Hummus, the real way

By Michael Richter

This recipe for the classic Lebanese delicacy comes from an 82-year-old Armenian women in Glendale, California. While I will try to describe the process with as much detail as I can, mastering this dish requires the kind of touch and devotion that only an Armenian grandmother can offer.Ingredients:
2 cups of chickpeas
cup of tahina paste (preferably al wadi brand)
1 lemon
2 cloves garlic
2 tbs olive oil
1 tsp ground cumin
pinch cayenne pepper
salt to taste

1. Rinse the chickpeas and put them in a large bowl of cold water. Store in a refrigerator for at least 6 hours.

2. Boil chickpeas in lightly salted water for 30 to 40 minutes, until you can bite into them without much resistance. This time will vary depending on the size of the chickpeas and the amount of time they soak in cold water. Strain the chickpeas and rinse them in cold water.

3. Lay a large, damp dishtowel out on a counter. Place a handful of chickpeas onto the towel and spread them out evenly. Then place a second damp towel over the chickpeas. Put your hands firmly on the towel and rub the chickpeas until the clear thin layer is removed from the outside of each pea. Remove the top towel and remove these clear shells. This should not be difficult if the chickpeas are cooked for the appropriate time. Repeat this step for the entire bowl of chickpeas.

4. If you did not follow the real recipe and decided to use canned chickpeas, the recipe starts here. Place 15 ounces (1 cups) of chickpeas into a food processer. A blender may work, but not nearly as well.

5. Crush the garlic cloves in a garlic press if available. If not, chop into very fine pieces.

6. Place the garlic, tahina, olive oil, cumin, cayenne, and the juice of 1 lemon into the food processer. Turn it on. You will need to add cold water to reach the desires consistency. Add this slowly as it is easy to make it too watery. When the hummus has reached the desired consistency, add salt to taste and put into a bowl.

7. Serve the hummus with warm pita bread. Use paprika and olive oil to garnish if you’d like.