Humous, the Arabic name for chickpea pate along with it’s close cousins tehina and matboucha has become a Jewish food. In Jerusalem , in Bnai Brak, in Boro Park ,in Monsey, all over the Jewish world Shabbos doesnt seem quite right without the so called dips course, a Jewish variation on the Middle Eastern mezze, in which numerous dips and salads are presented in tiny bowls.
According to Jewish mystical teachings starting the Sabbath meal with the dips course is a no no. . The fish symbolizing fertility and renewal is meant to be eaten immediately following kiddush and hamotzi. A good compromise is to serve the dips alongside the fish. You’ll be surprised to discover how humous complements the flavors of gefilte fish and chrain.
No matter when and how you serve it, humous is good to have around, particularly when it is home made–the commercial stuff is awful, hardly worth it’s name but DIY is remarkably easy. Using and improving on Mark Bittman’s wonderful recipe in ” How to Cook Everything,” I humbly offer the Creamiest Homemade Humous Ever.
2 and 1/2 cups of chickpeas
1/2 cup tehina (raw)
1/4 cup of olive oil
Juice of one lemon (or more to taste)
1 or more cloves of fresh garlic
2 tablespoons of cumin
Salt and pepper to taste.
One cup or more of cooking water from the humous
Fill a large soup pot 2/3 full of water. Add 2 and 1/2 cups chickpeas. Boil for three hours until chickpeas are soft. (if you are in a rush add a teaspoon of baking powder and cook for 40 minutes but if you do this rinse the chickpeas and discard the cooking water and use tap water instead)
When chickpeas are soft remove them from the pot with a slotted spoon and add to the bowl of a food processor fitted with blade attachment along with a half cup of the cooking water. This is best when the water is hot.
Add 1/4 cup olive oil and 1/2 cup of raw tehina , garlic , cumin and lemon juice, salt and pepper.
Process gradually adding more cooking water (one quarter cup at a time) until the mixture is smooth.(gradually add one quarter cup of water at a time–you will end up adding 3/4 to one full cup of water)
If the mixture seems lumpy add more cooking water and adjust seasonings
Eat right away or refrigerate. Yields one liter (quart) and keeps for up to 2 weeks in the fridge.
Humous is wonderful when smeared inside a wrap with diced cucumber, pepper, tomato and kohlrabi on top and its great for dieters.