The name hummus comes from the Arabic word for chickpea, and it is simply a paste made up of mashed chickpeas, garlic, sesame seeds, lemon juice and a spice or mixture thereof, usually cumin but sometimes also paprika. Useful both as a dip on its own or as an ingredient in something else [e.g. Lebanese meatballs], its recorded use goes back at least a thousand years and it has actually been around in some form or other for much, much longer. What follows is a simple, basic dish and there are, as always, a huge number of variations.


1 can chickpeas, drained.

½ cup sesame oil.

2 cloves garlic, peeled, or to taste

Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

1 tblsp ground cumin.

Juice & zest of a lemon.


Place everything in a small bowl and zap with a kitchen wand or hand blender. Cover and leave in a cool place for the flavours to combine. If it is intended as a dip, garnish with a little paprika and/or finely chopped parsley or coriander greens.

Yield: About 1 ½ cups.

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