A Puree of Chick Peas and Tahini
- Servings: Makes about 2 cups.
From my friend Arthur White whose hummus is often requested by folks who score an invitation to dinner, this version includes sliced jalapeño peppers which it a soft bite, and ground cumin and cardamom which give it complexity.
Hummus -- also sometimes spelled hummous and other times called Hummus Bi Tahini -- is a Middle Eastern dish that is made with cooked chick peas and tahini, a creamy paste made from sesame seeds. Added to these two primary ingredients are garlic and seasonings that can be intensified depending on how you prefer the flavor.
Because hummus is made from a legume, it is rich in protein but without any of the fat that comes from animal protein.
It makes a satisfying sandwich when it's spread on a slice of pita, lavash or other tender bread, adding a slice of fresh tomato or thin pieces of raw cucumber. It's a popular appetizer dip for raw vegetables, including spears of carrots, celery and fennel. It's also a beautiful compliment to a platter of grilled summer vegetables.
You can adjust the texture of the hummus to your liking by doing more or less work with the food processor. Some prefer it as a very smooth paste while others like it a bit chunky, with small pieces of the chick peas throughout the purée.
- 2 14 oz. cans of chickpeas, drained but reserve the water
- 8 to 10 slices of jarred jalapeño pepper
- 2 medium-sized garlic cloves, peeled
- 1/4 cup lemon juice (about 1 medium lemon)
- 1/4 cup tahini
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
- In a food processor, chop the peeled garlic cloves until finely minced. Add the jalapeño pepper slices and pulse until completely combined with the garlic. You will probably have to use a spatula to scrap the garlic bits from the side of the processor's basket.
- Add the tahini, lemon juice, ground cumin and ground cardamom and process until combined.
- Drain the chickpeas but reserve their water. Add the chickpeas to the processor and combine. While the processor is running, gradually add the reserved water from the chickpeas until you have the consistency of sour cream (if you prefer a thicker hummus, add less of the water).
- Keep the processor running a while until you see that it is well blended; the longer the time the finer the texture.
- Taste and adjust the seasoning.
- Serve with warm pita bread, raw vegetables or pita chips.