The Lebanese Chickpeas in Tahini
We all know what is the Hummus. All the world does by now. It has taken a royal seat in the world menus since our forefathers imported it with their immigration to all the Earth corners. Nutritionists love it and recommend it. In Canada, we are starting to see it sold as snacks in airtight plastic double-container including small pieces of toasted pita bread.
Hummus means Chickpeas in Arabic. It is the most used name for our dish Hummus bil-Tahini, or Chickpeas in Tahini. It is by origin and culture a dish of the Lebanese cuisine. The linguistic fact alone discards any cultural misconception that the Hummus belongs in origin to a non-Arabic-speaking nation of our region. It can’t possibly be since it carries an Arabic name, which is the name of its main component.
The Hummus in its deliciousness and nutrition value has become a dish of the Levantine, and of health-conscious people around the world.
OUR HUMMUS HEALTH VALUES:
I remember my mother, God bless her, an excellent cook, preparing the hummus at home… in a very large casserole. I come from a large happy family of nine people, growing up in a household of eleven, counting our house-keepers. She would soak several kilos of dry chickpeas overnight, then cook them in a Presto for about 40 minutes…. before proceeding next day with the culinary preparation of the Hummus in Tahini.
Today, I give you a simpler recipe, which is also healthier with Zero Cholesterol. You will still need to soak the dry chickpeas for 12 hours though, and boil them for an hour (or 30 minutes in a Presto), a day before. That if you wish to have an authentic hummus dish. You may try the canned Chickpeas, but I can’t tell you if it generates the same tasty result since I never tried it.
Other versions of our Hummus are that which include a topping of a cooked meat: The Hummus Awarma, and the more simplified and healthier Hummus Bil-Lahmeh which mixture includes ground beef, onions, molasses, and pine kernels. I am posting the recipe tomorrow. If you are not vegan or vegetarian, go ahead and look it up! It is as delicious!
The Hummus is great consumed in many ways: As a spread on toasted bread or crunchy toasts, as a side dish to grills, as a dip to toasted pita bread, and as stand alone with Lebanese bread.
Presenting the Hummus dish is always a pleasurable art for us Lebanese. I provide you with some tips at the end of the recipe.
To Your Good Health, Enjoy!
Lebanese Hummus Bil-Tahini
- 2 1/2 cups Chickpeas Boiled (please see my note below)
- 1 cup Water
- 4 cloves Garlic pounded with a dash of salt and a drizzle of olive oil
- 1/2 tsp Cumin
- 3 tbsps Tahini Paste
- 2 tbsps Labneh Low-fat
- 1/2 cup Fresh Lemon Juice
- 1/2 tsp Salt
- Olive Oil extra-virgin
- Fresh Parsley chopped
- Ground Red Pepper optional
How to pre-boil your Dry Chickpeas ahead of time
Soak the Chickpeas in water for 12 hours. Drain the water out, place them in a large casserole, and saturate them with water.
Boil over high heat for one hour. Transfer them into a sieve to discard the liquid, and set aside to cool at room temperature. Cover and store them in the fridge for the next day preparation of the Hummus.
To store the chickpeas for few days, have them in an airtight container in the fridge.
Preparing the Hummus on Day-D
Pour the 1 cup of water in a casserole, and bring to a boil over high heat. Add the chickpeas, cover, and boil for 15 minutes for the chickpeas to soften further.
Set aside one tablespoon of chickpeas to garnish with later.
Gradually transfer all the remaining chickpeas (with their peels) into your running food processor. Keep mixing until you get a smooth homogeneous cream. You may add water from the boiled liquid if necessary.
In a separate bowl, mix well the Labneh with the Tahini paste and the Lemon Juice. Season with cumin and salt, and mix very well.
Garnishing and Serving
Transfer the Hummus into a serving plate. Dip a tablespoon in cold water, and press it tip down close to the center as you slide it, performing a canular-type circle or an oval one depending on the shape of your serving plate. (Please refer to the photo).
Place the remaining chickpeas we have set aside on the small center mount. Drizzle the olive oil in the deeper area (the canular). Place some parsley on the chickpeas, and Sprinkle the remaining on the sides.
Dust on some red pepper If you are opting for the optional garnishing.
Consume at room temperature with Lebanese Pita Bread, or by dipping your grilled meat on.
It is also savory spread on crunchy toast, and with Lebanese toasted bread.