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HUMMUS

Hummus is one of the the best known of all Arabian foods. Hummus is a staple in its lands of origin, but here in the West it is generally used as an appetizer, garnish or cocktail dip. Hummus, (also spelled humis, hamos, houmous, hommos, hommus, hummos, hummous or humus due to the difficulty in transliterating the sounds of Arabic to the Romance languages), is really a bit of a misnomer, since hummus is the generic name for chick peas. The proper name for this dish is Hummus bi Tajini, or Hummus with Tajini.

Whatever the linguistic difficulties though, here is a great recipe for this ancient staple:

In a mortar and pestle, a blender or the bowl of a food processor, mix together:

  • 3/4 cup chickpeas, soaked overnight, simmered until tender and drained, or one can chick peas, well drained and washed.

  • 2 Tbl or more Tajini, (sesame paste)

  • 3 clove garlic, minced

  • 1/2 tsp salt

  • 1/2 cup or so fresh lemon juice

  • 1/4 cup or so of good olive oil

Pound together in a mortar or blend in a blender until well mixed and of an easily spreadable consistency. If Hummus is too thick, add a bit of water or a bit more lemon juice. Serve Hummus with crackers, pita bread, fresh vegetables, tempura, pumpernickle, fried seafood or just about anything.

A variation of Hummus that has a distinct Mexican flavor can be made by adding a tablespoon or so of canned chilpotle chile peppers and 1/2 tsp crushed whole cumin seed to the ingredients above before mixing. Sprinkle Hummus with chopped fresh coriander leaf, cilantro, before serving.


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