Hummus, With Several Variations (Hummous bil Tahina or M’sebaha)
Yields about 3 cups (675 g)
Preparation Time: 10 minutes, plus 12 to 24 hours to soak the chickpeas
Cooking Time: 2 hours
1 cup (½ lb/250 g) dried chickpeas
1/3 cup (80 g) tahini
4 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon ground cumin
2 large cloves garlic, crushed
¾ teaspoon salt
4-8 tablespoons water, or more as needed
4 tablespoons olive oil
Pinch ground sumac (optional, for garnish)
Pita Bread (for serving)
1. Soak the chickpeas in cold water for 12 to 24 hours; drain. After soaking, add the chickpeas to a medium pot with fresh bring to a boil, then turn the heat down slightly and cook until they’re easy to mash with your ﬁngers, about 1 to 2 hours; adding more water as necessary so that they’re always immersed; drain. Pick through the beans to remove any skins you ﬁnd. Measure out 3 to 4 tablespoons of chickpeas and set aside for topping, if desired.
2. Pulse the chickpeas a few times in a food processor until they are lumpy. Add the tahini, lemon juice, cumin, and garlic, salt, and pulse a few times. Add the water one tablespoon at a time with the food processor on, and continue processing until you achieve your desired consistency.
3. Transfer to a shallow serving bowl and drizzle the olive oil on top. Sprinkle the sumac and reserved chickpeas on top, if using. Serve with ﬂatbread for dipping.
Hummus with Pine Nuts
1 batch Hummus
4 tablespoons pine nuts
Prepare the Hummus but instead of drizzling the oil on top of the hummus, add it to a small skillet over medium heat. Add the pine nuts and cook until golden brown, about 1 to 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Cool slightly, then pour on top of the hummus; sprinkle the sumac on top, if using.
Hummus with Ground Meat
1 batch Hummus (reduce olive oil to 2 tablespoons; omit sumac)
1 small onion, ﬁnely diced
¼ lb (100 g) lean ground lamb or beef
¼ teaspoon salt
Pinch each of ground cinnamon, ground allspice, ground clove, and ground nutmeg
Pinch freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons pine nuts
Prepare the Hummus according to the recipe. Heat the 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a medium skillet over medium heat; add the onion and sauté until starting to soften, about 3 to 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the ground meat, salt, cinnamon, ground allspice, ground clove, ground nutmeg, and black pepper; turn heat up to high and cook until the meat is fully browned and the onion is tender, about 3 to 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in the pine nuts and cook 2 minutes more, stirring occasionally. Cool slightly, and then pour on top of the hummus.
Recipe courtesy of An Edible Mosaic: Middle Eastern Fare with Extraordinary Flair by Faith Gorsky (Tuttle Publishing; Nov. 2012); reprinted with permission.