This ancient food, dating back to 3,000 B.C., is a new American favorite. Hummus is the Arabic word for chickpea so a spread made from any other legume is not hummus. Traditional hummus is a mixture of cooked chickpeas, tahini, olive oil, garlic, a dash of citrus or other acidic ingredients, and salt. Tahini is an important part of the recipe and cannot be substitute; but, it can be omitted. Hummus makes a very healthy snack that is high in protein and fiber.
Here’s a simple recipe from http://mideastfood.about.com/od/appetizerssnacks/r/hummusbitahini.htm
1 16 oz can of chickpeas or garbanzo beans
1/4 cup liquid from can of chickpeas
3-5 tablespoons lemon juice (depending on taste)
1 1/2 tablespoons tahini
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons olive oil
Drain chickpeas and set aside liquid from can. Combine remaining ingredients in blender or food processor. Add 1/4 cup of liquid from chickpeas. Blend for 3-5 minutes on low until thoroughly mixed and smooth.
Place in serving bowl, and create a shallow well in the center of the hummus.
Add a small amount (1-2 tablespoons) of olive oil in the well. Garnish with parsley (optional).
Serve immediately with fresh, warm or toasted pita bread, or cover and refrigerate.
For a spicier hummus, add a sliced red chile or a dash of cayenne pepper.
Hummus can be refrigerated for up to 3 days and can be kept in the freezer for up to one month. Add a little olive oil if it appears to be too dry.