A nutritious dip from the Middle East that is really good and inexpensive. Serve with toasted pita bread or water crackers. Also use as a condiment on sandwiches (falafel!) The ingredient tahini may be hard to find or expensive in your grocery. Try the “health food store” or that odd-ball grocery that has the “weird” stuff and it may be half the price of the big store.
Although canned beans are much easier to use, I use DRY garbanzo beans (chick peas) for two reasons: 1) I am CHEAP (thrifty). 2) I can “de-gas” those dreaded beans a lot better using the dry guys.
Freezes well, so make a big batch and save time. I cannot believe that a 6 ounce container of hummus sells for $3.79 — it probably cost the manufacturer 30¢ !
- 1 pound dry garbanzos (chick peas)
- 2 Tbs ground fennel seed
- 2 Tbs baking soda
- 4 Tbs lemon juice
- 1 cup tahini (go 2 C if you like it)
- 4 cloves fresh garlic – crushed/liquified
- 2 tsp salt
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- Pour beans onto cookie sheet and discard any dark ones. Transfer into a large pot and cover with water. Stir in the fennel and baking soda. Let soak for 24 hours or longer in the refrigerator.
- Place this pot on the heat and get the temperature up to 120-150 degrees. Too hot will break down the enzyme in the fennel and denature it. Too cold, and the enzyme is inactive. Stir often for 2 hours if you want to be flatulence-free!
- Drain well and rinse. Return to pot and cover with water. Boil for 30 minutes (plus) until beans are very soft – mushy. Drain and rinse. Rinse some more. Drain very well.
- Smash them to smithereens with a potato masher, food processor, etc. Add the other ingredients and keep mixing it up.
- Place the right amount in a small serving bowl. Make a depression with the spoon and fill with 2 Tbs olive oil. Garnish with curly parsley. I sprinkle powdered red pepper on HALF the dip for those who like it spicy. Cut whole pitas into 1/6 or 1/8 triangles and toast them to serve as a dip.
Sun-dried tomatoes and oregano chopped together finely with olive oil is another good topping for the dip.