Asli means “authentic” in Arabic. Somehow I always forget how much I love hummus and how easy it is to make. Unlike in Israel, here in Los Angeles it’s hard to find good hummus. There are rumors that there are bunch of decent humus places in the Valley. I doubt it.
To enjoy hummus to the max, you must eat it with a proper pita or with rustic bread. In Los Angeles you can find freshly baked pitas at the Israeli supermarkets on Pico or at Sami Macolet on Fairfax. You can freeze them, then warm them up in a toaster oven for a few minutes. Hummus can feel like cement in the guts so it’s best to eat it with salads, pickles and olives on the side.
- 2 cups dried chickpeas – or canned chickpeas*, rinsed
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 7 cups water
- ½ teaspoon ground cumin
- ¾ cup tahini
- 2 garlic clove, peeled
- 4 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 teaspoon salt
- Olive oil – for garnish
- Chopped parsley leaves – for garnish, optional
- Put the chickpeas with baking soda in a large bowl and cover with water and, let them soak overnight (minimum twelve hours).
- Drain and rinse the chickpeas and put them in a medium saucepan with water double their volume. Put the saucepan over high heat and bring to a boil. Skim the foam and any skins that float on the surface and discard. Add the cumin and lower down the heat. Cook for 1 – 2 hours, depending on the type or freshness. The chickpeas should be very tender – easy to mush with your fingers. Add water to the pan if necessary – don't let the bottom of the saucepan burn, like I usually do! Remove from heat and let it cool. Before you drain them ladle a cup of the cooking water and set aside.
- Drain the chickpeas and transfer them to a food processor. Add the tahini, lemon juice, garlic and salt and 2 tablespoons of the cooking water and process until you get a smooth paste. If the hummus is too thick, add a tablespoon or more the cooking liquid (or water). Palestinians put an ice cube, they claim that it makes the hummus velvety. The hummus should be smooth and stiff enough hold its shape. Taste and add salt or lemon juice if necessary.
- To serve: spread the hummus on a plate. Drizzle olive oil, sprinkle paprika and garnish with parsley. If you not serving right away, refrigerate up to three days.