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Hummus (Chickpea Dip)
From Middle Eastern Cooking, by Christine Osborne

Ingredients:

3/4 cup dried chickpeas (175 g, 6 oz)
1 tsp salt
1 to 2 garlic cloves, crushed
1/2 cup plus 2 Tbsp tahini (150ml, 5 fl oz)
Juice of 2 to 3 lemons
1 Tbsp olive oil
Paprika (optional)
Finely chopped parsley (optional)

Instructions:

Soak the chickpeas in plenty of cold water overnight. Drain, add the salt, cover with water and cook in a pressure cooker for 20 minutes, or simmer for 1-1/2 hours in a pan. Drain the chickpeas, reserving the liquid, then set aside a few peas for the garnish.

Using a little of the cooking liquid, reduce the rest of the chickpeas to a purée in a blender or food processor. Add the garlic, a bit more salt, and tahini and blend together thoroughly. Lastly pour in the lemon juice, by which time the hummus should have a rich, creamy consistency.

Pour into a shallow, concave dish (about the size of a salad plate), pour the oil in the center and garnish with the whole chickpeas. Sprinkle the paprika and a little chopped parsley as a decoration around the edges, if you like.

Hummus should be served at room temperature as a dip with warm pita bread. It also makes a tasty accompaniment to grilled kebabs.

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