Kvass Hummus (with Beet-Garlic-Cumin Kvass Recipe)


Got Purp?!

This take on hummus brings the brilliant color of beet kvass to the dish. While a “hummus” made from beets will give that deep purple color, it doesn’t really taste like hummus. (Not to say it’s bad at all.)

In this recipe, we will use good ol’ chickpeas for the base and kvass as the liquid (in place of some of the traditional acid of lemon juice or, in some cases, vinegar). This gives the hummus an interesting pink hue yet is closer to the regular taste of hummus you’re accustomed too. We can also flavor the kvass to impart some great flavors into the hummus as well.

Although there is a kvass recipe on this site, I offer a modified version below which includes cumin seeds and garlic, to enhance the flavor. These flavors work great in a hummus but just bear in mind the kvass should ferment for at least a few weeks to acquire a sour enough flavor, since it is being used as a replacement for much of the lemon juice.

Yield: ~6 servings (1.5 cups)

Shelf life: ~8-9 days (refrigerated)


  • Quart jar, fermentation weight and airlock lid (these items to make kvass)
  • Knife & cutting board
  • Pan (optional, to toast cumin seeds)
  • Mortar & pestle (optional, to coarsely crush the cumin seeds)
  • Blender of food processor
  • Measuring cups & spoons
  • Fine mesh strainer (recommended)


To make the kvass you will need:

2 cups water, 2 tsp salt, 3 beets (~250g before trimmed), 6-8 cloves garlic, 1.5 tsp whole cumin seeds

For the hummus:

  • 1- 15oz. can chickpeas
  • 1/4 cup tahini
  • 1/4 cup strained kvass
  • 3 TBSP lemon juice
  • 2 TBSP olive + more for serving
  • 1 clove garlic, minced (can be the purple kvass garlic)
  • 1/4 tsp ground cumin (optional)
  • 1/4 tsp salt (or to taste)

Garnish with finely chopped or minced kvass beets


For the beet kvass:

1.) Make two cups 2.5% saltwater brine (if you don’t have a scale, dissolve 2 rounded tsp salt in two cups water).

2.) Clean/trim and coarsely chop the beets. Quarter the garlic cloves.

3.) Toast the 1.5 tsp whole cumin seeds in a pan for a minute or two at medium-low heat (avoid burning); then lightly crush with mortar & pestle.

4.) Combine the beets, garlic, and toasted/crushed cumin seeds in quart jar with the saltwater brine. Apply glass weight and airlock lid. Allow to ferment for at least 2-3 weeks.

For the hummus:

1.) Once the kvass is sour and flavorful, strain out 1/4 cup and add it to the blender or processor, along with 1/4 cup well-stirred tahini. Process for 60 seconds. Using a spoon or scraper, push down anything on the sides and blend for another 30 seconds.

2.) Add the olive oil, minced garlic, ground cumin (optional), and process for 30 seconds. Again scrape the sides down and process another 30 seconds.

3.) Add half of the chickpeas and process for one minute. Scrape down sides, add remaining chickpeas (can also add a few pieces of kvass beets for more color & flavor, as desired), and process for an additional two minutes (you may opt to scrape down the sides yet again when one minute remains). 

4.) Add 3 TBSP of lemon juice Process for a minute. Taste and decide whether to add 1/4 tsp salt. If so, process for another 30-45 seconds.

5.) The hummus may be ready or it may be too thick. You may add another1 TBSP kvass or lemon juice, processing for 30 seconds, to achieve desired consistency. (More liquid may be added as desired, each TBSP added should be processed for 30 seconds at a time.)

Note: The hummus will solidify a bit more in the refrigerator, so if it seems dense, you may wish to add a bit more liquid. When serving, garnish with some minced kvass beets (and/or the kvass garlic), drizzled olive oil and ground cumin. Also bear in mind after several days to a week, the vibrant color of the kvass will begin to fade, as shown in the picture below. (This is a common occurrence for purple foods during fermentation.)

This hummus topped with minced kvass garlic. Also notice the lighter color of the hummus as will happen over the course of a week.

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