hummus bi tahina – chickpea and sesame dip

125 g (4 oz) chickpeas, soaked for a few hours
juice of 2 lemons
3 Tbs. tahina
2 garlic cloves, crushed
salt

GARNISH

1 Tbs. olive oil
1 tsp. paprika
a few sprigs of parsley, finely chopped

Drain the chickpeas and simmer in fresh water for about an hour or until tender. Reserve the cooking water.

Process the chickpeas in a blender (or food processor) with the lemon juice, tahina, garlic, salt and enough of the cooking liquid to obtain a soft creamy consistency.

Serve on a flat plate, garnished with a dribble of olive oil, a dusting of paprika (this is usually done in the shape of a cross) and a little parsley.

Serve with warm pita bread for dipping. Serves 4-6.

From “Mediterranean Cookery” by Claudia Roden