for garnish


Spread the beans out in a baking dish and discard any little stones. Tepary beans don’t need to be soaked overnight. Add the beans to the water in a large pot. Bring to a boil, then simmer partially covered. Mine became very tender in a little over 2 hours. Follow the instructions for whatever kind of dried beans you use which may require soaking them overnight first. Drain the beans reserving the cooking liquid. Either using a food processor, a hand held blender, or a mashing utensil, mix in the olive oil, lemon juice, garlic and enough cooking liquid to achieve the desired consistency. I like it a little lumpy. Mix in the ground cumin, capers, and cilantro. Season with salt, pepper, and hot sauce. Garnish if you wish.

Nutrition information (per serving)

  • Calories: 90
  • Fat: 3 gm
  • Saturated fat: 0 gm
  • Trans fat: 0 gm
  • Cholesterol: 0 mg
  • Carbohydrate: 12 gm
  • Fiber: 5 gm
  • Sodium: 72 mg
  • Protein: 4 gm