Hummus is a delicious treat that is easy to make at home. If you add too much lemon juice, tahini, natural yogurt or spoiled chickpeas then it can taste sour. Over-processing, using rancid oil or garlic that has gone bad will make your hummus taste sour.
This article will explore the top reasons why your hummus tastes sour and what you can do to fix each one.
8 Reasons why hummus tastes sour
Check out the top reasons why your hummus might taste sour and what you can do to balance out the flavor.
1. Adding too much lemon juice
Lemon juice is one of the main ingredients in hummus along with chickpeas, salt, oil and tahini. Lemon juice will help to add a little sourness to the hummus and help to keep the chickpeas good for longer. Adding too much lemon juice will overpower the hummus.
If you accidentally add too much lemon juice to your hummus, just add some extra salt to help to balance the taste. Add a pinch at a time and taste. Adding salt will help to hide the sourness and get your hummus back into balance.
2. Too much tahini
Tahini is a key ingredient in hummus, can sometimes be too acidic, resulting in a sour taste in the hummus. Tahini is basically crushed sesame seeds and a small amount is added to most hummus recipes. If you add too much you might start to taste sourness rather than the smooth, balanced taste of chickpeas.
If you accidentally add too much tahini to your hummus recipe then you can balance it out by adding more chickpeas. Just blend them into your hummus. Add some extra salt and give it a stir. This should help to reduce the sourness.
3. Spoiled chickpeas
If the chickpeas used in the hummus have gone bad, it can cause the hummus to taste sour. Use a freshly opened can of chickpeas or soaked, dried chickpeas. Your chickpeas should taste fresh and be light in color.
If you find out that your chickpeas are spoiled it is best to throw out the mix and start again. Grab a new can of chickpeas and start over.
Fermentation can occur if the hummus is left at room temperature for too long, resulting in a sour taste. Hummus should always be kept in the fridge in a sealad container. This will keep air out and help to stop bacteria and fungus from forming in your hummus.
Always check the expiration date on your hummus, keep it cold in the fridge and keep it in an airtight container. Avoid putting dirty cutlery in the hummus so you don’t cross contaminate it.
Over-processing the hummus can cause it to become too smooth and lead to a sour taste. Blending the chickpeas for too long with other ingredients like lemon juice and tahini can cause the flavor to change.
Blend the ingredients until they are smooth but don’t take it too far. You can add some extra water to the mix to help it to blend together without over-mixing.
6. Spoiled garlic
Garlic that has gone bad can give the hummus a sour taste. Crushed garlic in jars or even fresh garlic that has gone bad will taste bitter, sour or bland. Check that your fresh garlic does not have any dark marks, mold or smells bad.
If you are using jarred garlic, check the surface and make sure it does not have any mold on top. If you think you may have used spoiled garlic then you will need to start again.
7. Rancid oil
Using oil that has gone rancid in your hummus recipe can cause the hummus to have a sour taste. Make sure you are using fresh oil in your homemade hummus.
8. Natural yogurt
Adding too much natural yogurt to your hummus can cause it to taste sour. Mixing it through at the end is a great way to lighten up your hummus but adding too much will make it taste taste overly sour.
If you do add too much natural yogurt you can add extra tahini and salt to enhance the flavor and reduce the sourness.
For a simple hummus recipe, check out this one below.
Why hummus tastes sour | Summary
Hummus is easy to make, just make sure you use fresh ingredients and measure them out to the recipe. Over-mixing the ingredients or adding too much lemon juice is the top cause of the hummus tasting sour. If you are not sure why your hummus tastes sour, it is best to throw it out and start again with fresh ingredients.
I am an accredited practicing dietitian, experienced gardener and a dedicated cook. I love writing and sharing my experience so you can learn from my successes and mistakes.