Hummus (pronounce the H like “ch” as in Scottish Loch) is a delicious spread or dip made from chickpeas and tahini. Very well known in Israël and a specialty of Middle Eastern Jews. Nowadays it’s sold in delis all over the world.

Tahini is an oily paste of ground sesame seed and also used as sauce combined with Falafel. Chickpeas are very healthy and a good substitute for meat. They are also available in cans. In that case they are cooked. But I like the fresh dried chickpeas the best. The Spanish Garbanzos are here in the Netherlands the best in its kind.

I enjoy to make this dip every time because in our kehila (jiddish for community) it’s usually part of the table dishes at the reception in honour of the first Tora reading by a new Bar Mitswa or the first Haftara reading by a new Bat Mitswa. It is a lot of work but you can make a smaller dish. Your taste decides the amount of garlic. You can also use more or less lemon juice.

1 kg. / 2 ¼  lbs dried chickpeas
2 tbsp salt
6-8 tbsp olive oil (delicato)
10-12 garlic cloves, finely chopped
|200 cl. / 1 cup fresh lemon juice
350 gr. / ¾ lb. tahini without salt
1 tbsp tahini from roasted sesame seed with salt
3 tsp ground cumin (djinten)

Check the chickpeas carefully, because a little stone can damage the knife of your food processor. Wash the chickpeas in plenty of cold water. Put them under water in a big pan to soak for 24 hours. Next day, drain and rinse the chickpeas. Bring to boil, just covered with water. Skimmer off the scum and simmer for 2 hours with lid on the pan.  Then add the 2 tbsp of salt and boil another 10 minutes. Take care that the chickpeas keep on boiling.

Important: Never add salt to peas before boiling. They will not become soft.

Use the food processor. Arrange all the ingredients in separate dishes. Fill up half of the blender with chickpeas and some liquid, bit of garlic, some olive oil, little of the lemon juice, a spoon of tahini and mix during about 40 seconds till a creamy dip. Transfer to a non-metallic bowl. Repeat this action till all the ingredients are used. Add the tablespoon tahini of roasted sesame seed to the last processing run. All the dip is in the bowl now. Add cumin powder and stir very well with a spatula.

To decorate: Drip some olive oil over the Hummus. Bring colour over the dish with red pepper (paprika) powder. Decorate with fresh parsly leaves and some whole cooked chickpeas. Hummus is also good to combine with bread and fresh lettuce or green salad.