Israeli Cuisine: Hummus

Hummus is a unique culinary delight in the
Middle East and in Israel; it is an official art form.

If you are unfamiliar with this delight, it is a mixture of ground chickpeas, sesame seed, lemon and garlic. Served with freshly baked pita bread, a hard boiled egg, raw onions, a side of warm chick peas and at times, a side dish of lemon juice and garlic mixture, it practically represents its own food group.

If you want to prepare it yourself here the best Recipe of Gaby's Hummus!

- ½ kilo dried chickpeas, soaked overnight in
  cold water with 1 teaspoon of baking soda
- ½ cup tahina
- 2 garlic cloves
- Small green pepper
- Juice of two lemons
- Salt, pepper
- ¼ cup pine nuts
- Hardboiled eggs
- Chopped onions
- Sumac or paprika for decoration
- Olive oil to sprinkle on top

Cook the chickpeas in the same water you soaked the peas. Bring the water to a boil over a high heat until it foams, about 5 to 10 minutes. Remove the foam with a skimmer and continue boiling, partially covered, until tender. Add salt in the last quarter of an hour and take care that the chickpeas are continuously covered with water. If necessary, you can add boiling water to the pot.

Process in the blender the chickpeas with ½ cup of tahina (sesame seed paste).

Add two large garlic peeled cloves, a small green pepper and freshly ground black pepper to taste; add at last juice of two lemons and salt to taste. Check the taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary. If you do need to adjust the taste, add some more garlic with salt or some tahina with lemon juice.

In a small skillet, cook ¼ cup of pine nuts in 1 tablespoon (even less) of olive oil over medium heat until light brown, stirring, about 4 minutes. Remove and set aside.

Spoon the hummus onto a large round serving platter, not a bowl. Spread some tahina over the hummus, and top with hardboiled egg cut in bits, chopped onion. Sprinkle the reserved pine nuts around. Sprinkle sumac or paprika over and serve. Serve with warm Arabic flatbread or pita bread.

Hummus Glossary:

All the Hebrew you need to know when ordering:

"eem ful" = with cooked beans on top
"bli shemen" = without oil
"eem falafel" = with falafel balls (ground deep fried seasoned chickpeas)
"salatim" = small dishes of various salads, eggplant, olives and pickles