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Hummus and Hummus be Tahini

You can use seasme paste - or not - for a tasty hummus

Chickpea dips have been around for ages and generally known as hummus. When added with sesame paste, it's called hummus bi tahini.

In fact, hummus is Arabic for chickpeas and you can turn a can of them into a smooth and creamy paste with a food processor and a few special ingredients. When you're making hummus for the first time, always following instructions exactly. Too much or too little - of ingredients or of processing - gives an inferior taste and texture.

You can find sesame paste - or tahini - at most specialty markets and some finer grocery chains. If it's not available nearby, you can make a simple hummus that is very enjoyable. It is, however, the sesame paste that seems to work hand-in-hand to make this terrific spread. Serve with pita chips and veggies, if desired.

Easiest Hummus

1 can chickpeas (garbanzos), drained and rinsed
3 Tablespoons olive oil (2 Tablespoons in first processing; 1 in a second round if needed)
3 Tablespoons lemon juice
½ teaspoon salt (or to taste)
½ teaspoon chili powder (or to taste)
1-2 cloves garlic

Pulse the garlic in a processor until minced. Add chickpeas and create a puree. Include the lemon juice and 2 tablespoons olive oil plus the salt and chili powder. Blend until smooth. Refrigerate and allow the flavors to incorporate for several hours before serving.

Hummus bi Tahini

2 cans chickpeas, drained but reserve the liquid
¼ cup tahini (may use up to ½ cup)
4-6 garlic cloves
¼ cup lemon juice (may use up to ½ cup)
Dash salt

Crush the garlic. Combine in a food processor: chickpeas, tahini, garlic, lemon juice, and salt. Blend until smooth and add reserved liquid if too thick.


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