All Simple Vegetable Recipes

Hummus bi Tahini Recipes

Hummus bi Tahini


Some sort of dried garbanzo beans paste is served throughout the Middle East. This is a delicious dip or spread for toasted pita bread. But it also has a place on an antipasto buffet or as part of a cold supper.

Makes about 2 cups

  • 1 cup dried garbanzo beans, picked over, soaked overnight, and drained; or 2 1/2 cups canned garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed-do not cook further

  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled, or more to taste

  • 1/2 cup cold water, or more if needed

  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice (1 large lemon)

  • 1/3 cup tahini (see note)

  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

  • Hot pepper sauce, or hot red (cayenne) pepper, to taste (optional)

  • Extra virgin olive oil for serving

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

  1. Place the soaked dried garbanzo beans in a medium size kettle and add water to cover by 2 inches. Cover the kettle and simmer over low heat until very tender, at least 2 hours. Drain well. Cool.

  2. In a food processor, process the garlic, water, and lemon juice until almost smooth. Add the cooled or canned garbanzo beans and process until smooth. If the mixture is too thick, add more water, 1 tablespoon at a time, until the puree is thick, but smooth.

  3. Transfer the dried garbanzo beans puree to a medium size bowl. Stir in the tahini and season well with salt. The mixture should be smooth, the consistency of a thick dip.

  4. For a traditional Middle Eastern presentation, serve this puree spread in a deep plate or shallow bowl, drizzled with olive oil and garnished with parsley. Or spoon it into a bowl, make a little well in the surface, fill with olive oil, and garnish with the parsley.


For a more colorful, but not authentic, presentation, increase the parsley to 3 tablespoons and stir it into the puree just before serving.



Tahini is sesame seed paste, which is sold commercially in many supermarkets and in most health-food stores. The paste is available in both cans and jars. Once opened, the paste can be kept in the refrigerator almost indefinitely, at the very least for several months. If you buy tahini in a can, after opening remove any remaining paste and store in a clean jar with a tight-fitting lid. I like to cover the surface of the paste with a very thin layer of sesame seed oil to eliminate any chance of discoloration.

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