HUMMUS AND HUMMUS BI TAHINI - Julie Le Clerc

Recipe ©copyright Julie Le Clerc, from Taking Tea in the Medina cookbook (Penguin Books NZ)

Makes 2½ cups

Hummus is a soft, creamy chickpea purée that combines the tastes of sweet chickpea nuttiness, tinged with garlic and the tang of lemon juice. With the addition of tahini, this dip takes on a slightly earthy flavour and is then known as hummus bi tahini.
The key is to thoroughly soak the dried chickpeas overnight, then cook them until very tender. Always add freshly squeezed lemon juice, fresh garlic and tahini, as these tastes deteriorate quickly.

INGREDIENTS:

1 cup dried chickpeas, soaked overnight in plenty of cold water
2 bay leaves
4 cloves garlic, peeled
Juice of 3 lemons
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

GARNISH OPTIONS:

Extra virgin olive oil
Sprinkling of ground paprika
A few olives

METHOD:

Drain chickpeas and discard soaking liquid. Place chickpeas in a large saucepan and cover with plenty of fresh cold water. Bring to the boil, then turn down heat, cover and simmer gently for 1 hour or until very tender. Drain well and aside to cool.
Crush garlic in the bowl of a food processor. Add chickpeas and pulse to chop. Add lemon juice and olive oil and process well to combine into a smooth paste. Add a little water to reach desired consistency – the mixture should be as creamy as mayonnaise.
Add tahini, at this stage, to make hummus bi tahini, if desired. Season with salt and pepper to taste and process to combine.
Serve in bowls drizzled with olive oil and garnish as desired. Serve with plenty of pita bread to scoop up the dip.

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